Pause: Look Around. Look Inside. Look Up.

Sometimes life can be an absolute blur. 

Seconds get lost in minutes, which turn to hours, which disappear into days, which melt into weeks, which get absorbed into months...

And if we're not careful, we'll dismiss and forget the most significant moments, because we'll be struggling to remember the details that make up life, "What did I eat for breakfast yesterday? What did I wear last Friday? What did I accomplish last month?"

 Photo by: Azariah

Photo by: Azariah

Pause

It's good to pause.  

It's good to pause and observe with a swivel of your head and then a pivot and half revolution of your body and another swivel of your head, take in your surroundings and assess the situation. 

 

Look Around

In August, I paused. Intentionally.

A welcomed change in my work situation motivated me to take the month off of blogging to ensure I had a good grasp on a novel and exciting opportunity. 

I spent the month rising to the challenge and buried in work, and implementing Saturdays as my mandatory day of rest. 

 

Look Inside

August gave way to September. And before I could jump back in to the world of blogging and social media, I found myself forced to remain on pause. But this time instead of making an external assessment, I turned my gaze inward. 

I began to clear the fluff that weighed down my genuine desires, and fully embraced what I needed: fresh air, time outdoors, love, time to unplug so I could recharge, etc. 

So what did that look like?

Well although I went on social media, it was only to see updates made by loved ones.

Personally, I had no desire to figure out what picture from my photos best described my current state or what I wanted to portray about my life. I had no desire to come up with captions whether witty or transparent. I had no desire to use hashtags to be discovered and become a seemingly overnight social media sensation. 

In short, aside from liking photos here and there, I had no desire to be social on social media

I spent much of September in my own company, and enjoyed it! Of course, when Danny wasn't working, he and I were diligent at making time for each other. I was reminded in these times, that he is indeed my favorite human on the planet.

 Usie. By me. 

Usie. By me. 

I also spent this time of relative solitude contemplating the importance of an offline, real-world community. Community matters. So I took time to make those offline connections where possible—whether catching up with a longtime friend over the phone or going to an impromptu lunch with new ones.

 

Look Up

And considering all the many catastrophic events that took place—globally, nationally, and locally—from the end of August even until now:

Mudslides in Sierra Leone

Hurricane Harvey in Texas

Earthquakes in Mexico

Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Florida

Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Volcano eruption alerts in Bali

A shocking suicide in my church community

And the devastating shooting in Vegas

My time on pause reminded me to not only look around, or look inside, but also to look up. 

 Photo by me.

Photo by me.

Look up in faith. Trusting that even in all this chaos, God has a plan. 

Look up in desperation. Knowing that only Jesus can remedy these situations. Only He can heal and help to make us whole again.

Look up in expectation. Believing one day Christ will return and make all things right.

Look up in awe. Taking in all the beauty that still somehow makes itself known in a world that can sometimes be so ugly. 

Affirmations

As I took these last two months to pause: look around. look inside. look up.  I was able to make several observations that I will continue to affirm and hold dear. 

On being given new opportunities and responsibilities - 

I can handle it. I can also say, "no," or "not right now."

On being my own company -

I am enough.

On being created for companionship -

My marriage can stand alone. 

On the role of offline community - 

Forging and furnishing connections is essential. Make the time. Take the risk. Distance doesn't have to be a detriment. 

On the solution for every global, national, local and internal ailment - 

Jesus is all. 

....We're officially in the last quarter of the year. Let's not end it on auto-pilot....

Let's be aware of our environment—internal, external, and eternal.

Let's be intentional with ourselves, our time, our work, our investments,

Effective intentionality often require us to pause: look around. look inside. and look up. Before we can truly move ahead. 

Grace & Peace,

Cara