Pumpkin Stands For Pause

From the desk of Kelsey Buell,

Wait, what?

How the heck does pumpkin stand for pause?

Well…maybe it doesn’t quite stand for pause, but let me tell you a little bit more about the correlation I experienced this past weekend. 🙂

Let’s hear the backstory…

First off – I am one who has always thought making your “word of the year” was kind of a dumb practice. I don’t know why, but I often thought to myself  “why does it matter?…..or how could that really benefit me? I mean, a word is just a word…how can that carry weight?”

Well, this year – I gave in.

At one of our Flourish Group meetings we were joined by the incredible Heather Ostrowski (if you don’t know her, you should seriously meet her! She’s awesome.) She helped us walk through an exercise to define this year’s word of the year.

The word I ended up choosing was the word “pause”.

This word has played an immeasurable role in my daily life.

Before I jump into a project…I pause.

Before I speak….I pause.

Before I jump out of my car in the morning to head into the office…I pause.

And when  I pause, I take time to pray, think, or just plain breathe.

Utilizing my word of the year, pause, has helped me to be much more intentional both in my words but also in my actions.

Now, back to the present:

I was grateful to have a weekend this past weekend where my family was truly able to “pause.” 

The business of the summer has had us running around like chickens with our heads cut off. It has been extremely fun, don’t get me wrong, but we had the opportunity to truly have a weekend of “pause.”

One of the things I decided to do on Sunday afternoon was to go for a walk. Just me and little June Bug.

We ventured off. The weather was warm. The air was crisp. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon.

As we were walking, we stumbled upon this sweet little sign and arrangement of pumpkins.

Now if you know anything about me, as much as  I would love to be into home decor, who has time for that?! (Am I right?!)

So I couldn’t help but snag a couple.

I scooped up one larger one and one smaller one. I placed the larger one in the basket of the stroller and then I placed the smaller one in June’s hand.

As we walked away from this sweet gesture, it had me thinking about the additional benefits of pausing.

Taking time to pause also allows us to find the joy in life.

It allows us to see that there is still good in the world.

It allowed time and space for someone else to help me. (No seriously, now I have two cute pumpkins I can place on my island in my kitchen so I feel like I have a little bit of fall decor!).

It allowed me to get out in nature and feel grounded.

I was able to enjoy the day and practice gratitude.

Here’s a sweet photo of my and little June Bug. She’s holding the small green pumpkin, which was giving her so much joy!

Why is it important as a leader to take time to “pause”?

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Leaders often make crucial decisions under pressure. This can involve taking a moment to gather all available information, considering potential consequences, and reflecting on the values and goals of the organization. 
  • Stress Management: The demands of leadership can be stressful. Pausing regularly to manage stress and prevent burnout. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or short breaks can help leaders regain composure and maintain emotional balance.
  • Setting an Example: Leaders who practice pause in their daily lives set a positive example for their team members. When employees see their leaders taking the time to consider their actions and reactions, it encourages them to do the same. 
  • Empathy and Compassion: Pausing to consider the feelings and perspectives of others is a key component of empathy and compassion.
  • Adaptability: In a constantly changing world, leaders who can pause and adapt to new situations and challenges are more likely to succeed. Encourage leaders to embrace change with a willingness to pause and learn as they go.

Incorporating “pause” into leadership practices can foster a more mindful, empathetic, and effective leadership style. By taking the time to reflect and respond thoughtfully, leaders can enhance their relationships with their teams and lead with greater impact.

Let’s think more deeply about how this applies to the Christian faith.

The Bible contains several teachings and principles that highlight the importance of being intentional, thinking strategically, and exercising wisdom before speaking or taking action. Here are some reasons why this is emphasized:

  • Avoiding Hasty Decisions: Making quick decisions without careful consideration can lead to mistakes and undesirable outcomes. Proverbs 21:5 states: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5, ESV)
  • Guarding Your Words: The Bible frequently emphasizes the importance of guarding one’s speech. Proverbs 13:3 highlights the significance of thinking before speaking: “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3, ESV)
  • Seeking God’s Guidance: The Bible encourages believers to seek God’s guidance in their decision-making processes. Proverbs 3:6 advises acknowledging God in all your ways, which implies seeking His wisdom before taking action: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6, ESV)
  • Promoting Peace and Understanding: Intentional and strategic communication promotes peace and understanding among individuals. James 1:19 advises being “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,” which underscores the importance of thoughtful listening and measured responses. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19, ESV)

In summary, the Bible teaches that intentional, strategic thinking, and seeking God’s guidance are important for making wise decisions, avoiding hasty actions, guarding one’s words, and promoting peace and understanding. Taking the time to think before speaking or acting can lead to more prudent, fruitful, and God-honoring choices in various aspects of life.

Want to learn more about how you can incorporate “pause” into your life? Check out our Resilience Multiplier Course today! We have some amazing facilitators starting this fall.

One of the topics is setting unbreakable boundaries which involves knowing your values and taking time to pause. Check it out: LINK

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