...our cozy, mismatched, love-filled living room!
When two people get married that have fully furnished homes, you end up with a lot of furniture. It's really hard to justify buying new NICE furniture when 1) you already have plenty of perfectly functional furniture 2) you're trying to pay off your mortgage and 3) you know there will be dogs and kids on this furniture and it'll probably be ruined anyway. So that's why it doesn't totally match! But we love how cozy it is! There's a fire place behind where I took the photo. And I love sitting in that blue chair when I read, pray and drink my tea!
Onto the point of this post...
My dad just retired. He's not rich, he's just a simple guy who lives a simple, not extravagant life and I admire him for it.
On Saturday night, he brought up something that I've been pondering and I'm curious about your thoughts on it. He said:
"All my life, I've focused on what is ahead, what is to come, the future. I spent too much of my life not living in the moment, but wondering what would happen next. I'm learning to just sit, be still and enjoy the present."
He seems to do this well now. He really can just sit and enjoy someone's company or nothing but a cup of coffee for hours. This is SO hard for me. Not only is it hard for me to sit still and just be, it is hard for me to live in the moment. I constantly have a list in my head of things I need to accomplish, people I need to call, meals I need to prepare. I can't just enjoy the moment and be quiet. Even in church, I have to take notes to pay attention. Sometimes I have to make a list of all the thoughts running through my head so I'll stop dwelling on them and listen to the preacher.
I really want to work on changing this in my life, but I'm not sure how to achieve it. Scripture says:
"Be still and know that I am God." ~ Psalm 46:10
"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still." ~ Exodus 14:14
So I guess I'm getting at two goals here - to find times of quiet and peace AND to live in the moment, not constantly thinking about what will come next.
I don't know if it's anxiety, my approval addiction, insecurities, my Type-A personality, or my need to be productive that doesn't let me sit in peace. All I know is that THIS IS MY NEW PRAYER. I'm praying that the Lord would help me learn to be still in Him. I also pray that He shows me how to enjoy the present time in my life and to stop dwelling on the past or anticipating what is ahead. I believe that He is the only One who can give me the power to do this. I am taking steps in the mean time to work on the issues I listed above. Here are a few:
I am finding just 5 minutes a day to read through "Jesus Today". It's a great little book with small "devotionals" that are focused on finding your Hope in Christ. It deals so much with trust and patience.
I've stopped making phone calls or listening to music in the car while I'm driving alone (I have a fairly long commute to work). I use this time to pray. It's already been such a blessing and a time of closeness with my Father.
I'm making fewer plans during the week after work. I need this downtime and know that I won't get much of it once we have kids (though I'm sure all of you moms have found some secrets to this!)
So here are my questions for you:
Have you been successful in finding these times of peace?
How do you focus on enjoying the moment and not anticipating the future?
How do you turn off your brain to just enjoy the moment?
How do you step away from cooking/children/cleaning/work/friends/(even your) spouse to have some quiet time?
What are steps you have taken to achieve this?
If this is something that you struggle with as well, please let me know how I can pray for you. Let's lift each other up in this battle for our time, thoughts and energy. We need to fix our eyes on the Lord and enjoy His presence so let's encourage each other!