Monday, September 8, 2008

Savoring a Monday

It’s Monday and I’m sitting at an outdoor cafe table on a balmy September evening. A woman just walked by and exclaimed, “Can you even see that?!” I’m typing on my laptop outdoors at night by the light coming through the windows of the Starbucks beside me. Smooth Jazz and Big Band songs (I actually love both) alternately flow from the outdoor speakers above. The Big Band notes tempt me to dance around the patio. If Rick were here, I just might make him dance!

People occasionally wander past eating ice cream, drinking coffee, or enjoying an evening stroll. If ever there were a night made for a full moon, this would be it. But the moon is only 65% full tonight. No matter, because visibility is so good I can see the creators on the illuminated half. I’m happily sipping my decaf pumpkin spice latte. It’s my first one of the season. I feel fully content.

I could launch into a spiritual point about the happiness coming from knowing my God, or having a clear conscience before Him. Yes, that is very, very true. But really, what’s doing it for me right now is the opportunity to savor this lovely evening and this delicious cup of coffee. Life is not perfect, but for right now – for the moment at least with my spicy pumpkin latte – life is good. And I don’t want to miss that. I don’t even want to take note of it and then move on. I want to relish it, and be thankful.

Sometimes it’s hard to just be in the present - not thinking about past mistakes, or missed opportunities, and not worrying about tomorrow and what it will bring. I’m not a very past-oriented person. I am strongly future-minded. I’m essentially optimistic, so I don’t worry about the future a lot. But I can spend too much time focusing on my hopes for next month, next year or the next phase of my life. So much so that I can miss the right now. Being fully in the moment and enjoying where I am now is something I want to do more of.

Two guys just sat next to me to eat their frozen desserts from the Cold Stone Creamery across the street. They are discussing their girlfriends. Do you think I should offer them some pointers? I decide to resist. But if you were here, we would surely chat. And I would ask you, what helps you slow down and be in the moment? Is there a certain song? A certain activity? A certain time of the day? Or a certain ritual that does that for you? I’d be really curious to know -- because I want more of these moments in my life.

PS. Hazel, know that I’ve been praying for you.


  1. Good Morning! Your picture of sitting in the out of doors and enjoying the moment is so relaxing! I am learning that reading God's Word really helps me to slow down, put things in perspective and savor the moments. Sometimes my mind is in a whirl but focusing on God always brings me back to what is really important.

  2. Rachel that was so good. That is exactly what my husband I always talk about, but I would like to master better. When we are on vacations we tell ourselves we can't think about the next days activities only todays. As far as when we're home, I still need to get better. I am a planner, so I do tend to think of the future more than today.
    Thanks, for the reminder to slow down and bask in the now.
    Be Blessed,

  3. Hi Rachel:
    It has been so long since I have been"in the moment"...I am very interested to hear all the comments on this post...I agree with the person who said that reading God's Word helps them slow down...We have some nice nature reserves around here so when there is time it is great to take a walk through them...I love the autumn so just being outside does wonders for me.
    Be Blessed, and when I can't get out then taking time to create a "mini" home spa/retreat is so refreshing and helps me to refocus...
    In His Love,

  4. Hi Rachel,
    I just want you to know that your posts help me sit, ponder, look to God's word, relax and enjoy a cup of tea in the present. I have a hard time enjoying or even having a good attitude about the situation God has me in as a care giver to my mother-in-law. I feel trapped and frequently think about escaping, and running away. So to enjoy and bask in the present, I try to get the most out of the little things that take me away a little the shower, ooh and ahh the hot water melting away the fatigue, private time in the car as I drop my daughter at school, and walking with my husband around the lake. During the morning when I check your blog, I actually sit and enjoy that time, otherwise I rarely sit again until night. I'm trying not to sound so pitiful, but I really struggle with where God's got me, even though I'm pretty sure this is where he wants me. I try each day to give it up to Him and I am good at puttinmg on a happy face for my M-I-L's sake. But being content right now is very difficult, which is something I haven't had to struggle with in the past. So I would ask for your prayers and look forward to more time reading your blog. I really enjoyed the summer Women of the Bible study...I was anxious to check up on the posts and read everyone's encouragement for eachother. I posted a couple times, but was often a bit behind everyone, but it was great information. Thank you, Rachel, you helped to rekindle the spark and desire to do more Word searches.
    Kim in WI

