My husband and I recently made plans for our summer vacation, which makes me so excited!! I love having events to look forward to! Whether it’s a family vacation, a date night with my husband, or buying an item I’ve been saving up money for, I enjoy anticipating what’s ahead.
But what I don’t want to do is wait for a future event to make me happy.
I talked with my daughters about this when they were younger. There were many things they could hold up as benchmarks for happiness – when I can drive, when I have a boyfriend, when I’m a senior, when I have enough money to buy those shoes I want. I simply encouraged them to look around and be grateful for all they have to enjoy this day, in this moment, to grasp “now.”
Grasp means “to seize and hold firmly.” Every day, we’re given opportunities to seize. Most of them can seem insignificant at the time, but they are the building blocks of our lives. Rather than let the small moments slip past us, let’s hold onto them firmly just for this moment that they have been given.
I had one of these moments on Saturday night. I was working in the kitchen, my husband was in the garage cleaning my car, and our daughter was practicing a song on the piano. Nothing extraordinary was happening. It was just a typical part of our day. But I stopped to thank God for that moment with the three of us here, all healthy, safe, and loved.
I like this quote from Sarah Ben Breathnach.
“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy.“
Here’s a list of ten things we can do to grasp the now that is today.
1. Give thanks for the small things.
Write down three things you’re thankful for right now. Bonus points if you put it on a sticky note and reflect on those things for the entire day.
2. Take five minutes and sit still.
Literally, five minutes. Set a timer on your phone and be still. Meditate on a Bible verse, sing through a song in your head, pray, picture your favorite place in your mind. Just don’t think about your to-do list.
3. Smile on purpose.
It can be at your family, at the cashier in the grocery store, at a perfect stranger behind you in line. It takes no extra time or money to smile.
4. Hug your family.
As in a real hug, body to body, not a quick pat on the shoulder as they head out the door.
5. Take a picture of something that’s beautiful to you.
It could be the flower blooming in your front yard, the plate of cookies you baked, your child’s smile. Use it as your home screen on your phone to remind you of the beauty around you.
6. Enjoy eating and drinking mindfully.
I eat way too fast, though I blame it on my kids. I like my food hot, and when they were little, if I wanted to get it down hot, I had to do it quickly before one of them needed something.
We gulp down most of our meals. Today let’s make it a process. Be grateful you have an appetite. Savor what you put in your mouth that nourishes your body.
7. Go outside.
Whatever the weather, try to spend at least a few minutes in nature.
8. Say a heartfelt thank you to someone who serves you today.
The bagger at the grocery store, the barista, the fast-food worker who hands you your chicken sandwich, or the teacher at your child’s school would likely all be encouraged by your expression of appreciation.
9. Meditate on a Bible verse that encourages you.
Here are a few to get you started.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” ~Isaiah 12:2
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” ~Psalm 73:26
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28
10. Find a little time just to do something you enjoy.
Read a chapter in a book, listen to a podcast or playlist, work on a puzzle, bake cookies, or do some sort of craft. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but set aside a few minutes to do something that brings you pleasure.
We have been given today as a gift from God. May we use the day for His glory by living it to its fullest.