This past week, Steve and I took a day to chill, walk, talk, and just reflect. We spent some time remembering the great seasons of ministry we’ve had and we reflected on the great season of ministry we’re in. Often life gets so full that it becomes easy to hurry through, missing significant moments. I don’t want to live that way. I want to savor every beautiful moment of life.
In the gospel of Luke, we are told the story of Jesus’s birth in beautifully vivid detail. After His birth, the angels fill the sky with heavenly praise and alerted a group of shepherds to the glorious fact that a Savior had been born. The shepherds hurried to see this wonder and entered Mary’s birthing room. Imagine giving birth, and then having loud, dirty shepherds bust into your hospital room, excitedly searching for your baby! Talk about unexpected company! However, Mary was a remarkable young woman and scripture tells us that after the shepherds left, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I am so struck by those words.
God allows many wonderful, holy, moments in your life and mine. We need to pause long enough to savor the beauty of those moments. Pausing was God’s idea. Remember? After creating the world, He paused and enjoyed the beauty of what He had created (Genesis 2:2). Though scripture uses the word “rest” here, it’s not like God took a nap. God didn’t need a nap because He never grows tired or weary. He paused. I imagine Him looking out over all of creation and with a deep contented sigh, whispering, “It’s wonderful!”
In your life and mine, we need to put the pause in to stop, reflect, and treasure all that God has done and all that He is doing. The question in your heart might be, “How?” Here are a few practical ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.
Put a Pause in Your Daily Rhythms.
Take a break from your work and go for a walk. Or enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea with someone you love. Pause and reflect on the beauty of your life and the story God is unfolding through you. Author Ruth Haley Barton calls this a “Sabbath Pause.” These Sabbath Pauses help us to establish a way of life that is not so stressed. We discover a way of life, “that recognizes, accepts and even honors the limits of our humanity, fostering contentment through delighting in God’s truest gifts” (Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest).
Find Sanctuaries of Beauty Where You Can Worship.
Maybe for you, that’s a particular hiking trail where the trees are beautiful. Or perhaps, it’s walking the beach and watching the waves roll in. Maybe it’s a nearby lake or river where you can sit for a few moments and observe the beauty of the rushing water. Or, maybe it’s your own backyard. Maybe it’s a prayer center near you or an old stone church. The key is to find a place of beauty where you can have a few still moments to worship God and delight in Him.
Treasure Those You Love.
I imagine after the chaos of the shepherds, Mary snuggled little baby Jesus close and enjoyed the feel of His skin against hers. She likely looked deep into His eyes and rejoiced in the wonder of her precious infant.
In your life and mine, we have been privileged to have people who love us and who we love. Savor the moments with them. Snuggle your baby, treasure a deep conversation with a friend, or hug your husband close. Each one is a gift. When we love others well, scripture teaches that we are in fact loving Jesus well.
Friend, life is filled with hard moments, but also beautiful holy moments. This week, create the space to reflect on and ponder the goodness of God. Put the pause in, find sanctuaries of beauty, and treasure those you love. Live in such a way that you are delighted with who God is and what He has done. I’m guessing you’ll live a much more contented life!
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast we’re continuing our conversation on How To Avoid The Comparison Trap. Would you do me a favor? We’re looking for some potential reviewers. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Player FM, and Spotify. We’d love to have you subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.
Ruth Haley Barton, Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest, (Downers Grove, Illinois:, InterVarsityPress, 2022), 13