When my son was 6, his optometrist noticed he struggled with depth perception. She tried lens after lens until suddenly, he gasped “there are bumps in the carpet!” His glasses gave him the power to notice details he had never seen before!
One of the strongest stay present muscles you can flex is the power of noticing.
Most of us are really good at noticing. Unfortunately, we tend to aim our observation in the wrong direction. I notice when my make-up is smudged in a photo, or how many weeds are growing in my neighbor’s yard. I am highly aware of how people react when my 3 year old fake-burps awkwardly in public. With sighs of exasperation, I notice the dishes in the sink, the clothes spilling out of the hamper, and the fairy-dust of cracker crumbs sprinkled all over the car.
To be honest, I am quick to notice the exciting camping trip my friend is posting about online (swipe), the romantic anniversary my sister enjoyed with her husband (swipe), and the glamorous private pool another friend gets to lounge beside. And by notice, I mean envy.
I am so quick to notice the negative or to compare my life, my body, my yard, my kids, my activities, and even my relationship with God to someone else’s.
Maybe you can relate? Like me, maybe you are already an expert at staying present, you just live in the moment for all the wrong things!
Sadly, we’ve lost the art of noticing what actually brings us joy. It’s time to shift the narrative. It’s time for a Stay Present Summer.
What would change if you payed attention to what makes you (and your kids) come alive! How would your summer be different if you focused on the fullness of your smile, not the flab under your swimsuit? How would your summer satisfaction increase by noticing the good and holy and playful present each day?
I get it. It seems like one more thing on the to-do list. Not only do I need to wrangle the summer gear spilling out in the garage, but now I have to pay attention to how much joy it brings my family?
I am the first to admit a hesitation to honoring the mundane. However, I have learned that noticing is not so much a hassle as it is a treasure hunt.
It’s smiling when you see a glass of root beer half full—because you know there’s more room for the ice cream float on top!
It’s jumping in the cold river water and feeling more alive because you got all the way wet—even your hair.
It’s celebrating the friend who finished the 1/2 marathon. You can cheer her on as you commemorate your own win of walking 1 mile every day!
Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things
and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love. Psalm 107:43
And of course, the pursuit of staying present is so much more than our personal positivity. It’s noticing what God is up to:
How He is romancing your teenage daughter and calling her to find her identity in His love.
How He provides sequential opportunities for you to build trust with your neighbor who has no faith background.
How the Lord greets you with a rainbow or a blooming apple tree on a day your heart is aching.
How you are more hungry for God’s Word today than you were last month.
How you are being transformed by the renewing of your mind, and feel more confident in what it means to live out God’s will (Romans 12:2).
If this still feels like a struggle, pray for some Holy Spirit vision correction! Perhaps, like my son, you will start having “aha” moments of clarity both physically and spiritually!
Thanks for reading Part 6 of my new e-book Stay Present Summer. There are LOADS of extras in the book, including
- tips for staying screen free,
- Bible readings,
- memory verses,
- journal prompts,
- activities you can enjoy with your kids (or roomies!)
- and more!
Download Stay Present Summer: 7 Ways to Claim Confidence and Contentment This Season here: Get my Free E-book!