How to Live in the Present

Margaret —  December 25, 2013 — 42 Comments

How to Live in the Present

If only I can get through this season of life.

I just can’t wait until graduation... finances are in order… life becomes easier.

Counting down the days until vacation.

I wish I had a spouse… a child… a family…a job.

I’ve been known to whisper a few of those things before. How about you?

Even as children of God, we can be guilty of wishing away seasons of life. Instead of engaging in the present, our eyes are glued to the future.

We can miss out on the grace available to us right here. Right now.

Today, will you accept the challenge to live fully in the moment?

Here are 4 ways to begin living present starting today:

  1. Foster an attitude of gratitude. [Tweet this] Paul challenges us to give thanks in all circumstances, even those that seem undeserving of thanks. In other words, the focus isn’t on expressing gratitude every moment, but in the midst of every situation—despite the ease or difficulty of the circumstances.
  2. Slow down your daily pace. [Tweet this] Instead of rushing from one event to the next, take a long, hard look at your schedule for the week ahead. Allow buffer time before meetings, activities, or events. Choose to fully engage wherever you are. Turn off your phone. Play with your children. Really listen to your co-workers or friends.
  3. Partake in life-giving activities. [Tweet this] Each week, find something to do that breathes life and joy into your soul—an activity that rejuvenates you. For some, that could be reading your favorite book or jamming out to your favorite playlist. For others, that may be jogging through the neighborhood or hiking on a nearby trail. Still others may love to window-shop or paint and sculpt. Whatever you choose, carve time to do something that excites and replenishes you.
  4. Do one thing at a time. [Tweet this] While this isn’t possible in all situations (sometimes you just have to chat on the phone, while washing the dog, and checking email), attempt to engage in one thing at a time. While there is beauty (and efficiency) in multi-tasking, uni-tasking allows us to fully participate and give our very best to one thing at a time. 

As you choose to live in the present starting today, may you lay hold of the wonder and joy that is available right here and right now—no matter what situation you’re facing.

*Original Photo Source


Holy is the Day (Giveaway and an Interview with @CarolynWeber) @ivpbooksThis week I'm giving away THREE copies of Carolyn Weber's new book, Holy is the DayAuthor of the critically acclaimed memoir Surprised by OxfordCarolyn Weber currently resides in Southwestern Canada, with her husband and four spirited children.

Carolyn’s book was a breath of fresh air as I was reminded of the daily battle and beauty to live in the present moment. Her hope and prayer is that each reader will experience “the vibrancy of the everyday—of God’s kingdom truly at hand—for all of us.”

How to Live in the Present (Giveaway and an Interview with @CarolynWeber) @ivpbooks

To win ONE of THREE copies of Holy is the Day, leave a comment below. Winners will be selected and announced on Friday.

Congratulations to the winners: Deanna, Sandi, Shanna Goodnight

What has been one of the biggest challenges of living in the present for you? Share below and be entered to win a copy of Holy is the Day.

42 responses to How to Live in the Present

  1. Thank-you for your post this morning. Christmas can be a very lonely time for many people who are going through difficult circumstances.

  2. Blessed Christmas, Margaret!

    This sounds like a good book for my New Year’s resolution to live in the moment and to be grateful for each moment.

    May this year ahead for you be filled with healing and joy!

  3. A hard lesson to learn indeed! I wish I could go back and choose to learn it before I was forced to learn it…but JOY I’m so glad I’ve finally picked up on the lesson. He will give us exactly what we need for today (some times it wasn’t what we were looking for, expected or even wanted) but I know when I’ve reflected back at the end of the day I’ve often said, “wow I made it,how did that happen?” And there is always only one answer…Jesus.
    I’ve been thinking of you noth often the last few weeks…prayers for a wonder-filled Christmas today! Much love from both of us. Hugs

  4. Thank you for sharing this gift today. I needed to read it and I will try to adapt these concepts!

  5. Thanks need that reminder!

  6. Cherishing each moment during change is a goal whether it is during good times or struggling times. Walking with God and listening to His direction is wonderful!

  7. I am love this! I can;t tell you how many times I have not taken the time just to enjoy going somewhere to enjoy the moment. I used to go listen to the water come from the dam, or sit at a picnic table and watch the ducks “talk” to each other at the lake. I need to remind myself to just take time and relax and enjoy life again. Thank you so much for this! Hope you have a great Christmas and enjoy time with family.


  8. Pain. Physical and emotional pain is the biggest obstacle. Thanks for the giveaway and book recommendation.

    Blessed Christmas to you! Praying for zero right now.

  9. Merry Christmas!! My one word for 2014 is Presence. This book would be great to steer me in the direction of being fully present in His Holy Presence.

  10. Thank you for the reminders-need to read this every day!

  11. Oh, I need this book! Merry Christmas!

  12. It’s christmas morning, watching it snow and, feeling blessed and peaceful….I want this feeling to continue thru all of next year by living each day fully….I need to read this book for sure.

  13. The biggest struggle for me to live in the moment has come about from being newly widowed after 46 years of marriage. at first I found myself looking for any small reason to be grateful but that has gotten harder to do since I do not feel emotionally safe right now I feel more concerned about aging and illness and what will happen if I cant take care of myself later . I trust in God but going through the debilitating illness of my husband has left me shaken and concerned . I have real trouble focusing on the here and now. Thank you.

  14. Thanks for the reminders. I ask God to keep give me focus and to bring to my attention what I should do next. My choices / tasks are many. I have to stop and call them blessings and ask for guidance.