  5. Rachel, this is the second word in two days I've heard that touches on savoring the here and now...on what has God has given us right now. Such an important lesson. I like to take just a minute in the mornings to step outside and just relish God's creation -- you know, just soak it up and worship Him.

  6. I too need more moments, of basking in His glory. They're so few for me. I treasure them so, I also will read other's comments on this to see their advice.

  7. Getting a flat tire and waiting on AAA to come is a time of reflection and being 'in the moment'. Waiting in line at the drive-thru during lunch hour can be a quiet time of relaxation. Waiting for my husband to get out of the shower reminds me to just sit down and drink my tea. I think sometimes God puts us in situations where we can just stop - we're stuck, can't go any further, why not think on Him. So instead of looking for the moment of quiet repose - thank God when He supplies it for you. See also lesson on 'patience' :)

  8. PPS. Hazel knows someone is praying because she can feel it. Thank you and God Bless You.

  9. Being in the moment--not in the past or future is not always easy. I have to deliberately try to do that. As I sit here responding, I am thinking about what I should be doing to clean my house! It's hard to multi-task with a computer!

    Rachel, thank you for these words. Spending time with my Lord is the most important thing that I've done today! Many blessings,my friend!

  10. i had 3 knee surgeries in 1 year, and I was only 34 years old. At 35 years of age, I found myself with bilateral pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in both lungs). The doctor in the ER told me she didn't know if I was going to live or die. Well, here I am 2 years later....36 on September 16. My kids were 5 and 3 when I went into the hospital. When I heard the news my husband and my dad were next to me holding my hands. My children raced through my mind, what would they do without me? What would I do without them? It's that moment I felt the peace that passes all understanding. I didn't know if I would live or die truly, but I did know who held my future in His hands, and it gave me peace the world does not know. 2 years later, and I still have so many moments (simple moments) driving in the car with my family on a nice day, being able to go miniature golf with my family, being able to serve with my husband in our teen group, reading God's precious Word, cleaning my house, I could go on and on.
    I don't go around savoring every moment of life...I should, we all should. But I do savor so many more than I did before I almost lost my life. I took it for granted. Now I know tomorrow isn't promised, so I savor as much of it as I can. My Redeemer Lives, and I like to savor that realization. It changes everything!
    In Christ,
    Kelly T

  11. Well it's Tuesday night, and after reading this great blog, I would have to say I am savoring it right now. I just had a cinnamon roll, with a fresh hot cup of coffee. And today I started my vacation I have so been looking forward too.
    I have thought all day what should I do while on vacation, guess what, nothing. I have nothing pressing me, nothing I have to worry about just sit back relax and enjoy the time off, it's so nice. With the hurricanes around us, we decided to just sit back an chill for this week of vacation. Not saying I am not going shopping with Mom. :) I will be able to absorb more of his word. "Chill" aweeee
    So this week I can slow down and enjoy the good life, it's so awesome to be so blessed.


  12. Rachel, this blog painted such a relaxing picture I was relaxed just reading it!

    I think that God has given me a great ability to relax and be content almost anywhere...even at work. I do have my special places though: my corner of the couch where I drink tea, read a good book or God's work and journal, my cozy chair on the front porch where I can relax, the local forest preserve...and the local Starbucks and Caribou coffee :).

    Your blog was a great way to start my day was a relaxing day that encompassed a massage, visiting old college professors and Yoga class. Thank you for your blog and insightfulness (is that a word?). May God continue to bless you and the work you're doing.

