A Few Reasons Why You Should Make Time for Slow Moments
I'm a person that likes productivity and efficiency. When my eyes pop open in the morning, I've already got six tasks arranged in the order that allows me to make the most of my time. My feet hit the floor and I'm off running to accomplish all the big and little tasks that need to be done each day.
It's how I'm wired. Or may be it's just what I've created my life to be.
This past summer, I took a break from all these tasks and went with my family on vacation into the middle of nowhere Idaho. We went camping in a place where no cell service or internet access touched it. It was wonderful. It was stunningly beautiful. Most of all, it was a time that refocused my own priorities. There's something about camping without distraction that really focuses one on the important things. The important things had nothing to do with a mile-long list of tasks. The important things had everything to do with slowing down and noticing the people I value more than "things."
Since our family camping trip, my mission has been all about slowing down and living the "slow life." This has led me to begin decluttering our home so that I spent less time cleaning things that we don't really value anyway. It's led me to purposefully set aside my phone, my computer, my internet to engage in the present moments with my children. It's led me get back into the kitchen and get cooking! Because honestly, how can one live in the fast lane when you're waiting for bread to rise or bake?
So why should we make time for the slow moments?
Do you ever notice how much you seem to be missing? While being so task oriented, I find myself looking at my children wondering when they grew that extra foot? When did my youngest begin losing the wrong pronunciations to my new favorite words (he used to say 'vader' when he meant 'never')? Have I been so distracted by all the things that needed to be done that I missed out on those important moments I'll never get back? Have I been so focused on the things that don't matter that I've missed the things I value the most?
Do you have moments when all the tasks, responsibilities, and "things" feel so heavy and you feel burnt out? I've been there. I've lived in that place for the last two years. You know what I noticed? How little time I take to just sit. Do you ever just sit? Maybe you just sit to think about nothing. Maybe you just sit to organize your thoughts so you know how to proceed. Maybe you just sit to reflect on your blessings in this moment. The tasks, responsibilities and things will always be there. In this season of my life, caring for young children, I'm recognizing that I could spend all day cleaning the house only to lament that you couldn't even tell how much effort I put into cleaning. Or I could be more strategic in how/when I clean the house and focus on the things that matter to me the most (like making memories with my kiddos). Sometimes I think that feeling of burnout is when I've spent too much of my time focusing on the wrong things and putting my efforts in the wrong places.
Do you ever feel like you're not enjoying your life or the things you're passionate about? I love to read, cook, bake, write, and explore a whole new hobby altogether. I'm a person who constantly loves to explore hobbies, places, eras, etc. When I don't get time to just be me, rather than being mom or wife or whatever, I tend to struggle. I get frustrated easily. I'm moody. I'm resentful. I'm depressed. I don't look at my motherhood/wifehood/homemaking as ministries but as a chore. My family doesn't get the best of me. Do you consider your hobby as an act of worship to God? Do you use your hobbies to think, pray, and praise Him? If you're not taking the time to do these things you love and to worship Him in your unique way, does your relationship with Him suffer? Mine sure does!
Maybe you're finding yourself in a place of missing out on the important things or feeling burnt out or simply not enjoying the life God gave you. Don't fret! Begin looking at your day and look for ways to intentionally focus on slowing down. For me, this means waking up a bit earlier and making myself a cup of something amazing (like hot chocolate or iced tea) and curling up with my Bible before the responsibilities come calling. It means taking a walk with my children in the mornings before we do our chores. It means choosing to do time-consuming tasks (like baking bread) because it makes me focus on slowing down and enjoying the moment (and the smells!). It means setting aside my phone and computer and being fully present.
What will slowing down look like for you?