My brother sat across from me with only a table separating us. The kitchen echoed with silence. All you could hear was the inhale and exhale of our breath with an air of intensity around us. All I remember is the challenge words that my brother said a minute earlier. “Don’t blink.” That’s all it took for the staring contest to begin.

There were a lot of staring contests growing up. With four brothers, there was bound to be a challenge thrown down from one of them. All it took was two words “don’t blink” for everything else to stop.

Pausing in the Moment

It’s one thing to stop for a staring contest, but it is a totally different thing to pause in the middle of the day or before finishing a task. Pausing in the moment is the idea of being present to what is going on around you.

I am the person who will stop when challenged by someone else. You might even say I am a little competitive. At first glance, you might not see this side of me, but can I say “four brothers”? 🙂

After last week’s post about finding our “now” moments, I realized this is one lesson that is not going away anytime soon. This week all it took was two trees sitting half in and half out of the water to bring me right back to the place of noticing, looking up, and being present.

Look at this beauty. A splash of Fall right in the middle of summer green. The unexpected color stopped my footsteps. It’s the pause that brings me to the present but one I could easily miss if I blinked and kept my eyes on the path.

The challenge of pausing in the moment is similar to the two words my brothers threw my way to begin the staring contest. And those two words always got me to stop whatever I was doing. “Don’t blink” is a simple reminder to notice that there is so much more to the ordinary than what we first think. It’s the call to begin again knowing God has many blessings to bestow on us this day.

What will it take to not blink?

I never was very good at the staring contest. All it took was one silly face from my brother to break my concentration. I am sure I lost more often than I won but in those few seconds or maybe even a minute, everything else ceased to exist.

Isn’t that what God calls us to do when we spend time with Him? Put a hold on distractions and focus on what is right in front of us. Stop adding to and instead pull away from what overwhelms us. Maybe, it is the idea that we allow ourselves to notice God’s beauty by slowing down throughout the day.

All I know is that the practice of noticing is one that I need to continue daily. Maybe, you feel that way too. God has the patience for you and me when we make mistakes along the way.

All I know is that the practice of noticing is one I need to continue. What about you? New post on the blog- Don't Blink. #TellHisStory #newpost #linkup Click To Tweet

Here is what I am going to try this week and as I move forward. Let’s try this together because walking the road of learning is so much fun together.

Say “hello”. So simple, right? I’m going to say “hello” in the grocery store, when I am out walking, to my neighbors, and even at church. Who knows what God might do with that one “hello.”

Sit on the patio with my neighbors. This time I am going to invite them to sit with me. The weather here is turning to Fall and it’s the perfect time for some porch sittin’. 🙂

Start my day with this prayer: “What do you have for me today, Lord”! Can you imagine what it will feel like to open your heart and mind to what God has planned?

Don’t blink! This time it won’t be because of a staring contest. Instead, my eyes will stay open to possibilities. God possibilities. I am going to be a noticer rather than an ignorer. An inviter instead of an avoider. And a greeter instead of a snubber.

God knows our messiness and still loves us. He hears our cries and still pulls us into His embrace. God sees our downcast eyes and all that we miss and says “I’ll give you another chance.” God never quits. Will you?

Blessings,

P.S. The words from Matthew 10:38 seem so fitting that I wanted to add them here for all of you.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Don’t blink because next week is “featured writer” week. I am not sure how the time goes by so fast but here we are again. Next week, please help me welcome Susan Shipe. She writes at Hope Heart Home and is a prolific author of many books. I know you will love her as much as I do.

Photo by Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash

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