  13. What a great post, Rachel!! I actually felt my shoulders relaxing as I was reading it!

    Ahhhh...this is a subject I just love...there are times when I also just relish "the moment" usually occurs when I walk down a quiet street (kind of hard since I live in Manhattan!) & focus on the birds chirping & the simple sounds of the city.

    Watching my daughter sleep...can't get any more "in the moment" than that! Also, watching her play with something where she has no idea that I'm watching her.

    Sipping my Starbuck's (yes, a fellow addict here!) while on my couch with the Bible opened to my favorite passage...just relishing & bathing in The Word. you got me all psyched up for the Pumpkin Spice Latte (one of my faves too!)

    Pat in nyc

  14. The good life is living in the "now" all the time. Your description was vivid enough I can smell your latte! Thanks for drawing me back to my conviction of living fully in this moment.

    Years ago I lost a friend at a young age. The grief from that loss changed my life. I concluded that the most important moment in my life is this one I'm living. If I take care of "now" that takes care of regrets; and I have no control of the future. My faith calls me to trust the Lord; no matter what.

    Thanks for the scene: I smell the coffee, I hear the music, and I see and hear the guys all with the moon above. Maybe one day I will write with some of that grace.


    Please pray for my very close friend Johnathan, he has a brain tumor. So far the news isn't good. They have to do surgery tomorrow, he was admitted yesterday. We're very close, and both members of the same band.

    Please pray for healing. Also for encouragment for family and friends.

    Thank you.


  16. I usually spend an hour out on my patio after putting the baby to bed. This is my time to study Gods word, pray, meditate or just be quiet. I usually don't like to be bothered during this time, but this past Monday my oldest son came out to join me. I resisted the urge to demand my "Me time" and let him sit with me. We spent the hour pointing out shapes in the clouds. He is a high school senior this year and it was such a BLESSING to spend that time with him. We must remember to savor every moment The Father gives us with those we love!

  17. What a great thing to be able to do, just sit and enjoy the surroundings. You are truly blessed.

    I have another special prayer request. The old saying "when it rains, it pours" seems to be happening in my family. The sister of our niece, who just lost her twin son, has a granddaughter (about 9 or 10) who is scheduled for open heart surgery Friday morning at 7:30 am. After she was born she had to be taken back to the hospital for heart surgery. She had an artery that was pinched. The doctor said that when he clipped the artery it fell into place and she has done well until her last checkup. They had been told she might have to have further surgery when she was older.
    You've heard of athletes suddenly dropping dead in the middle of a game, that is what this girl, Megan, has. It is very serious and needs all the prayers she can get. She is such a sweet girl who goes to compete in horse shows and is a great artist. Thanks to everyone who have stood by us these past few weeks and I need you once again.
    May God richly bless all of you,

  18. Hey Rachel I was just wondering are you planning on continuing the women of the bible study or is it through? I miss it! :)

  19. Do you do your writings in cafes because it's more peaceful or because you get more inspiration or something else?

    I've just become aware of your blog through the P31 ministries and am interested to know.

  20. Hey Rachel...I have almost gotten caught up with reading your entries and after reading your experience I must say to you that after many, many years of trying to handle whatever circumstance or crisis along my journey in life, I have learned, the hard way that I must get still and call on Jesus to pull me through. A combination of prayer, sometimes a big old "ugly cry" and focusing only knowing and trusting that God is listening to me and has wrapped His loving arms around me and is protecting me and will bring me through whatever circumstance I may be going through. Reading your devotions and participating in the Bible study also brings me more in tune to medicating and focusing on all that God has done, whether good stuff or bad stuff He is in control and that is the toughest part, letting go and letting Him do His thing and not interfering. I am almost brought to tears when I think how lucky I am to have such a loving Father who loves me in spite of.......oh, He works in mysterious ways....Rachel, you may indeed quote me.
    Jo Ann here in Denver/Co


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