Tonight I watched the sunset. I watched the sun dip lower and lower behind a silhouetted mountain crest and then — just like that! — it disappeared.
I can’t remember the last time I did that. And yet, the sun does it every day.
As I sat there savoring the last glimmers of sunlight, I asked myself: What have I been stopping to savor in place of moments like these?
And the answer was clear: I’ve stopped too many times to savor the wrong things.
Like that comment the clerk made to me this afternoon or the way my daughter fought me the entire morning over a math assignment.
Savoring. Relishing. Replaying those moments. Not because they are good, but because they caused me pain and I rather enjoy feeling sorry for myself.
I’m as good as anyone else at whipping out my “list” of injustices. In fact I’m so good at it that if I really let myself get carried away, I could probably get really mad at a moment’s notice — probably over something stupid and meaningless and not very important.
The thing is, why don’t I spend more time savoring the good? Because, like the sunset, good things happen every day too.
It’s a choice, really — a simple refocusing. What do I choose to dwell on? What do I want filling my heart?
Maybe there’s more bad than good in a given day, but that doesn’t mean that the good doesn’t deserve to be enjoyed. In fact, it deserves to be savored because there may be more bad than good.
These tiny treasures aren’t loud and obnoxious, and maybe that’s why I so easily miss them. They speak softly and get crowded out in the mad jumble of a hurried life.
That’s why it’s in the quiet and stillness that I see them appear. I see them when I slow down enough to notice their presence.
They’re the priceless gifts in my day that I take for granted (but may not be around forever):
- The way my husband and I always hold hands in bed before going to sleep;
- How my six-year-old lights up when I ask if she’d like a cup of tea;
- My two-year-old’s furrowed brow when he’s confused about something;
- Knowing that my husband and I won’t eat the last cookie without offering it to the other;
- The always-happy-to-see-me greeting from my two faithful Labradors;
- My nine-year-old’s eager to serve spirit and dedicated work ethic (which remind me of his father); and
- How my daughter is thrilled when she and I dress in the same color.
They’re specific moments too:
- The “mystery” card left on my pillow last month that said “I love you mom. Thank you for giving up your life to teach me.”
- The night my husband gave up his part of a couples’ massage (without me knowing it) so that I could have double the time
- That moment in the car last weekend when I got to remind my son (who had tears of repentance on his cheeks while we looked up Bible verses together) that yes, he was absolutely forgiven.
These are the things I need to fill my mind with, especially on the days when I’m quick to reach for “my list.” And, if I’m careful to focus my eyes and tune my ears, new wonderful gifts can appear each day (just like the magic of sunset).
This doesn’t mean that I should never think about all those hard things in my day, because that would just be unrealistic, and honestly, not very wise. Sometimes we need to think through a tough situation so that we can process it and face it honestly. That’s healthy and normal. I wouldn’t be true to myself if I tried to cover up and ignore difficult things.
But I can monitor my thoughts and temper the challenging seasons with these powerful (and equally true) sentiments about my life.
These tiny treasures are reminders that this too shall pass and that, yes, it really is all worth it.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
How about you? In the midst of the trials and chaos, what good things can you stop to savor today?Leave a Comment
What a lovely post and so true! I do focus on the negative and you are right it’s just about refocusing. There really is so much to be grateful for! Thank you for your post today. I will intentionally do this each day for a week and hopefully it will for a good and binding habit.
Thank you for this beautifully meaningful post. My third spine surgery left me in a wheelchair, and I struggle each day. I appreciate being reminded that there are still moments and memories to savor.
Josie R. says
Wow this really hit home today. Thank you for writing a beautiful piece.
Angela Bell says
Very powerful post! This is something God has been teaching me lately. My mind and eyes naturally veer toward noticing the negative, but the more I’ve intentionally made an effort to notice things through a positive lens, the more joy I’ve been experiencing day to day. Thanks for this wonderful reminder to stop and savor!
What amazing words. My heart smiled as I read the things that you savor. How beautiful! What comes to mind is watching the leaves bloom on my 2nd attempt to grow peppers. God is working on this with along with the zinnias blooming in my favorite color purple. What a gift especially when I cried last year when they died. God showed me that the second time is a charm and I am thankful for that. So I can say that I savor the fact that God shows me that I am blessed with eyes and hands to see and touch the miracle of God’s beautiful creations.
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
God has put so many beautiful and wonderful things around us to pause and savor, and it always does our heart good when we take the time to do so. I love to unwind and savor the sights on the walking trail behind our neighborhood and talk to God as if He was with me holding my hand along the way.
Holley Gerth says
Oh, girl, I can so relate to this post…Just tonight I watched a beautiful sunset and wondered why I don’t pause more often to see it. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy God’s good gifts!
Kathy Rogers says
An awesome reminder…I have been working through Ann Voscamps teachings on this very thing….3 years ago, I lost my precious 30 yr old daughter….I have never known such pain….tho I lost my mom when she wad 58 and my only brother when he was 48, I did not think I would survive this….but the”giving thanks” for all the gifts we take for granted from our heavenly father turns our focus on him….was moving forward and then in April of this year we lost our precious granddaughter at age 3….her mother had sacrificed her life to give her life and now she’s gone….I cannot begin to even say I understand….but I still trust Him….how can I not….he is the giver of my every breath….and, yes so many gifts….some days are harder than others, but I will continue to praise Him and so look forward to that day when we will all be reunited!
Julissa Nieves says
Thank You for the reminder I’ve been praying to hear from God today as i was listening to a message i believe i hear from him and i was able to savor believing that my prayer is being answered also this message spoke to me as i believe God wants me to be greatful. Thank You for your words!!! Blessings!!!
Anne Marie says
Thank you so very much for this. It is beautiful and inspiring. I am going to print it out and keep it with me as a reminder during this season of turbulence and tribulation I find myself in. Thank you again.
Alicia Kazsuk says
Dear beautiful ladies, what a treasure it has been for me to hear how my humble words have touched each of you. We all have struggles. We all must face hardship (sometimes extreme, horrible hardship). And yet, through it all, our dear wonderful Savior is so good to fill our lives with sweet moments like these to savor! May we each be able to continuously tune our hearts to His perspective–that even in the midst of heartbreak, life is wonderfully good and amazingly precious.
Beth Williams says
Thank you for a great post@ Too often I find my self like you focusing on the negative and bad things in life! I need to refocus my lens to see the more positives in life like wonderful sunsets!! To aid my self in that direction I keep a thankful journal. Each day I write down a few items that I’m thankful for. It could be work week almost over, snuggling with hubby, sunsets, laundry done, etc. That way I make myself change the focus of my lens.
This is the second post like this I have read today. I think God is trying to tell me something!!