Since October 2017 our family has been running at high speed. And things are finally starting to settle into our normal version of crazy busy.
One of the habits I’ve struggled to develop is cultivating time to reflect, to just be with all my experiences, to lean into the lessons I’ve learned (and am learning).
But this weekend, one of the few weekends we have had with absolutely nothing on our schedule besides the normal church stuff, I made the time to reflect, to look back, and to lean in. And it was good.
3 Simple Ways to Reflect on Life
I don’t typically think of myself as someone who does a lot of introspection. I’m more of a “check it off the list” sort of girl. I usually prefer to DO something (even if the doing something is watching a Hallmark Christmas movie for the umpteenth time).
This weekend, though, especially on Saturday, I found myself in a reflective mood. As I looked around our house, the one Scott’s grandparents built but now looks radically different, I thought about all the changes, not just in the house but in me.
I told Scott it was the first time I found myself thinking of this house in terms of it being OURS rather than Mamaw’s. It’s a big shift. Scott has been coming to this house his whole life to visit and now we live here. This is the place where we all held Mamaw’s hands as she passed from this life into eternity. The space where the old kitchen table where I drank coffee with Mamaw when Casiday was a newborn is now home to the antique kitchen cabinet we use as a coffee bar. It’s all different. And yet, it is all still the same. It’s still a place where people gather, where “I love you” is said freely, where there’s always a cup of coffee waiting to be poured.
The thing about making time to reflect is, it helps you see. See situations and relationships and experiences with clarity and understanding. Reflecting gives us the opportunity to respond to what has been and allow it to change what is and inform what is to come. Reflecting lets us process. But it also lets us breathe. And if there’s one thing we need in this frantic, frenzied world, it’s time and space to breathe.
If you’re like me, you aren’t really sure what to do once you’ve made the time and space to reflect. So, today I thought I’d share a few of the simple ways I’ve discovered to reflect on my life.
3 Simple Ways to Reflect on Life
- Look back over your calendar. It’s easy to forget those day-to-day moments that mark the seasons of our lives. When we look over our calendars, we are reminded of things like birthday celebrations or date nights but also of the normal moments that mark living well, like lunch with friends or routine doctor appointments.
- Scan your pictures. As a child I loved looking through the huge and heavy photo albums in our house. Pictures have always helped me recall moments and people. Now, I do the same thing as I scroll through my Instagram feed or look back over all the pictures I have saved in Google Photos.
- Review your quiet time, prayer, or Bible study journal. Our spiritual life shapes the rest of our lives so it’s important to reflect on where we’ve been spiritually. Taking time to look back over the notes we’ve made in our Bibles or the prayer lists we’ve created or the notes we took during quiet times or sermons is a great way to reflect on what God has been teaching us.
I’ve discovered that as I make time for reflection, I’m reminded how good and kind God has been to me and my family. I also know that as I look back, I see how the Lord’s faithfulness to me in the past can be trusted for the future. And I am able to recognize the lessons I’ve learned and consider how to apply them to my future.
Making time to reflect and consider our lives and where we are and what God is doing is a valuable exercise. One that can strengthen our faith and open our eyes to the ways God is at work in and through us. I encourage you to make some time for this practice in your own life. You’ll be glad you did!