It’s time to wake up and pay attention
Have you ever had one of those moments where you felt like you were once asleep and you woke up with eyes to see things you never noticed before?
My daughter just had one of those moments.
You see, she has been asleep, “so-to-speak” for a long, long time. If you have read any part of our story from my blog, you know that my daughter was overly medicated from 12 years of age until we hit our limit with the health consequences and side-effects of prescription medications when she was around 18 years of age. I didn’t know she was over medicated. Even though I was dragging her through life for years. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I am still shocked that I didn’t put two and two together until much, much later. We were just following doctors orders for treating our daughter’s anxiety and depression.
In a quick summary, we started working with a holistic psychiatrist who helped us wean off these medications over a two year period and use natural solutions to get my daughter restored to good health. It was a long hard journey but it paid off with a daughter who literally came to life before our eyes.
The ultimate reward is that she is now able to lead a normal life and do things she would have never been able to do before.
This year she is studying abroad in New Zealand.
New Zealand is an outdoor lovers dream. Well, our daughter, isn’t an outdoor adventure type, even though we called her “nature girl” when she was little because she spent hours walking around our background noticing all the details, bugs, and spider webs. Anything new, she found it.
But over the years she became a homebody. She always opted out of adventures to stay home and do quiet activities like knitting, crocheting, reading or computer games.
Well, I knew her school would have breaks where she would have to leave campus for a few weeks. I just thought she would probably just want to go stay with her sister and her sister’s husband and their baby boy who live about 30 minutes from her school.
Surprisingly, at the last minute she and a few friends put together an adventure to fly from the north island to the south island. They rented a camper van and traveled for 10 days all over the island, spending every day hiking on all the different trails all over the island.
I have been so surprised and delighted to hear all about her adventures and hear the excitement in her voice about all the fun times they were having. Simple pleasures too. They didn’t eat out at restaurants, they made all their own food out of the back of their camper van (porridge for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and rice and beans or stew from a can for dinner). They slept in the van and many nights it was pretty cold. Some days it rained. But never, did I hear one negative comment…only joyful statements about everything. For years and years, her perspective on everything was negative so it is so refreshing to see such a difference now.
Anyways, here comes the moment I wanted to tell you about. It is like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae of this whole natural health journey she has been on.
She texted me this picture and said she found her happy place. (Note: This is in Arthurs Pass on the South Island of New Zealand)
Time for my daughter to wake up and pay attention
So here it is… the big reveal of her eyes finally being open to see.
Then she texted, “I never knew how incredible this world that God created is!”
Wow! That is huge!!!
I said, “I know… God is amazing! And He absolutely loves it when we take notice of his handiwork. He is beaming right now that you are finally noticing.”
You may be thinking it would be obvious to notice all the beauty of God’s creation if you were in a gorgeous place like New Zealand or other beautiful places in the world with mountains or beaches.
Well, I always thought it would be a dream to live at the beach and I imagined that people who could look out their window everyday and see the beautiful blue ocean would be so happy and blessed.
I found out first hand the reality of that thought when I went to college in one of the most beautiful places I could imagine, on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California. Of course my jaw dropped when I first went there. Every year when I moved back into the dorms to start the school year, the view took my breath away. But shortly after school would start each year, I would be consumed with all the stresses of being a college student. Studying for tests, writing papers, deadlines etc. I found that months would go by and I wouldn’t even notice the beauty all around me. Every once in awhile I would take notice and I would ask myself, “How long has it been that I even noticed the ocean or a beautiful sunset?”
It’s a shame I didn’t savor my time there more. I wish I could do it all again and this time wake up and pay attention on a daily basis. It would have done wonders for managing the stresses of college life if only I would have gotten outside of my head and looked up more.
A time for me to wake up and pay attention
My daughter’s realization brought memories to my mind of a time where I finally had eyes to see the beauty of God’s creation in a different light. It was in 2000 when I was blessed to spend 10 days in Hawaii with my husband and some friends of ours.
One day I took a walk on the beach by myself and found a quiet spot to spend some time with the Lord. I even wrote in my journal that it felt like it was a date with God. Thankfully, I wrote a letter to God while I was there and I preserved it in a Creative Memories photo album. I haven’t seen that album in years but today I found it and read it cover to cover. What a blessing to have all those memories with pictures and stories from that 10-day trip. Especially precious because my dear friend passed away years later from breast cancer at a very young age, leaving behind 4 young children and her husband. A reminder to live every day mindfully savoring every moment with our loved ones because we don’t know how long we will have with them.
Anyways, I want to share my letter to God with you because it gives a perspective that I don’t think we often think about.
You see, God loves it when we take notice of all He has created for us to enjoy. He loves us so much and He yearns for us to notice Him and hear His “wee-small-voice” whispering in our ear “I did this all just for you.”
So whatever is keeping you from noticing Him calling out for your attention, I challenge you to wake up and pay attention…. He is talking to you.
A time for you to wake up and pay attention
I have created a fun little mindfulness activity for you to do. You can download this from my Resource Library. (Find out how to get it at the bottom of this post) It is sort of like a scavenger hunt where you make a point of looking for these things God created. Take some time to notice all the details and savor the moment. Then take a picture for proof and for a remembrance. I call it a Photo Safari. If you like, you can write your own letter to God on the back and keep it.
I think you will be blessed. Taking our attention away from all the hard things in life that drag us down and putting our attention on our creator and all he has done for us and how much he loves us and cares for us and blesses us, will most definitely lift our spirits into the high places.
What about you? What keeps you from noticing these things? Have you ever had a moment where you feel like you woke up and had new eyes to see things you never noticed before?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or stories.
I hope this post was an encouragement to you.
Wishing you Joy in your journey,
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Subscribe to receive a copy of "Wake Up & Pay Attention-Photo Safari" Mindfulness Activity to help you tune in and be blessed. You'll also receive access to my password protected RESOURCE LIBRARY full of tools to help you in your natural health journey.