Tuesday, August 18, 2015

When Slow Finds You

David came home from work one day with some sub sandwiches that had been donated to an event he was working and were leftover. He shared with others and then brought home one for each person in our family.

I had just been looking at a free past issue of Southern Living that showed an adorable little tail-gating party with subs wrapped and tied with twine. Those free sandwiches were the perfect opportunity for us to grab a slow picnic together as a family and I jumped at the chance. It was like a gift of slow was being dropped in my lap and I needed to choose to open and enjoy the gift!

Sunday afternoon, I slid one sandwich after another out of the bag and wrapper it was stored in and out came a bag of chips also. One of the bags cut in strips and turned inside out made sweet little bands for my picnic sandwiches, and a little tie of twine was just the finishing touch.

I slid the bags of chips into these cute polka dot bags that I had left from a party. We were able to save and reuse most of them.

A couple of sliced nectarines and a few cookies I'd made just before the weekend were the perfect finish to a super simple and almost free meal.

What I hope you will catch is that I spent nothing and almost no time even in pulling this together. I think that sometimes I fear someone reading here will think that I invest a lot of time and/or money into creating something beautiful. A lot of times, I simply use what is handy and ready and just add a couple of things to it.

A short drive from home and our Sunday evening was transformed into magical memories. That golden hour light that comes before sunset, eating outside, the peaceful lapping of the waves at the edge of the shore, seagulls and dolphins and cooling breeze, the colors of the sky as it changed from day to evening to dusk.

And, I have to think that when we stop to enjoy the beauty of God's creation, it makes Him smile. Imagine how an artist feels when he sees someone enjoying his work - don't you think it is like that for God? I hope so!

When you have an opportunity to choose to slow do you take it? Does it feel too complicated or overwhelming? The peace and calm that comes from seizing the opportunity is such a gift! The beauty is so rejuvenating and refreshing!

One thing that makes slowing a success for me is that I clean it all up and put everything away as soon as we get home. I don't sit down or do anything else until the dishes are washed or put in the dishwasher, the towels are in the washer and then sandy feet are being rinsed.

If all of that sat around, it would totally negate any benefits I had just received from the slowing. Don't let it rob you of the joy and calm you just found - conquer it!

Then, my reward is always to sit down and download my photos and enjoy the sweet memories we just made together. At the same time, the giggles and splashes will echo in my mind as I can see the crystal sparkles of water being sprayed about by three energetic children who know how to slow and enjoy the opportunities right in front of them.

Have you considered the rewards of slowing? They are all the things money cannot buy: happiness, joy, a peaceful calm filling your heart, enjoying God's creation, making memories together as a family, celebrating everyday beauty.

This always makes me think of Mary and how she "pondered all these things and treasured them in her heart." That is what I'm doing in a way when I reflect and enjoy the beauty of the moments we share and the time we take to treasure these opportunities. {Luke 2:19}


Anonymous said...

We were just down your way in Holden Beach, NC and had a wonderful week of slow days. Now that we are home, I'm trying to hold onto that feeling, but I can sense it fading quickly! Thanks for your encouragement. I always look forward to your posts.

Tina Leigh said...

I don't think I've ever seen a sub look so good! They should hire you for PR. You have awesome skills in FR (family relations). Lol!
Ive never really named the act of "slow" as you have but I believe we think on the same lines. I am refreshed and calmed by quiet and creation. I crave it as I believe my Creator ministers to me that way, it's a special way. God speaks to us all in special ways and different ways but I think for each of us there is a way that just "clicks". You have captured that so well. Love this post, pictures and message.

The Believing Wifey said...

That was so encouraging and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I feel so inspired when I see you take the time to add that extra touch of love, beauty, and creativity. Isn't our God great!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures! I need to slow way down. Even with all my kids! Thankyou for the beautiful reminder :)

Mom said...

Lovely photos of a special evening - so glad you had this fun (and frugal!) time together. Wonderful new memories! :)

Kelli said...

Such beautiful picture. What a wonderful evening. I love how you can see the beauty in the simple things. As I have said before I always come away so inspired from your blog. As my kids are growing older I am trying to see the beauty in the every day things....I know in my heart that is what they will remember.
Have a blessed day!

*carrie* said...

Lovely! Great way to elaborate on the already fun gift of some free meal items. And how fun to spot dolphins while you were there. Love those cute rainbow polka dot bags!

Shelby said...

You are so encouraging and beautiful in everything that you do Monica, truly you make everything special for your family. I think to myself when I am trying to make something special, now how would Monica do this? Thanks friend:))))

Iowa Birdie said...

Great post. Thank you!!

Where did you get your daughters' swimsuits? Could you please email me at selbher@gmail.com?


Debbie Wright said...


I read often, but rarely comment, but the beauty in this post - both your words and your photos - brought sweet tears to my eyes. Your blog has been such a blessing to my heart on many occasions. I just wanted you to know that you do make a difference - I find myself with a need to draw closer to our sweet Lord after I read many of yours posts and that's always a good thing! Thank you for sharing yourself, your insights and your journey through life with me, and all who read your blog. You are appreciated!

Lipstick Junkie said...

Beautiful!! Praise God for that sweet opportunity!! <3 tammy

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Debbie Wright: thank you sweet friend - so grateful to hear that God is allowing this space to be a blessing - may He be glorified and praised!