By Michelle Barringer
How do you drop the distractions to be fully present? I have encouragement and practical help for you today.
For six years now, I’ve given the first part of my day to the Lord, spending time with just him. Recently, on a Saturday, although I slept later than normal, I still began the first part of my day with Jesus.
Then it happened: Distraction.
I grabbed my phone to look up something. I discovered thirty minutes later I had wandered. I wrote in my journal, “Well, I just got distracted watching Instagram (IG) Reels for a half hour! LOL! Now, I better do something productive.”
So, I opened 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie F. Downs. This particular Saturday I was on day eighty-eight: “Be Present Where You Are.” I didn’t read any further than the first paragraph when God captured my attention. “Wherever you are, be all there…For me to do that, I have to put my phone down sometimes.”
Busted! No more than four minutes after light-heartedly writing my confession in my journal, Jesus burst in with his truth and conviction. Then he shared a problem most of us struggle with: To be fully present in God’s presence and our husband’s presence, we need to drop the distractions.
I traded being in the presence of my Savior King for thirty minutes of watching videos of others’ lives. Lord have mercy! Distraction of IG Reels stole my time with the One who wanted to show me how to live and not miss opportunities to be fully present.
Prone to Wander
There’s a line in the classic hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” that says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” Sadly, I do wander sometimes. And I don’t just do that with the Lord Jesus, I do that with my husband too.
While we may not want to admit it, we all struggle with wandering sometimes. I’ve discovered this happens when I allow myself to be distracted. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing that distracts me.
Sometimes I’m drifting into no man’s land with simple everyday distractions, like IG Reels, texts, TV shows, and emails. Even hobbies and chores, when not kept in check, can be a way for us to wander, drift away from the God we love and the husband we love. This is the way our enemy prefers to get us wandering. It’s so simple, we don’t notice it’s happening.
What Are You Looking For?
You may recall the story of Joseph when his father sent him to find his brothers and see how they were doing. He instructed Joseph to bring word back to him. In Genesis 37:15, we find Joseph wandering in a field and a man found him there and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
While Joseph had a good answer, that is, he was looking for his brothers, have you ever considered how you would answer Jesus if he asked you that question as you wander social media, surf the internet, or click through TV channels?
It’s uncomfortable when I’m wandering and allowing distractions to steal my time and attention from the God I love and the husband I love. “What are you looking for with all your wandering, Michelle?” Sometimes I don’t have a good answer like Joseph did.
In Psalm 56:8, David penned, “You have taken account of my wanderings.” Now that’s a confession. Accepting and admitting we are prone to wander is a good first step. But then what do we do?
Be Fully Present
We need to drop the distractions and be fully present with our God and our husbands.
To live in the moment with someone else is to be present. To be fully present, we have to engage our whole person, our thinking and behavior, which means we have to make adjustments.
I’m implementing some simple strategies so that I don’t miss the opportunity to be fully present with God and my husband. Dropping these distractions has opened up the opportunity to be fully present with God and the ones I love:
- Silent my phone and place it in a different room.
- Listen with my heart, soul, mind, and both ears during conversations.
- Identify dismissive listening, stop it, then start empathetic listening.
- Turn off the TV, close my computer, and do all three above to engage with Jesus and my husband.
We need to seek ways to be fully present when we’re in the presence of God and our husbands. What better way to show our love than to be fully present.
Wife Step: Choose one of the options above and implement daily for one week. See what opportunities await you in the presence of the ones you love.
Michelle Barringer is a writer, speaker, blogger, Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a full-time learning and development consultant. She has a master’s degree in communication. Michelle is currently writing her first book in the wee hours of the morning. She is NOT a morning person.
She’s journeyed with Jesus for a long time getting to know Him better, and has gotten to know herself better in the process. Michelle is an encourager and cheerleader. She only has one goal and mission in life: to live the purpose of God and encourage you to do the same. Her biggest passion is to encourage hearts in faith, purpose, and perseverance.
You can join Michelle on social media @michellerbarringer on Instagram and Facebook and her website www.michellebarringer.com where she writes about faith, purpose, and perseverance sharing true stories and biblical insight.
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