3 Ways I Practice Being Present

It is my intention to become an expert at being fully present. To quiet the internal voice that tempts me to be always busy, to let my thoughts wander aimlessly, to be distracted. And I am learning, by God's grace, to simply be... to rest more, trust more, and fully abide in the moment at hand.

Often, I am busy. And it's good. We have a happy-busy life on our farm... truly, there is rarely a dull moment around here. {smile} But I have purposed to avoid the mindless kind of busy, the kind that leaves me feeling more overwhelmed than satisfied.

And the mind is always thinking, yes? But it is possible to think on the right things and to not let past happenings or future possibilities shadow what *is* right now. I glance at the past, of course, but I have learned to never dwell on the negative parts of it. Those things are forgiven, forgotten, and given to the Lord... they get no say in how this day will be. I don't even spend an overweening amount of time reminiscing about all of the positive and wonderful things of days gone by because *today* is here now, and today is a gift.

To me, being present is not really about what is happening externally, anyway. It is an internal shift. A calm and peaceful approach that notices, savors, and appreciates.

In the weeks since I chose "present" as my focus word for the year, I have taken three simple steps that are helping me to grow in the practice.

1. I pray about it. Asking the Lord to help me be present is an easy way to immediately achieve it. I do believe with all my heart that Jesus is the answer to everything.

2. I am eliminating distractions and time wasters. For example, I removed all but one of the games from my phone. I don't use or peruse social media. I even made the bold decision to stop using a personal e-mail account for correspondence altogether and return to the art of actual letter writing.

3. Practice a Sabbath. I am beginning the practice of setting apart a day of the week to be a day of rest from my usual work (as much as possible) and to unplug from personal computer/screen time, and to avoid tasks that are more self-centered than God-centered and family-centered. I want a day of the week to be more restful and spiritual than the others, without being legalistic about it, no matter what activity we decide to do as a family.

Number three is the toughest one for me, honestly, because our homesteading lifestyle won't allow for a true day off from all of our tasks. And I have to do errands in town as the opportunity arises, regardless of the day of the week. So... I aim to do my best in this while thanking the Lord for his grace. {smile} I am indeed a work in progress.

Those are just three small things but they are having a noticeable impact on the rhythm of my week and how present I am in my days. Good things, I think.

Shalom ~

Please note . . .
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