Life goes by so quickly. We are taught from a very young age to do everything as quickly as possible. Don’t waste time, walk faster, eat faster, hurry up, grow up… When is the last time that you sat quietly and still for more than five minutes? That you just took the time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation around you? That you just took the time to truly count your blessings? I know that I am not silent enough in my life. I don’t take the time to appreciate the small things as I should. I can become consumed with the problems of life rather than the blessings of life.

I have decided to take more time to embrace the happy of life rather than the sad. If we only focus on our problems, we are unable to truly enjoy all that has been given to us. I am making an effort to pray every night once the lights are out and my head is on the pillow. I am using this time not to rattle off a “wish list” to God but to thank Him for all my wonderful gifts. I am able to relax easier, and my mind clears of all the hustle and bustle from the day. I encourage you to find a quiet spot and a quiet time for you to take inventory of your blessings. For some of you, it may be easier to journal and write all of your blessings. On the really hard days, go back and read what all you have to be grateful for in your life.

Slowing down and taking time to for your loved ones and yourself is easier said than done. But I encourage you to make that effort. After you are home from your work day, put the work emails away, focus on your family. Look for ways to slow down in your life. I purposely changed the settings on my phone so my work email doesn’t come straight to my phone. I have to go through several web pages to log in and look at my emails. This is great, y’all! I am able to not obsess on work and making sure everything is taken care of at my job. When I’m home, I want to take care of home and enjoy time with my family. Let your family and friends know you care by making the effort to give them the greatest gift of time.

The most important reason to slow down and reflect on your blessings is that the Lord commands us to do so. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man that carries out evil devices!” Psalm 37:7 “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 God in his infinite wisdom knew we needed to slow down and be thankful for our own well-being. We all know that when you are focused on the negative and spend your time running yourself ragged, you are not happy and you cheat yourself out of enjoying all that life has to offer.

Take time this week to go slow. Sit on the park bench. Turn off the television. Put down the phone. Spend time with your family. Be silent. Enjoy life.

In the spirit of spending more time with your family, this week’s recipe is a simple 5 ingredient soup that is a snap to put together, giving you more time to enjoy life. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does, and as always, make this your own! Add the wholesome ingredients your family will love, and then sit down at the table together sharing a meal and talking about the blessings you have in your life.

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