You know, I was never really big on journaling. I always wanted to be. I always had the urge to write. When I was little I would write poems and stories, and leave notes for my parents on their pillows. While my sisters were laying out in the sun, smeared in baby oil getting a tan, I would lay out in the yard with my toy typewriter working on my “novel.” [I never had the patience or discipline to lay out in the hot sun.]
I never had the patience or discipline to write my thoughts down on paper everyday, either. I was sure I was going to become committed to journaling when I played Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank my junior year in high school. I went and bought a little journal that I used onstage for the play’s sequences that required me to read Anne Frank’s thoughts aloud. I was going to write about my life just like she did.
But by the third day of rushing to school and every single after school activity they offered [I was a joiner], journaling got tossed by the wayside. Besides, it felt like I was taking out time to write to myself, and my self already knew what was going on.
But, oh… the wonderful world of blogging. Writing for other people. Suddenly discipline took on a whole new meaning for me. I didn’t have the discipline to do a journal for myself… but the idea of letting other people down who were counting on me having something to say every day… that was the motivation I needed to create discipline. I don’t like to make other people unhappy.
Funny thing happened on the way to making you all happy, though. I’ve learned so much more about myself, because needing something to blog about has made me pay attention. And not just to the big things in life, but the little, miniscule, everyday occurrences that can so easily pass us by without a second glance. God knows there was enough drama in high school to keep a soap opera writer busy for a year, but none of it seemed worth journaling about to me. I was so busy that I wasn’t paying attention to all the things I took for granted.
Now, I never physically leave the space within these four walls – a space where very little actually occurs day to day – and yet God is showing me beautiful things all the time. All I have to do is open my eyes and show up with my heart. It’s when I’m paying attention that quotes like this one come into my mind: “No moment from my God is a rock of burden. It’s just a rock, waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones.”
But it’s when I share the thought with all of you that new things come into my life. Like when my sister sent me this quote in response: “A stepping stone can be a stumbling block if we can’t see it until after we’ve stepped over it.” ~Cullen Hightower
It’s all about paying attention.
Don’t you love it when life brings you full circle? I have so much less going on in my life, which means I should have so much less to write about now. But because I’m moving at a slower pace, because I have the luxury of paying attention to the little moments, I can see the stepping stones laid out in front of me… stones that would have been stumbling blocks to be stepped over or rushed around on my way to my next big thing.
I so often wonder about all the things I’m missing out there … out in the world beyond my windows. But I also wonder how much I would be missing if I wasn’t forced to be still and pay attention. I wonder if I’m meant to be inside so I’m paying attention to what He wants instead of what I’m looking for.
I want to step on the stones, not stumble past them.
How about you?
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