One word: Experience
Experience is a word I am focusing on at this point in my life. There are a few ways you could take this so let me clarify: I am not necessarily saying I want to spend my time, money or energy on creating new experiences. What I am saying is that I want to TRULY experience the gifts that have already been given to me.
Now, let me get more specific with an example: I have three kids. At this time, they are young. Like still wipe bottoms young (also note the G-rated language...that's how young). There are days that I feel like I am "working for bedtime". I come home from work - oh yeah I work full-time, too - I can delve into that topic one day, but I'll try not to digress - so, I come home from work and it feels like a rat race. It's dinner, then playing, then negotiating to get in the bath, then negotiating to get jammies on, then negotiating to get teeth brushed. You get the picture? In the past, and sometimes still, these aren't experiences. In no way am I soaking in these moments and making memories. I am throwing away precious gifts from God. I have time with my kids; tomorrow I have less. It's just the truth of the matter.
My kids want to tell me 6 zillion stories: what incredible imaginations and LOVE they have for me to share this imaginative experience with me. Some days I have uh huh'd my way through another extravagant story instead of seeing the magic of it through my kid's youthful outlook. Bath time happens every night...how many of those have I been distracted through instead of finding a way to see the sweetness on my daughter's face as I pour water over her (never-going-to-be-this-small-again) head? I am missing these fleeting, beautiful moments. Why am I taking advantage of this and not praising the Lord for my three healthy kids and the precious time - time that I may ordinarily have seen as mundane?
Now, I am not trying to come across as criticizing myself too much for these moments; rather, I am just saying that experience is something I don't want to take lightly. Especially when it means that it brings me closer to Christ. His hands are in everything.
And as soon as we take a moment to experience the beauty in all the little things, we are going to see how incredible God is and experience Him in such a deeper and meaningful way.
Kids is one example that comes very easily to me because it can be a busy and overwhelming season in someone's life. But I can think of plenty of other ways God is present and, if we just take the time to experience the moment, we could experience Him. How can you experience the presence of Christ in your life? How can you experience the gifts from God in a way that bring you closer to Him?