Not forgetting the last to-do of the day

Nature is where I space out and notice that every single breath and step that I take are not my own doing, but God’s grace.  (Photo taken during one of my hikes)

Emails, deadlines, proposal drafts, briefing pack, a calendar full of appointments and calls. The list simply goes on and on and on.

Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps your list may look very different from mine, but I found myself caught up yet again in the whirlwind of things.

I’ve tried so hard to not open my emails on my phone and to resist the temptation to reply to an email or a message instantly, first thing in the morning. But my mind would be filled with the list of to-dos and matters that I have to deal with in the day ahead.

There were times I simply wanted my day to be over, and what I would consider a good day for me is to have struck out all the to-dos on my list with my red pen. And I’ve had many days, weeks and months where I gained most joy from taking my red pen and striking through my to-dos.

A few weeks ago, as we sang one of my many favourite hymns, “Blessed Assurance,” I felt as if God used the words in the hymn’s verses to speak to me.

Perfect submission, all is at rest. I in my saviour am happy and blessed. Watching and waiting, looking above. Filled with His goodness, lost in His blood.

These words were a reminder for me to surrender to Him and abide by Him. It is a discipline that I am still trying to develop – the spiritual discipline of gratitude and resting in His presence.

Now at the end of every day, I try to set aside 8-10 minutes, with my eyes closed, taking deep breaths, reflecting on the day. Giving thanks to God for His presence. Recognising my emotions. Choosing the unpleasant parts of the day. Praying about those specific parts. And pray for tomorrow with hope. (Some of you may be familiar with the Prayer of Examen) 

Prayer helps us to be more mindful in our lives, and gives us the opportunity to notice His presence throughout our day, and not simply be sucked into the whirlwind of the things in life. Prayer helps us take notice of the things in life, big or small, prayer reminds us that He is our provider and counsellor.

Simply be, and let go. His arms are wrapped around you even if you don’t feel it.

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