Let’s set aside our to-do lists for a moment. Let’s ignore our phones, take a break from checking our email, and remember that the world of social media will go on without us just fine for a bit. Tune out all of the distractions, and just breathe.

We are so plugged in so much of the time that we miss the small joys of life- a picturesque sunrise, flowers blooming in early spring, an ear-to-ear grin of a precious child, a book with a good plot twist, fresh berries, or hearing a favorite song on the radio.

But in this world of working around the clock and always being available through all the social media apps on our smartphones, how can we possibly find even a moment of peace in the middle of our busy lives?

Peace can be found in the midst of chaos only when we take a moment to step back and acknowledge that the things we are consumed by and struggling with are so very small when compared to life as a whole and the God who created it. Until we see the bigger picture, release the worry we harbor over trivial things, and celebrate the little joys in life, we will miss out on a great deal of peace available to us.

Let’s begin embracing the idea of rest. We were given instructions to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy, were we not? God knew we would need time to take a break from our hard work and rest. We’ve gotten too bogged down with ambition and hard work that we can’t see the need to pause from our striving and unwind. Whether you choose to do so on Sunday, or another weekday, or in smaller bursts throughout the week, I encourage you to deliberately spend time relaxing, whatever that looks like for you.

For me, that looks like curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, going for a walk, unhurriedly cooking some delicious food, watching some of my favorite TV shows, and spending time with friends and family. I have chosen to set aside Sundays as relaxing days, which means I have to get all of my work done before Sunday rolls around so that I can have an entire day to unwind. But it is desperately needed before I jump back into my work week again on Monday morning, and it is completely worth the extra effort it takes to finish my work by Saturday night.

It looks different just about every time I do it, but I decided it’s imperative that I make time to not work. I spend so much of my time at work or doing projects around the house, crossing things off my endless to-do list, without feeling like I really ever accomplish anything because there is always more to do at the end of the day. I look forward to my unwinding time each week, knowing that I have set apart Sundays to refuel before putting my nose back to the grindstone on Monday morning.

Celebrate the little things like sunsets, kind words, green stoplights, delicious food, and laughter among friends. Linger with friends after you finish a meal, realizing that the time you spend in relationship is far more important than checking another task off your to-do list. Take some time apart from technology. Get outside. Enjoy the fresh air. And cherish your moment of peace.

What would a moment of peace look like for you? What would it take for you to make it happen today?

 

April 27, 2015

Jessie

I am a twenty-something recent college grad trying to understand what life in the “real world” looks like, even as I trip over my own two feet quite a bit in the process. I am a firm believer in grace, fitness, community, nutrition, simpler living, travel, books, sunshine, kindness, creativity, living life with my people, and pursuing a full life in Christ. I like to spend my time cooking (and then devouring) healthy and delicious food, running outside, curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, and relaxing with friends and family. I'm a program manager for the maintenance side of a display fixture company by day and a writer/cook/reader by night. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Communication, but I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. When I'm not writing, you can find me cooking up some new-to-me recipes in the kitchen (inevitably making a huge mess), watching a show on Netflix (lazy Sundays, anyone?), hanging out with my friends or family (they're the best!), or curled up on the couch with a big book (the best way to unwind, hands down). My idea of a perfect day would include all of those things-- getting in a run in beautiful weather, making a delicious and nutritious series of meals, playing games, watching a movie, or just chatting with friends and/or family, and curling up with a good book and a nice soy candle. And maybe some dark chocolate. Always some dark chocolate. It is life. I am prayerfully seeking to live every day with purpose, intentionally pouring into the things and relationships that mean the most to me. I want to make the world a better place, one day at a time, in whatever little way I can.

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