For the month of July, I am hosting the One Thousand Gifts DVD Bible Study with Ann Voskamp at our church. We’re having fun, crying some good tears and learning to slow down in the midst of life’s chaos.
As all good leaders know, preparation is huge if you’re going to do anything well. So even before I meet with my group leaders, I watch the DVD lesson and fill in the Bible study questions. I watch the video again with the leaders…and then, of course, I watch it one more time when I’m in the actual Bible study with the participants on Tuesday mornings.
I’ve read this book before and shared how it is has changed my life and changed my perspective on living. And now with watching the video numerous times, you’d think I’d have this thing downpat…but then this is me you’re talking to…
The lesson for this week was “Grace in the Moment” ~ a slowing down to see His grace around us.
So on Saturday night, after little Matt was showered and in bed, I sat down on the couch to take in this slowing down moment.
I had just settled in, focused my brain and had pen in hand when the first teen came in to bug me, followed by the next one. They were just there to annoy me and keep me from enjoying this moment of slowing down and giving thanks.
Finally our 15-year-old Jon said, “I’m going out to catch fireflies!”
Thankful to have him out of my way so I could focus on the lesson, I snapped back, “Good —GO!!!” Then Emily followed suit and I heard them laugh as they headed off to the field.
Alone in my solitude, I took a deep breath and whispered, “Aahh..quiet!! Now for some quality moments so I can finish this up!”
And alone in the silence, I felt His tug at my heart: “Yes, but the real quality moment you’re missing just headed out the door!”
I sat there in that moment…heavy…knowing it was true. In my rushing and annoyance, I was missing the moment that was real life.
I put my book down, slipped on flip-flops and headed out into the darkness.
As I drew nearer the field, I could hear them counting…competing as to who could catch more. Jon saw my shadow approaching and yelled: “Hey Sam, I’m up to 15!”
I yelled back, “I’m not, Sam! It’s me, mom!”
I think they were surprised that the one who had just shooed them out the door now joined them in the field.
On my first attempt I cupped two lights in my hand…”I’ve got 2!” and I watched the glowing lights crawl about on my palms before flying off again into the darkness.
I stopped for a moment and looked out over the vastness of the field. Thousands of those flickering lights hovered and sparkled across the darkness…wide and deep into the field. I raised my eyes, following the fireflies path until their light mixed with the stars above.
I whispered a prayer: “God, this is amazing beauty! Teens running…counting and competing…fireflies dancing through the field and the stars high above shining down on us here!”
And His reply to me:
This is the moment you don’t want to miss…this is the moment to slow down for…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is My love for you! (Ephesians 3:18 NIV)
I stood still in the moment. Taking it in, knowing this only took a few minutes out of my evening but this memory..this moment..was going to stay with me for a lifetime!
Join the conversation: How do you slow down in the craziness to take in moments of life?
Thank you for sharing your “Firefly” moment. We pull from these special heart memories for a lifetime. Blessings.
Thank you for sharing. Reminded me of a book that is the basis of a book club I’m in that was and continues to be life-changing for me. It’s called “The Presence Process: A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness” by Michael Brown. I highly recommend it. One of the really cool things I like about it is that it works with any faith. Our group contains Buddists, Christian missionaries, non-churchgoers, practicing and non-practicing Catholics, and about everything in between, but we all have some kind of faith that’s important to us. It’s a place with all the positives of “diversity”.
Thanks for your input. I’ll look that book up. 🙂
But I didn’t answer your question of how I slow down. One of the things in “The Presence Process” is his main mantra (he calls them “conscious responses”) of, “I am here, now, in this”. I repeat this to myself multiple times a day to help me focus on the present moment, often coordinated with my breathing when exercising. A couple other of the conscious responses that I use are “I choose to respond” (as opposed to “react”), “I forgive myself” (one of the hardest ones for me), and “I appreciate what I am”.
I agree with that idea of “I am here, now, in this”. I think so many times in our rush to get to the next thing we miss what we are here in NOW! I read another blog about something similar yesterday. I will look it up and send you the link. Thanks for sharing!
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Thanks greaat blog