3 Powerful Reasons to Reflect.001When’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.

My Reflections

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. 🙂

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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.

Why You Should Reflect

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.

(photo credit)


About the author 


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.

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  1. Great advice, Dustin, and happy birthday! I tend to get so caught up in work and school that in the time I have left at the end of each day — IF I have time left at the end of the day — I veg out with the TV or a movie. This post is a great reminder of how overdue I am to sit down to do some reflecting.

  2. Happy Birthday Dustin! And to Avery too! Hope you’re spending it in a fun way.

    I know I need to do this more often myself. Too often we reflect on the negative – we always seem to find time for that – and forget to praise for the positive. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Happy birthday to you and Avery =D I had the chance to do so for the past week since I was away from work because of sore eyes. I was trapped in the four corners of my room! I thought it was a bit frustrating but I was thankful that I had time to rest and yes reflect on life =)


  4. As a parent, I am reflecting every night, throughout the day, and sometimes even in the middle of the night. What an awesome responsibility we have in raising our children, to give them the love, guidance, nourishment, education, and example they deserve. It’s a task that needs reexamination and constant tweaking. All three of your points apply to parenting: remember to count your blessings/value time with your kids, learn from your mistakes, and slow things down/don’t overschedule your kids’ lives/think of the long run alongside the short run.

  5. Great post and new reader! I too have really come to appreciate the value in reflecting as specially as a newlywed and new teacher. For me I love to reflect when I go for walks, especially nature walks. Here I can peacefully reflect on my day and whatever else that has been on my mind. I also find that the exercise helps make my thoughts clearer.

    1. Welcome, Elise! We’re excited to have you here. As the husband of a former new teacher, I totally understand what you’re saying. I think walking is one of the absolute best things we can do.

      And exercise, too…have you seen my “other” site at http://www.FitMarriage.com ? 😉

  6. Dustin, We almost share the same birthday! I (Debi) turned 52 on the 17th. A few years ago the Lord game me 4 R’s to follow for my life. They are:
    1. Reflect – look back and see the hand of God at work in my life and even before.
    2. Record – I have kept a journal since 1989.
    3. Reveal – I want Christ to be revealed to me and through me.
    4. Rejoice – this includes in good times and bad.
    I haven’t looked at this list, written in the back of my Bible, in a long time. Thank you for reminding me of my purpose.
    Happy Birthday!

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  8. I agree it is extremely important to reflect back on one’s life every once in a while. And in order to do so.. we must have an honest relationship with ourselves.

    I would like to tell you about an article that I wrote for pickthebrain.com


  9. A friend asked me “what does a wife do?”…obviously he’s having some issues with his wife…not spending enough time together…busy work life…blah blah blah…

    I strongly believe and live by it that any relationships need communication both ways…regardless good or bad. At least each other knows what each likes and dislikes 😉 Even to friends around you.

    I came across an article about the 3Cs…Companion, Confidante and Counsel…and is inspiring of how a couple with huge shoes to fill both at work and family and yet maintain a good healthy relations over many many years!


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