Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be Present

I struggle with being present!

I have struggled with this for a long time!
(now that I have confessed it you can trust I am a fellow learner in this)

Being a dreamer I struggle with being present.  While I was leading in our student ministry I would struggle with being present in conversations, being present with my wife, being present with my children, being present at school and other places.  I remember driving home from a mission trip one time and just wishing I was home.  Finally a student reminded me that I could talk with them in the truck and it hit me how unfocused I was being.

While talking with a trusted mentor one day I shared this struggle and began the road to healing on this topic.  I had to slot in times in my day when I could dream and then find people to share those dreams with.  I learned to be present more with my family while thinking less about work or school.  I had to teach myself how to be present in situations and just dreaming all the time.

About a year ago I got some pretty sweet TOMS that helped me with this concept even more and put words to my struggle:

The journey is the destination
I wish you could see these shoes up close!  TOMS found a creative way to write this slogan out over and over again.  I had these shoes for about three weeks before I began realizing how important this saying was for my life.  When I began to realize that the journey was the destination I began to realize how important it was for me to be present in situations that I don't always desire to be present in.

I am not saying that I am perfect at this by any means, yet, but I am working on.  I am working on being present when my children need my attention.  I am being intentional to turn off my phone after work to focus on my family.  I am learning to say no to things that drain me and yes to things that fill me.  I am taking a day off every week to just rest and fill up my tank.

Here are some practical ways to be present

Turn the TV off and take some time to be still and listen to God

Instead of cooking your spouse dinner at home, take them out to their favorite restaurant and engage them in conversation (don't be on Facebook)

When you get into your house, put your phone in the bedroom on silent until they are in bed

Plan to hang out with them outside, don't just invite them over and be on the computer

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