Why it's good to pause in the midst of busyness - by Joy Lenton

Let's pause shall we? Life's getting increasingly hectic as this season gathers momentum. 

But we don't have to stay on the hamster wheel of busyness, leading to increasing cycles of anxiety and stress. 

We can be people who pause, those who slow down and breathe for their sanity and soul's sake.

In this pre-Christmas season it's all too easy to get sucked into numerous activities, fail to prioritise self-care, neglect to pause and protect our weary souls. I sense a tension in the air, hanging like a dark, palpable thing. And I long for light, relief and rest.

I hear consumerism's clarion call, ready to ensnare us in its tenacious thrall. Who knew there were so many things we couldn't possibly manage to celebrate without? Who realised how much it all depends on us? But it doesn't, my friend, it really doesn't. We can discern as we sift the wheat from the chaff, the important from the urgent, the needful from what can waitand learn how to delegate.

My resources and energy are already low, easily depleted. Maybe yours are too? And I'm wondering if there's a way to do things differently in a season which takes everything out of us—except, of course, for the well organised few who have the whole caboodle stitched up long before the rush begins. Maybe there's a means of getting back to the heart of things?

My tendency is to become overwhelmed. I may start off fine, happily choosing presents on-line. Then they arrive, take up floor, as well as head space. I remember family birthdays are also approaching, and what gets bought must soon be wrapped—gulp! Panic begins to set in. It's only mid-November and there's still so much to think about..and...and...STOP!

I need to breathe...watch clouds skim serenely across the sky and remind myself to slow... down... I need to search out the small things which speak of God's grace, His immanence within these frantic days. Asking for help is advisable, as is advance planning and preparation.

Because making ourselves unwell by allowing pressure to pulverise us is unwise. I've spent far too many festive seasons flat-out with fatigue, unable to enjoy family gatherings to the full, simply too exhausted to participate. I don't want to repeat the experience. I'm sure you don't either. 

These are the people I love, the ones I rarely get to spend enough quality time with, the very ones I am spending time, money and energy on. Though I know they'd rather happily eschew the gifts in exchange for a more rested mum and grandma being available to them.

Will you pause with me? Even taking a few moments to stretch will help us to feel less tense. Let's pause, ponder and pray, invite God to show us what matters most to Him and what our major focus needs to be.

Pause for breath

Earth slows and I too pause for breath, marking
the moment with honoured awareness, as time
slips toward twilight hour and thoughts cease

to collide. Now they simply coalesce like
November mist vanishing into vapour
stilled, at rest. And I rewind the day's

activities, seeking solace in surrender
while my mind sinks into somnolence
and quietude breeds deeper gratitude

Stress, worry, rush and haste become defused as we pause and pray. Seeds of serenity are sown best in the soil of calm quietude. From there, we can move forward with God's wisdom and discernment guiding our steps, ushering us into His peace. We can be people who habitually take a holy pause and live with deeper gratitude. Will you join me?

Joy Lenton is a grateful grace dweller, contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger, author of 'Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life's hard places'

She enjoys encouraging others on their journey of life and faith at her blogs wordsofjoy.me and poetryjoy.com as she seeks to discover the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal. 

You can connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.


  1. Dear Joy, These are such lovely thoughts on a morning that is filled with tension for me. Oh to slow down and know that "quietude breeds deeper gratitude," as I shift my focus on the Presence of our Lord's coming. He is here with us! What a blessed thought that would drive away the tension of the season if I will let Him have me here. Thank you sweet friend for your words of peace today. Hugs and Blessings to you!

    1. Bettie, I am so thankful to have been given words to write that have spoken to you today. It's a timely reminder to my own frantic soul as well! May you sink ever deeper into God's rest and exchange your anxiety for His peace. He meets with us right where we are, always ready to soothe our fretful souls. Hang on to the reassuring thought that "He is here with us!" Bless you, dear friend. xo

  2. So needed to hear this today after our first chat about planning for Christmas this morning!!! Thank you Joy! It can be done more mindfully and differently! Bless you friend xx

    1. You're welcome, Jenneth! It's good to hear this post was timely for you. It's a message I definitely need to be reminded of myself! Bless you, friend. I appreciate you leaving a comment here. xo

  3. Beautiful poetic prose, Joy.

    1. Thanks, Sue! Strangely, I tend to lean more toward the poetic when I feel extra fatigued. Prose becomes harder to construct with a weary brain! Bless you, friend.


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