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5 Ways to Make Sure You Are Fully Living in the Moment

In her book, The Color Purple, Alice Walker wrote, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”

Several years ago, we were reminiscing with our sons about memorable times from their childhood. They were all sharing vivid details of experiences that I clearly did not remember. While smiling and laughing at the stories, I was silently thinking, “Why can’t I remember these moments?”

This happened a few times before I realized it wasn’t a lapse in memory. Instead, this was the result of a season in the boy’s childhood when I spent most of the time running from one event to the next practice, to several days and/or nights of obligations at the church, to the next appointment, and so on. My hectic schedule didn’t allow me the luxury of being fully present in those precious moments.

After all, I was making sure my family was successful (according to worldly standards) which also included the inaccurate perception that Christianity required never-ending religious activities.

Back then I didn’t value time as a precious commodity like the Apostle Paul admonished in Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV) when he said, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

Ecclesiastes 3 states that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. It goes on to mention times for being born, dying, planting, uprooting, killing, healing, weeping, laughing, tearing, mending, being silent, speaking up, war and peace to name a few. There’s a designated time in each of our lives for these things and we need to recognize that season and fully embrace those moments.

Fully living in the moment must be intentional and deliberate. Consider these 5 suggestions.

1. Slow down. – Are you guilty of talking fast, eating on the run, and consistently praying 1-minute prayers before rushing to the next appointment? I read a book once that encouraged praying without ceasing. While that solved my issue of trying to pray for one consecutive hour, I didn't quite incorporate the true sense of praying without ceasing. I broke the hour down into small segments that still didn't total up to an hour but it made me feel like I was doing something “religious” while I was running to my different appointments, sports practices, and things at the church.

When you slow down you begin to see the things around you from a different perspective. The slower pace causes a greater appreciation for God’s blessings which in turn makes your prayer time more heartfelt and authentic. You start praying with a truly grateful heart that thanks Him before asking for anything. Sometimes you never even get to the asking because the thanking and the praising are more than enough.

2. Work during work time and play during playtime - I tried to take our oldest son Trey to work with me once when he was an infant and it was a disaster! He cried the entire time so I couldn't answer the phone, do any typing, or do anything productive. When I'm at work I am fully engaged in working. I’m at the computer either on a Zoom, on a phone conversation, or completing a task. My mind, body, and time are fully engaged in my work as the chief of staff. So, when I'm playing over the weekend, don't call me, don't text me, and don't ask me to do any work unless it’s an emergency.

There’s a time to work, sleep, eat and play. Make it your goal to be fully engaged in whatever moment that you’ve committed to at a given time.

3. Manage your schedule. – “No” is not a bad word when used appropriately. No, I can’t work overtime this weekend. No, my kids can’t play 3 sports in one season even if they are the best player on the team. No, we can’t be at church 5 times this week or any week for that matter. And no, I can’t make my famous homemade coffee cake. It will have to be store-bought this time. The right “no” at the appropriate time allows you to enjoy life so much more.

4. Ask for help. – Because God knew we would need help, He gave Adam a suitable helper in Eve and He gave each of us the Holy Spirit who lives on inside of us. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.” John 14:26 (NASB)

Not asking for Roosevelt’s help caused me a lot of frustration when the boys were younger. Imagine my surprise when I asked him to drop the boys off at school on his way to work and he said, “Sure. No problem.” And then he surprised me again when I needed a few moments to catch my breath after being home with them all day and he welcomed giving them a bath every night before bed. Just remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. So, swallow your pride and ask for help.

5. Control your electronics. Don't allow them to control you. - I had a family and friends gathering where I met people at the door with a basket and asked them to put their cell phones in it. Initially, everyone looked at me strangely, but after a couple of hours of eating, games, fun, and laughter we realized we hadn't picked up our devices during that time. We had such a great time enjoying one another's company without the aid of our electronic devices.

Maybe Alice Walker was right, God really does want us to stop and see the color purple. I don’t believe it’s so much the color as it is experiencing the fullness of the moment when we stop, pause, take a breath, and appreciate the beauty of the moment. I endeavor to live the remainder of my life in that manner. Enjoying my husband. Enjoying our children and their children. Enjoying my family and friends. Enjoying ministry, work, and playtime. And most importantly being thankful and grateful that God granted me additional times and seasons to enjoy the abundance of His blessings!

But you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring. For your fleeting life is but a warm breath of air that is visible in the cold only for a moment and then vanishes! James 4:14 (TPT)


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