When Time Stands Still

There are moments that exist just as they are, in the present with no other thoughts, no other voices.  Just that moment.  I had that experience one night when I was babysitting my then eleven-month-old granddaughter, Myla Grace.  I had the delightful task of feeding her supper, giving her a bath, and rocking her to sleep with her bottle.  Myla Grace is a highly sensitive child.  It was months before she would let any of the rest of the family hold her, even her daddy.  So it was very special when she started “taking” to her Nana.

In the rocking chair with Myla that night, I softly sang the songs I had sung to my own babies and some of my other grandchildren.  She watched me wide-eyed as she sucked on her bottle.  I’m not a good singer, but that didn’t matter to Myla.  Her eyes grew heavy, and slowly the sucking stopped.  As I pulled the bottle out of her mouth, she opened her eyes widely and looked at me, studying my face.  And then it happened.  I smiled at that precious baby girl, and she broke into a huge smile back.  No words, only quiet.  Two sets of eyes locked together, two smiles as if a huge secret was being shared.  At that moment nothing else existed.

I was deeply impacted by Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts.  And I’m naming for the second time around one thousand things I’m thankful for, writing them down in my journal a few at a time, day by day.   It used to be that I thought a gratitude list was only for things like family, health, and material provision.  Now I understand that it’s being present and noticing all the graces God gives throughout our day-to-day lives.  The Word says “In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus,” I Thessalonians 5:18.  In noticing how he shows his love for us, we are loving him back.

Having our eyes open to see God’s graces requires intentionality.  It requires the “want to.”  It requires slowing down and being present in the moment If we set our hearts toward Him, the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the smallest of graces, but it’s up to us to create the space for that to happen.  And when we experience those moments, wow!  We can be in touch with his love and with the life he has given us.  Time really does stand still.

The Word says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” Psalm 90:12.  Wisdom comes from seeing, hearing, touching God.  We do that by eucharisteo, by giving thanks.  I couldn’t wait to note my moment with Myla in my journal later that night.   I’m inviting you to try it!  There are no rules and no time limit.  It is highly personal.  And check out Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts Devotional.  There are pages in the back for you to make your list. I promise you will be refreshed as you notice more of God’s gifts to you each day.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so much.  Open our eyes to see your graces, that we may have more and more of these holy moments with you.  Amen.

4 thoughts on “When Time Stands Still

  1. Describing your experience when yours and Myla Grace’s eyes met brought tears to my eyes! Such a beautiful depiction of when our eyes capture that perfect moment with the Lord’s eyes as we keep our focus on Him. I can see His smile now!
    I absolutely love this!! Thank you, Risa.

  2. I just reread this blog and I have to admit that the place I was in when I first read it was not very good. I am beginning to learn that when I hear wonderful ways how love and feeling loved in another persons life has often left me feeling kind of raw. Maybe some jealousy or envy initially, but then i see that it is pain. It was pain from not receiving that as a child and desperately needing that connection of being loved and valued. Today, God is showing me one way how he is healing this wound through my son. It hasn’t always been consciously or perfectly on my part, but I have been making that connection with my son all along when i tuck him in bed every night. The security of my son feeling safe and loved at bedtime has helped sooth a little bit of that wound in me and give me joy that my son does not have to feel the way I did when I was a child.
    Today, your words helped me see the joy that the connection I have with my son brings me, and not the wound that remains that God is still working on.

    • Stephanie, praise Jesus for ministering to you through seeing the connection with your son through His eyes. He has opened my eyes more and more to these moments as I pause and listen. I’m still learning, but thankful to be in this place in my journey. I’m excited for you and what He is showing you day by day, week by week. Mark and I are thankful to be journeying with you–we need one another!

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