Holy Pause - Holy Purpose

Can we agree that few things in life require more intentionality than planting a garden? First, we choose the proper plants and seeds. Then we scout out the perfect sunny spot with semi-decent soil, add organic matter, dig the hole, and plop our plants in at just the right depth.

Growing up, my family planted a large garden every year so I quickly learned that each season has its own purpose.

In early spring, the plow turned southern red clay into rich, dark dirt but to us, it was the color gold. When temperatures began to rise, we planted tomatoes, peppers, corn, and okra in long, neat rows. Weeks later, when summertime rolled around, we savored the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor.

In winter, my family rested, as did the ground. A garden may appear lifeless with a covering of snow, but activity hums just beneath the surface. Earthworms, insects, and soil-burrowing animals continue to make themselves at home while the soil gathers nutrients in preparation for the next season. So, what does a wintering ground have in common with creating holy pauses in our everyday life? 

Both require intentionality. We’ve explored God’s intentionality in providing purpose for what seems to be a lifeless season, and similarly, He does the same for our ordinary moments by infusing them with purpose and joy.

But redeemed moments for God’s glory don’t just happen. We must intentionally join Him in His purposeful work by offering a heart that desires to use time wisely—not only for our own benefit, but also for others.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17, niv).

Also, the mundane moments in our everyday life can be mistaken as fillers, time that simply passes until something “important” happens. When in fact, it’s these moments that can become the most rewarding of our day.

Like the lackluster winter ground, mundane moments can be mistaken as inactive, or purposeless, but holy pauses are created from moments that already exist in our day. For example...

Spending Time Outdoors.
Pause to close your eyes for a few moments. What gratitude rises from what you see, smell, or hear? 

Baking Bread.
Try your hand at baking bread. Enjoy the process as you seek God’s molding and kneading in your own life.

Preparing Meals.
Maybe you don’t bake bread, but perhaps you brew a cup of tea, or prepare meals. Both require a slowing down of sorts. What if we embraced the quiet process instead of fighting it, choosing to practice stillness as God uses our hands to bring forth a tasting of His goodness?

Folding Laundry.
Consider putting a Scripture verse on the wall to meditate on while you fold.

Pumping Gas.
It’s a moment alone, even if the van is full of children. As you hear the gas pulsating its way into your tank, ask God to fill you with joy, peace, wisdom, trust— whatever you need most that day.

Waking up and going to sleep. Bookend your day in holy pauses by letting the touch of your feet on the floor in the morning and slipping them into bed at night remind you of your countless blessings.

Why not take a holy pause right now? Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, slip under a cozy blanket or step outside, and pray along with me:

Heavenly Father, I offer You now a heart that desires holy moments with You. Give me eyes to see redeemable pauses that I often squander. Show me how to cultivate Your greater purposes into my daily routine. Help me to be intentional by using my time wisely and effectively for Your Kingdom and for Your glory. And Lord, thank You for this moment with You. Amen.

is an award-winning writer, poet, and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach, as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. Cathy is a charter member of Hope*Writers, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers of America, The Poetry Society of South Carolina, and Proverbs 31 COMPEL Training. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas with mountain views, the occasional bear, and a writing studio out back, lovingly known as The Tiny House on the Hill. Cathy enjoys connecting in her private Facebook Group, Creative Pauses.

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