  15. What a timely message as I was just writing a blog post about my ingrained (?) “need” at the end of year to review the past and plan for the future. Its a struggle to not wish somethings had turned out differently and resolve to do better, be better, make something better … when perhaps God just wants us to be. Its tough and I’d love to win what sounds like a wonderful book.
    Thank you for the opportunity Margaret!
    Love to all now and throughout the New Year.

  16. Jesus is the one who can help us to live the present. He forgave our past, and He has a plan for our future. So we can be focused in the present with Him. Praise be to God.

  17. I am loving your books and I think a book about living in the present would be helpful in my life! Merry Christmas!

  18. Worry keeps me from living fully in the present. It comes from being future focused. As I look at the things that might happen, the unknowns begin to capture my attention and I can fixate on them. Living in the present is like Jesus admonition not to worry about tomorrow, but to consider the Lillies. Hmmm. I like that, and needed the reminder as we look toward uncertain health issues with my husband.

  19. Would love a copy!!

  20. Recently read daily scriptures on many areas – when a situation keeps
    going on & on like for me financial
    Yet other areas are resolved, like renewed family togetherness, I get a glimpse of lightness! Yet, I need to develop a new financial prayer –
    a plan to set me free, my car is now
    setting waiting for a resolution. I have no idea how it will turn out! I know the prayer Jesus asked Bartmaeyus ” what can I do for you?” I’v searched for over 2 years for a job. Failing I do know brought Jesus so close, it’s grace!

  21. Feeling in need of a breath of fresh air. Thank you for this blog post…

  22. The past, it’s hurts and failures keep tugging at me drawing me out of the moment and into a time I can no longer impact. Being grateful is a great tool for living in the moment.

  23. Living in the present can truly be so difficult. I wear a necklace that says “now” as my physical reminder to be in the moment – engage, connect, listen effectively and lean in to feel whatever is going on in that particular time and space. This is a big challenge for me as I am wired to go, go, go and continuously multitask, especially in my head. I am thinking about a gizillion things as well as forging through those rooted memories of the past and my dismal worries of the future. Stay in the moment, be present and don’t miss out on the precence of our God…that’s a daily difficulty. Sounds like the book will be a good read

  24. Merry Christmas! Would love to read it and work on practicing this discipline for sure!

    Blessings on you 2014 Margaret!

  25. One of the biggest challenges about living in the present is when the present is very painful. It is those times when offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving is a giant struggle. It is those moments (which my last for days or months or years) that life presents challenges that leaving me wondering about His Love for me. It those moments that scream, “This doesn’t look like something you have allowed for your glory or my good.” When the present seems so painful or ugly or overwhelming, it is those times that I want to retreat or run and not look back. It is those times when my faith struggles to believe all the truths and all the promises I have hidden in my heart.

  26. I too am guilty of trying to rush through the seasons of life. My sweet husband gently asked me to not take on anything extra in 2014. I’ve agreed! God gently reminds me in HIs word through a very familiar passage to live in the moment: “THIS is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. He’s given me THIS day to live for HIm, to live in the present, and to savor each moment He has in store.

    I can’t change the past, can’t see the future, but in the present, I can enjoy the journey, hand in hand with Jesus. Living each moment to it’s fullest all the while desiring nothing more than a closer walk with Him!

  27. My biggest challenge in living in the present is that the past hurts will repeat themselves.

  28. A great reminder Margaret! Thank you. After coming to The Lord almost six years ago I prayed daily for a softening of my husbands heart. 2013 Brought the answer to my prayers and I can happily say that my season of waiting for my husband to have a relationship with Jesus has come to a wonderful end! It wasn’t until I read your post that I realized I still am waiting……to be more disciplined, a “better” Christian, etc. help me Lord to be in the PRESENT!

  29. “He does not have plans for calamity”. Reading that brought tears to my eyes. It is the reminder I needed today. I want to stand on that truth today.

  30. I used to live in the future, but I’ve slowed down. I think it was by accident. I’m grateful for your explanation here so that I can better help those I love to do appreciate the power of the moment.

  31. Michele Barzal-BonEnfant December 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Praying for you, Leif and Hershey!

    Sending lots of love…..

  32. Margaret,
    Thank you so much for this post! My husband is a pastor at a church that is new for us and not only that, we have to move from VIrginia to Texas! Needless to say, I’m scared stiff! New church, new home, new friends (yet to be made). An ever-present reminder to live in the moment and not live three and four steps ahead of myself is something my husband tends to be for me. He’s always telling me to slow down, take it one step at a time, one thing at a time. The first steps are often the most important because they can shape the rest of the journey, he says. Again, thank you!
    Shanna Goodnight
    Praying for 0

  33. I always think life will get easier and somehow I’m surprised when it’s not. Would love the book!

  34. Living in the present is a life challenge for me. I find that it is important that I am very conscious of my life style of living in the future. This is because in the past I traveled globally and it required me to communicate with partners about the future trips. I find it necessary to remind myself daily that people around me are important and to spend time with those around me, and to not only have my eyes and heart on the future.

  35. Amen and amen! This is truly the key to peace, joy, mental stability and spiritual maturity. This sounds like a wonderful book I’d like to read. Mahalo!

  36. Distractions are my biggest obstacle. From my cell phone,to my boss to family.

  37. I want to stop the “what if?” life.

  38. Margaret, thank you for your faith
    For extending your love to so many.
    2013 was truly a hard year!
    2014 my word is Confidence.
    It’s beginning to look a lot like

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