I can do this after I do that. I have three more things left on my to-do list. Go, go, go.
How many minutes do we take per day to not focus on the next thing we can check off of our lists for the day, but to just be completely present in the given moment?
For the past few months, I've been on the go almost always. If i'm not working, i'm going to the gym or going on a bike ride or going out to explore or spending time with friends and family. I've dove into keeping myself completely busy, neglecting the thoughts that maybe I should slow down a little, maybe I should take time to peel back the layers of my brain and stop pushing away the lies that I've grown accustomed to believing day after day.
Lately, I've realized that I need to stop. I need to take a break, I need to cut myself off from distractions and the noise of everyday life and just breath. Reflect, pray, really listen to what God's trying to tell me and not get caught up in the need to please those around me, in the lies that the devil himself tries to plant in our minds on a daily basis... I'm not good enough, I'm insufficient, I can't do that because that person can do it better. I heart it all the time, I see it all the time. We get suckered into beating ourselves down because that's what we as a society have grown accustomed to. We're consistently pushing ourselves to the limit, only to become overwhelmed and heading straight for a panic attack at any given moment.
On any given morning, you'll see me roll out of bed, pour myself a glass of ice cold water for my Plexus slim, then i'll nestle up on the couch and read through my two devotionals of the day, followed by a ten minute yoga routine all thanks to the Down Dog app (check it out because its amazing).
It's my morning routine every single day and if I don't start it that way, if I'm running late and I have to rush, then my whole day feels off. It's in these moments before I look at my phone, before I get caught up in the hustle bustle of the day that I remind myself that today is a new day full of new mercies, full of new opportunities, full of new hope. Today I have to choose joy, otherwise the world will try (and fail) to suck the happiness out of my soul.
Ya see, the world's full of noise and in the noise we feed ourselves what society wants us to hear. We become surrounded and bogged down. We're in a constant state of go and living up to everyone else's standards. However, in the quiet stillness of the creation that God spun up with His might, we find the opposite. We find peace, stillness, rest, glory, and some darn beautiful sights. We find hope, trust, and calmness.
I've been trying to be more intentional with cutting myself off- from distractions, from noise, from negativity. It's hard because our generation makes it hard to slow down and stop, but in the quiet moments here's what I've discovered.
There's a peace that only God can give you. We seek out things of this world that we think will provide us satisfaction, approval, and contentment, but oftentimes are left feeling hurt, guilty, and insufficient. We try to take part in things that we enjoy to keep our mind occupied, but sometimes we just need to focus on the One who created us and seek out what He created us to do in order to find true peace. We tell ourselves it will be okay, we push away the truth that God wants us to hear, because we think we know best and can handle it all ourselves. Through quiet time and prayer and many moments reflecting, I've realized that doing this has only caused my soul more heartache and more worry than contentment and happiness. His peace though, His peace restores the soul and brings everything into perspective.
His love is something all of our hearts long for, but try to satisfy through other people and seeking the thrill from other experiences. When our hearts are broken or we're feeling alone or we are unhappy in a relationship is when we try to run to the first thing that catches our attention.. trying to fill the empty hole our soul feels. This will only lead us further from the truth that God loves us more than anyone else ever could. His love is pure, true, unselfish, and honest. It doesn't come with strings attached or us having to "live up to" His "standards." It's there whether we want it to be or not and no matter how bad or how many times we mess up, He isn't going anywhere. Relationships might come and go, but His love never fails.
In the quiet moments, we have the opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves and about the world around us. How different would the world look if we each took time at the end of each day to just look up and around instead of down at our fingertips at our phones? If we sat outside and looked at the stars rather than sitting around a TV? The world is massive and beautiful and complex, and by taking the time to soak that in, I've found the peace my heart's been longing to feel. The peace that only He provides, the love that we all need.