Take a Moment

"Take a moment" by Deanna Bartalini (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2017 Deanna Bartalini. Image created in Canva. All rights reserved.

The holidays are coming. Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Year’s all in one huge whoosh and then just when you think you can breathe again … it’s Lent! Please don’t stop reading, I have a thought (or two) that may help.

For the last 20 years or so I have worked in a parish in various highly visible positions. People stopped me constantly with a great idea or better way to do some task or another event to add to the schedule. It was very tiring and often at an inconvenient time, because dismissal for 300 children from religious education class is the perfect time to have a serious conversation, right?

I digress, back to helpful thoughts. When people rush at you or even one person rushing at you to do this VERY IMPORTANT THING, listen, smile, nod and then take a moment to stop, hit the pause button and change your thought, reaction, words from negative to positive, from critical to helpful, from grating to grateful. I’ve learned to take a moment and frame my response. We all know that words cannot be taken back once they are said. And while we may want the response to be “yes” don’t say answer right away. Say, “that’s sounds like fun but I need to check my main calendar before I let you know,” or whatever is appropriate. No one really needs to know immediately unless it involves the ER. Try not to get drawn in to others’ needs if those needs will become your problems. Remember “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Take a moment.

The moment helps me to remember that I am not in control, God is; I need to call on the Holy Spirit, not only in difficult times but in good times as well. The Spirit will help me do the right thing. It may be saying yes, or it may be saying no.

As I write this I realize that some of us can say yes to many things due to our personality or state in life. Don’t worry if others say yes more than you do; do what God is calling you to and let go of the rest.

Copyright 2017 Deanna Bartalini


About Author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She and her husband Deacon John have two married children and a grandson. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog, and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com. Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She has written “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” one book in the series of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.


  1. This made my day. I have been struggling with a comment made by a good friend who is also the Godfather to my son. I married my husband who lives in another state and hence had to move. My life has changed completely. In these couple of years I have seen sickness, hospitals, death of our loved one, more sickness and terminal illness. I also had to commute 50 kilometres daily to work which was new for me since I am from a small town. The weather and new family all contributed to me placing my husband and family needs first. But my friend commented this year – you took 2 years to return to ministry after your marriage. I felt so broken. But your article has helped me.

    • Thank you Megna, change can be difficult but I think placing your husband and family first is important. We can’t do everything and sometimes people place demands on us that are not helpful. I hope you have a blessed Advent.

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