When’s the last time you sat down, without distractions, and really took some time to reflect on your life?
We are all so busy, and it’s easy to move along day after day doing what needs to be done without pausing to get a little perspective. I’m a big proponent of living in the present while planning for the future.
However, there is real value in looking back over our shoulders to see where we’ve come from.
I actually took advantage of this earlier today when I my wife was sweet enough to take care of the kids and let me sleep in for a bit. Today happens to be my 32nd birthday…and our daughter’s first birthday was just two days ago. 🙂
Well, I couldn’t sleep and my mind got to wandering. Naturally, I thought back to a year ago when we brought Avery home from the hospital.
I also found myself going to back 10 years when Bethany and I were newly married with NO idea what really was to happen in our lives. And, for some reason, I had a lot of thoughts from 25 years ago when I was just seven years old and having a rough time as the son of an abusive, alcoholic father.
I won’t go into the details of my own reflections since they aren’t important to you. However, I do want to share three powerful lessons that I took away from my quiet time to hopefully encourage you to find some time to reflect on your own life.
1. Count Your Blessings
Whether it’s your family, your career, your health or any other area of your life, there’s a good chance that you’ve been blessed by God with a lot of goodness. It’s incredibly easy to become complacent and take these things for granted.
Take some time to reflect, be thankful and pray for all of the typically unspoken blessings in your life. It will make you a better, more gracious person moving forward.
2. Learn From Your Mistakes
When you think back 10 years, it’s amazing to see what you have achieved for yourself and others. However, it’s also really valuable to see the mistakes that have been made along the way that sometimes can’t be recognized until you’ve gained new levels of experience.
Think over the major and seemingly minor, daily choices that you’ve made along the way and examine how you could have done better. You have the opportunity to learn from your past to make the future brighter.
3. Slow Things Down
In the busy lives that we all lead, this may be the most valuable benefit of all. Simply taking a little time to reflect on the pace of life and all that transpires in what seems like the blink of an eye can help us be mindful of the experiences we live.
Think about your marriage, your children and your own life, and you’ll realize how quickly it all goes by. Keep this in mind as you make choices about how to spend your time, and then savor every moment that you possibly can as you move forward.
Do you take regular time to reflect? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.