The Simplicity of Observation

Sitting on the cold garden bench I noticed the hint of green on the brown tapestry of soil. I got closer and saw one of the carrot seeds from the previous season had decided to press through the soil now, six months late. I smiled at the thought of late bloomers. Poor little guy would never make it in this cold, but he gave it a valiant effort.

The Lord drew my mind to Psalm 1. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

In the right season, when the timing is right, the Lord will bring forth fruit from those who are planted there, near Him. Those whose roots are deep in the Word and whose nourishment is coming from truth rather than the lies of the world.

I praised God for the moment to be observant of what He was teaching me through a little green leaf.

It is often in those moments of observation that the Lord opens my eyes to a lesson He is teaching me. He highlights an exchange with my son or the color in the sunset or the detail in how a bird is responding to the seed just outside the window.

So how can you and I be more observant? How can we cease the moment in this frantic world, in these busy lives, to observe what the Lord is speaking to our spirit?

  1. It requires slowing down. I can be so quick to get to the next thing that I miss the moment right here. Seasons of life feel so long while we are navigating them, but later in reflection they often seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. When my boys were small the rush to get shoes on and get out the door to an appointment on time often led to chaos and tears, sometimes from them too. Looking back though, the slow moments soaked in a book on the couch are the gems I am grateful for. observing, soaking in and just slowing down helped hold us in the weight of the moment and now the memory.
  2. It requires noticing. Taking the time to notice the gift of the moment, the person, the conversation, the details. To notice is to observe. To look at it afresh and turn the moment over in our heart causes it to stand out. On a walk along the shore in the evening, our boys walked ahead of us, talking and teasing one another. The brotherhood and friendship lightened my soul when I observed it, noticing the joy of the moment. Noticing requires looking and framing the moment in our minds.
  3. It requires naming. The pinning down of a moment by naming it is invaluable. I often name the gifts the Lord has displayed before me by writing them in my gratitude journal. The pink in the sunset tonight. The scent of my son lingering in his room. The sounds of laughter in a father and son exchange. I list them, name them and thank God for each one. Observing these gifts isn’t enough. They require the pinned down of naming and giving thanks for them. They then become the treasures I can hold for years.

Have you been observant of what the Lord has placed around you?

Today ley’s be intentional to slow down, notice the gift and name it in gratitude to the Lord for the joy of the moment. Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, (James 1:17).

Taking time to observe the truths in God’s Word is another treasure worth gathering. Drop your email below and get Tools for Tending your Soul.


About Me

I’m Mariel & I invite you to greater intimacy with God through His Word for yourself, using my TEND method of Bible study.

11 thoughts on “The Simplicity of Observation”

  1. Visiting you via Five MInute Friday. (I think I also recognize your name from the Lenten series by Summer Joy Gross, yes?)
    This idea of slowing down is one I’ve been thinking on for a long time now. Good to be reminded. And I agree that naming things is so helpful! It deepens our joy, I think. Gretchen Rubin, a student of happiness and habits, has said that in order to experience the most joy from a moment, we not only anticipate and savor it, we appreciate and recall it. Naming things really does matter.
    Beautiful piece, Mariel!

    • Yes, that was me in Summer’s group, Amanda! Thank you for stopping by, I am grateful to have blessed you with my words. Love that quote by Gretchen Rubin, it is so true. Thank you for sharing that!

  2. I love those little lessons…so valuable and so sweet to learn but that take observation. I find so often they are outside and in nature – one place that I so often resist. I’m so an indoorsy girl. And when I am outside, I’m usually rushing. That needs to change – thanks for the reminder!

  3. Great post! I cherish those moments when God speaks like that. I believe they are invitations from Him to have a further conversation. So much of the revelation I receive started out by Him nudging me to observe something more closely.

  4. Mariel, I have read quite a few posts on this word today, but I like your approach to what we’re observing and how we’re observing. I’m all for slowing down, so I don’t miss what the Lord places in my day, for He is faithful to bless me in so many tiny ways!

  5. I admit that I am usually too engrossed in imaginary worlds and forgetting to look up once in a while and look around. Life is so fleeting. I need to remind myself to stop what I’m doing and breathe the fresh air and listen to the nature around me. 🙂

  6. Gotta slow down, notice. name,
    read God’s flowing story,
    but I’m after my own fame
    and the lights of glory.
    I really should pay more attention
    to the things God says,
    but I need a mention
    in tomorrow’s press,
    ’cause I chose the writing life,
    and self-publicity
    (though it irritates my wife)
    is that which brings the gravy,
    and God (so truly full of grace)
    will just have to take second place.


Leave a Comment