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Right Here, Right Now

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

What helps you to stop and notice what God is providing right under your nose? Kara Lawler directs our gaze.


Right Here, Right Now

By Kara Lawler

This fall the color-coded dry-erase calendar I keep in our kitchen has been doing double duty. It’s full of meetings, music practices, and sports schedules. Yes, all of the activities are results of a life well-lived. But after weeks of this schedule, I felt depleted. Even if you don’t have kids, you may get caught up in the surge of fall activities in your church or community.

I’ve prided myself on being a person who focuses on the beauty of the everyday, but l realized that lately, I’ve just been pushing to get to the end of each day. I’ve been checking things off of my list, caught in the shuffle of activities, forgetting the noticing prayers I usually do.

It’s easy to take our eyes off of what matters. It’s easy for the noise to take over and for us to forget to stop and savor.

Our family took a much-needed break today. As the sun shone brightly on my daughter playing, I finally exhaled, breathing in and out, in and out. I sat and watched her, the sunlight dancing on the leaves, her laughter echoing, thank yous on my lips. God, all around.

Later, she curled up in my arms as she rested, the day fading in shades of pink and orange.

My son, now 13, and I talked about musicians and album covers, concerts, and band t-shirts. I caught my husband watching us, smiling and grateful. I smiled back. Small things, but God, ever-present.

When we got home, I sat outside alone with my cat. I haven’t done that in more than a month. I sat cross-legged, as she purred and curled up in my lap, content. The evening was quiet. The night sky was clear, stars appearing as the sky faded into indigo. The moon was rising, and I just sat and stared. God’s handiwork really is everywhere.

When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed, I’m helped by stopping and doing a "noticing" activity. If you find yourself in a depleted state as well, I hope you'll slow down and pay attention. Focus on one thing around you that tethers you to the moment. Is there a smell or a sound that reminds you of being in the right now? For me, on the day I described, it was the sound of my daughter laughing.

If you have children in your life, you can also help them practice noticing. If they are feeling bogged down by activities, help them see the beauty all around by asking them to focus on their senses. What do they see? Hear? Smell?

When we slow down and pay attention, we can see that God is right here, right now. What a gift and a blessing!

Kara Lawler writes about seeing beauty, remembering your identity, and finding God, right where you are. Her children's picture book, God, Right Here, was released last summer. She is also the author of Everywhere Holy. As a contributor to several magazines and websites, some of her essays have been read and shared millions of times. Connect with Kara on Facebook.


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