Heart Choices: 2016-07-24 -->

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How Do You Live in the Moment?

Live in the moment. It seems I hear that a lot lately. But how do you live in the moment?

I just returned from the most refreshing peaceful vacation in Carmel, California. I got on an airplane at Sky Harbor Airport leaving Phoenix with triple digit heat. After flying 90 minutes I arrived at Monterrey airport where my friends picked me up. We drove through Pebble Beach to arrive at our final destination; Carmel-by-the-Sea. And best of all; the temperature was 53 degrees! That's half of what it's been in Phoenix and was I ever ready for it.

I really wanted to experience some down time and be still to inspire me to write. My friends are the most gracious, kind and generous hosts. They rented a cottage that was perfectly located within a few minutes walk to town and close enough to the beach.

Every morning Terri and I would walk for about 90 minutes at a fast pace along the beach front. My friend continued even further but I stopped to soak in the scenery. There were benches along the path and I stopped to sit and listen to the sounds of the ocean watching as the waves crashed to the shore. I love the smell of seaweed and salt water. The colder air was invigorating. I took time to breathe deeply. I couldn't help but praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation.

Although I'm not Catholic, I accompanied my friends to their Sunday service at the Carmelite Monastery.  The priest's message was about paying attention. He held up his iPhone and cautioned how hard it is to listen wholeheartedly when we're distracted. He thanked us in advance for giving him our attention for the next 10 minutes.

His text was from Luke 10:38-42; the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was complaining to Jesus about her sister who was not helping her with the preparations. Instead Mary made the choice to sit at the feet of Jesus to listen to Him. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen what was better.

I think of myself. I call long distance to keep in touch with my family. Sometimes I am checking Facebook or email while talking on the phone. Multi-tasking is something I find easy to do. Or is it? When I make the choice to simply focus on the conversation with my dad or sister or brother, those are the times when we communicate best. It's when I pay attention and refuse to be distracted.

My friends have a Scottie named Andy. He is so friendly and lovable. We stopped at The Lodge at Pebble Beach and walked near the 18th hole of their golf course. Many people were sitting and enjoying the view. A little baby was fascinated with Andy. She was just learning to walk and she giggled and giggled. It was a joy to watch her lost in the moment; no distractions.

I loved the moments during this trip. But I want to continue to live in the moment even when I return home. Paying attention to the little things. Focusing on the conversation. Stopping to breathe deeply. Putting down the cell phone and taking time to be quiet and still.

So how about you? How do you try to live in the moment?

I know it takes effort. It's all too easy for me to get distracted and stop paying attention. It takes practice to be in the moment. But I for one don't want to miss out on the important.

Blessings and love,

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