Living in the Moment
By Drenda Keesee
Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there!” With cell phones, social media, and emails piling up, living in the moment can be a LOT easier said than done… but it’s possible!
Gary and I have a very busy schedule—we pastor a church, run a business, and have a TV ministry demanding our attention every waking moment. Add on top of that five children, seven grandchildren, and international travel to conferences and speaking events, and you have a daily battle to stay in the moment.
“People always make time to do the things they really want to do.” —Anonymous
Here are my top 10 secrets for living in the moment and engaging with those around you every single day!
1. Stop living like today is a dress rehearsal. Today is the real deal.
Have you ever waited until January 1st to start a new resolution? Or put off a diet until the start of a new week?
I’m sorry to say I’ve been guilty of both! I’ve even enjoyed an extra piece of cake knowing I was starting a diet the next day! That certainly didn’t help my cause!
Too often, we get “goal dates” in our head.
“Oh, I’m waiting to give up caffeine until the new year!”
“I ate something bad today, so I’ll just eat TONS of bad stuff and restart my diet next week!”
In the meantime, we live like our days are expendable. Is November 28th really any less important than January 1st? As long as we’re present with our family on Christmas Day, is it okay if we’re on our phone during family dinner on a regular ol’ Friday?
We have to stop living for tomorrow and start embracing today! We may see some days as more important, but every day gives us the same opportunities: 24 hours to engage with life, 1,440 minutes to change the world. Every day is a gift. There’s not one that’s worth more than any other!
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Let’s not passively let days turn into weeks. Today is YOUR day!
2. Embrace the no-phone zone!
If you’re having dinner with your family, playing with your children, or lying in bed with your spouse before bed, don’t get on your phone. You’d be amazed at all of the fun and dynamic conversation you’re cutting out every time you do that! In the end, few of us will remember the moments we spent on our phones—it’s the moments we spent face-to-face with the people we love that we’ll treasure forever.
3. Pay attention to the details.
As a mom, it’s so easy to go into autopilot! What incredible details are you overlooking every single day? Is it the way your husband laughs? How about how your daughter plays when she thinks you’re not watching? Cherish the beautiful little things all around you. They’re worth noticing!
4. Keep your thoughts on what’s in front of you.
It’s easy to let our thoughts wander, especially when something big is happening in our lives. Gary and I have learned something powerful—worrying doesn’t help! In fact, when we’ve felt really pressed in the past, Gary and I have actually taken a trip to Cedar Point, our local roller coaster park! Sometimes you need to truly be in the moment to unlock your greatest ideas and solutions.
5. Listen to what’s REALLY being said.
Did you know that it’s possible to have an entire conversation while only being half present?
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” —Anonymous
We are truly present when we put our focus on what other people are bringing to the conversation!
6. Set aside time for yourself so you can be present when you’re with others.
When we’ve had some time to think, rest, and pray, we’re ready to engage with life!
My “me” time happens in the mornings. My husband is an early riser, so I almost always wake up to breakfast ready for me. And most of the time, it comes to me right in bed! (I know, he’s a keeper!) I like to start my mornings with prayer and time with God, as well as some caffeine. It doesn’t always work out that way every day (If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about!), but as long as I get some quiet time to think before the hustle and bustle settles in, I’m ready to go!
7. Celebrate the small victories!
Did you get a raise? Clean your house? Learn how to do the bridge when you deal cards? Whatever it is, little things are worth celebrating. Take a moment to appreciate your small victories, and don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate others!
8. Give journaling a try.
Journaling is a great way to take account of what’s happening in your life! Grab a pen and paper, and write down what you did, think, and feel. It’s also a great way to remember small memories for a lifetime.
9. Say YES to spontaneity!
Things don’t always go the way we planned. Who am I kidding? They rarely go the way we planned! However, that doesn’t mean they won’t turn out better than we planned. When things take an unexpected twist, make the decision to be open to the change and embrace new possibilities!
10. Say NO to stress.
Stress steals our peace, negatively affects our decision-making abilities, and makes it hard for us to focus on the moment. William James once said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at the big picture; instead, just ask yourself, “What do I need to do next?”
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.