When Time Stands Still

One of my most difficult, painful, and frightening years also became my best. In a very strange way. If God had given me a choice, I would’ve taken a major detour, skipping past 2012 entirely. And yet, had I done that, I would’ve missed the deep sense of God’s presence as He met with me in my broken state each morning. I would’ve missed the clear and priority-changing realization that, in my times of health, I’d allowed so many insignificant things to distract me from what was most important.

In 2012, it felt as if my fast-moving, goal-oriented world came to a stop, and today I praise God for that because there is much that can be learned when time stands still. Today fellow ACFW author, Annslee Urban, shares what she’s learned about time standing still.

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When time stands still

Annslee Urban

Time is a funny thing. It is infinite, ever moving forward. Ticking, ticking, ticking on, marking new days, new lives, new memories.

I refer to the best memories in my life as, “when life stands still.” In those precious moments, extraneous distractions fade away, only the joy of the moment remains. Like the first time I held each of my children. Indescribable joy. Pure and real. A feeling of completeness and love. Or my first kiss. Pretty incredible.

And then there was one Alaskan hike, five kids in tow trudging through the forest, laughing, sharing tall tales, allowing time to stand still. And of course, our infamous camping trip. Rained poured, tent got flooded and the kids were hungry. So, we took shelter in our minivan and ate chocolate ice cream for dinner. Plastic forks. Styrofoam cups. Happy children.

Simpler moments have also stopped time. Watching my sleeping babies. Welcoming a grandchild into the world. A long walk through the woods. A great conversation with my husband or a friend.

There have been many moments that have been frozen in time. Forever, engraved in my mind. If I had to power to change anything, I would worry less, enjoy more moments and make more memories.sunset-silhouette-1412362-m

Even amidst the busyness in life, time can still. Here’s some simple measures to help slow the hands on the clock, long enough to create a lifetime memory.

  • Don’t let time get away. Block off your schedule. Plan something fun and stick to your plan. Involve those you love.
  • Laugh often. Love much. Find the joy in life. Embrace it. Be ever thankful and forever in awe of the world we live in and the people God put in your life. Laugh with them. Enjoy times together.
  • Live in the Moment. Live just for today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t dwell on the past. Enjoy the day the Lord has given you and feel blessed.
  • Capture time. Take pictures and have fun taking them. Be silly. Mark adventures. Share with others and reminisce.
  • Study God’s word. God is the best budgeter of time. He created it and created you. Get to know him. Let him guide your path. Blessings and memories are sure to follow.

Another day passes. Another begins. Time ticks on. Don’t let a memory pass you by. Let time stand still.

Ecclesiastes 8:15New International Version (NIV)

15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

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Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.

Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she moved to Western Pennsylvania, before setting in North Carolina with her husband and children. Aside from writing, Annslee works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and has served as on the board of Carolina Christian Writers.

When she isn’t writing, Annslee enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, playing with grandbabies and all things chocolate!

You can reach Annslee at: annsleeurban@gmail.com



Let’s talk about this! How often have you chosen to clear out your calendar so you could simply be–spending time with God, livingbygracepic.jpfamily, or just soaking up the beauty of the day? Is that easy for you to do? What about when life gets crazy? What are some ways you create margins in your life when it feels as if you’re running short on time? Share your thougths here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.

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    1. It is for me, too, Robin! I love how you make it a priority by making first things first and starting your quiet time when you first get up. 🙂 Before the craziness of the day starts!

  1. It’s weird I on the other hand have more than enough time but I still have to wait to fit in somebody else’s schedule when it comes to family. But I take whatever I can get and it actually means more to me to cherish the time with family.

    1. Oh, interesting point! And boy, do I understand what you mean! Seems my husband and I are often waiting for our teenage daughter to have time to spend with us. 🙂 Homework! Oy!

  2. Hi Jennifer. Even with my busy schedule, I have to etch out a sliver of time to spend with the Lord. I work 9 to 10 hours days at the pharmacy followed by my time writing. If I don’t make myself do it, no one will. How? I post a verse across my social media every single day from the special time I spend with my best Friend in the morning. If you don’t see it, you know I’ve dropped the ball or slept in! LOL

    1. Oh, wow, Renee, you are busy! And yet, what an inspiration to us all! If you can set time aside to be with God, as busy as you are, then I certainly have no excuse for allowing my relationship with Him to slide. Thanks so much for your inspiring comment. 🙂

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