Slow Down and LIVE…

We’re busy. We always have something going on; something to do or somewhere to be. We are constantly bombarded with responsibilities at home, on the job, at the church or in the community. We often find there are more things on our To Do list than the day will allow. At times, we unfortunately sacrifice family, rest/relaxation and/or physical activity in order to keep pace with the busy lives we lead.

I recall growing up as a young child in the church, a very wise deacon would encourage those gathered for worship to “slow down and live”. I could never understand what he was trying to say; however, as an adult these wise words now resonate with me.

Not too long ago, my family and I enjoyed some much-needed family time together. As our family dynamic changes with two growing children, I made the decision to intentionally slow down and be fully present with them.

Here are a few things focused family time taught me:

:: It’s ok to be disconnected from our everyday responsibilities. Let it go.  Be intentional about making family time a priority. Disconnect from electronic devices {a discipline I’m still working on} that rob and distract you of precious time with the ones you love. You are NOT a servant to your devices; they are a servant to you. Regain control.

:: Be fully present. I have two small children under the age of six. The rapid pace at which they are growing frightens me because it’s happening so fast. Scheduling focused family time reinforced the importance of slowing down and paying attention to these precious gifts. I purposed to listen, laugh, pay attention as my five-year old successfully read a book aloud with enthusiasm, and excitement and my 15-month old experienced the joy of building blocks. Being fully present with your undivided attention demonstrates to the ones you love that they matter and demonstrates to your loved ones that you know how to prioritize.

:: Family time is mandatory – not optional. As busy professionals, we often sacrifice our family time in ways we convince ourselves are in the best interest of our family. Whether we work long hours in the office or bring work home to complete, it is time with the family that suffers. I’ve come to learn that my family spells love, T-I-M-E. It is my highest honor and privilege to serve them and intentionally investing more time in them has become a non-negotiable.

There will always be an email to address, a phone call to return, a project to complete. But there is only one YOU to do it. Stop and focus on what really matters.

Here’s my advice to you – Slow down and live.

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Towanda Coles
Towanda Coles is a native Baltimorean with a passion for teaching and developing Servant Leaders to serve in the spirit of kingdom excellence. Towanda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Bowie State University. She is a proud wife and mother and resides with her family in Baltimore County. Towanda shares her thoughts on leadership at www.kingdomexcellenceconsulting.com. Connect with Towanda online via Twitter @TCInspires and on Periscope @TCInspires.
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