Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How do you live in the moment?

So this past weekend, my dad and his girlfriend came to visit us.  We had such a great time getting to know her and spending time with my dad.  We spent most of the time sitting in our living room, that doesn't have a TV, just talking.  In fact, here is our living room...



...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 why is this so hard?  I want to sit and feel the peace of Christ.  I want to not feel anxiety often. I want to BE STILL and KNOW that He is God.

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:

{ONE}

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.


{TWO}

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.

{THREE}

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!

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Kelli! Are you my long-lost sister? You described me when you said this:

    "anxiety, my approval addiction, insecurities, my Type-A personality, or my need to be productive that doesn't let me sit in peace."

    I get up early every morning so I can have some peace in my life. I read my Bible, I pray, I do a devotional. This is a critical part to my outlook on the day. I've been working at being mindful of my thoughts. It's hard to live outside of the moment when our eyes are on Jesus. So if my thoughts start going off on to do lists or how I'm running behind schedule, I try to think of Jesus and his goodness. It brings me back to the present.

    Thanks for sharing Kelli. This was exactly what I needed to read today. I'll pray for you my friend.
    xoxo

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  2. What a great post Kelli! We are VERY much alike.
    I haven't been very successful at finding times of peace or quiet yet. But I'm really working on it. I've always been one to think about and wish for the future. But since having my daughter I've really tried to focus on being in the moment with her and enjoying her now. She is growing up so fast and I want to have as many memories as I can of her at this age. I have very little time for myself to just be still, but your post has inspired me to try to bring some of those moments into my life.
    Thanks for sharing this today Kelli!

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  3. It is so hard to just live in the present...I have to make a conscious effort to enjoy and be thankful for the here and now. Xx.

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  4. Ahhh-- I need this message so much. I take pride in the fact that I am a great multi-tasker and can get so much done in little time. It's so detrimental to me, especially when I am home with my fiancé. This is such a great reminder to spend my time more wisely and slow down to be with God. Love this!

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  5. Man, do I need to take a good lesson from this post. I fight this so often. I have been trying to have my time in the mornings to read my Jesus Calling book and prayer time in my car as well. Making less plans is one thing I need to work on!

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