Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Dearest Readers:

Merry Christmas, World. It is early morning on Christmas Day. A day to reflect. A day to pause. A day to remember and appreciate the true reason for the season. A day to pray and give thanks. Christmas Day 2013 – a day to appreciate all there is.

Last evening, my husband and I made a new tradition — one we haven’t done in a few years. Somehow, life got in the way and we broke the tradition of going to church. I found excuses. “I cannot find a church I truly like.” Another excuse — “That church is too big. We simply blend into the wood work.” Excuses. EXCUSES. So many excuses.

Monday afternoon while reading e-mails, I came across an e-mail from Seacoast Church, only this time, I actually ‘paused’ — taking the time to READ this e-mail. I discovered they were having a church service with Christmas music on Christmas Eve. I booked a reservation and last night, we went to the Christmas Eve service. Sitting in the back, when the music started, I was moved. Touched. Chills rushed throughout my body. My eyes watered. There, sitting next to my husband, I PAUSED.

What? You might be saying? Why are you writing “pause” or “Paused” so much?

So simple. Last night while sitting in church listening to the service, the sermon was simple — the subject — “Pause.” I decided I must “pause” more. Let’s discuss the definition of ‘pause.’ PAUSE, “a temporary stop. A period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again. A control that you use when you want to stop.”

Yes, it is true. I need to PAUSE more! I need to reflect, appreciate, and consider my actions BEFORE I speak. There have been many times in my lifetime where I have reacted without consideration of my actions. For that, I am sorry. From this day forward, I will PAUSE. I will REFLECT and consider for every action, there is a reaction. From this day forward, when I feel I am hanging on the end of a tight rope, I will PAUSE.

Today, I have a new meaning for the Christmas season. I’ve always considered myself as a religious woman. While it is true, I do not preach the gospel to others, I do remind people that we must be nice. Normally, when someone or something bothers me, I kill with kindness. I smile a sweet smile, and I do my best not to offend others. Yes, I am opinionated and I do speak my mind, but I really do consider my actions; however, I am human and I do have a quick temper when someone ruffles my feathers. Starting today, I will pause, before I speak. I will reflect.

Last night at church, something happened to me. As stated, I had chills rushing through my body. I felt a power I haven’t felt in many years and I know it was the power of God touching me. This morning, while I await my husband getting out of bed so we can exchange our gifts, I feel different. I suppose a simple five letter word touched me, teaching me to appreciate. To reflect. To rewind. To refresh. To pause.

Today is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to God. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to Jesus. Merry Christmas, World. Please take a moment to give thanks. To appreciate your life and your loved ones. Mostly, take time — TO PAUSE!

Thank you, Seacoast Church for teaching me to PAUSE!

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