Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Savor Every Moment

Do you ever get so wrapped up in all your thoughts, the “to do” lists, the pile of paperwork, the book that you want to read, the book that you need to read, the homeschooling lessons needing to be prepared, the house projects that need to be done, the meals to be planned, the shopping lists and clipped coupons that must be gathered for the frugal hunt...only to find that you’re rushing through your life at full steam ahead? Mindlessly (or mindFULLY, rather) distracted? Mission (or “to do” list) conquering oriented?

Yesterday...God got my attention.

This morning...He got it once again!

“Savor every moment you can capture!”

Faith asked to have a fire in the fire pit last night for roasting marshmallows. So she spent a good part of her afternoon collecting the wood and piling it up nicely next to the pit, gathering up newspapers and the sticks for the marshmallows. (She would have gathered those up too had I not been a mom long enough to know they should live on a very high shelf in the pantry :). She was ready and excited.

Last night was also my Precepts Bible Study class. Brianne and I are in the middle of the study on Grace which is very good...I highly recommend it! :) Anyhow, I had opted to not go to the class because I was feeling so overwhelmed with my “to do” list that I thought my 2 hours could have been better spent at home tackling, and crossing off, more items on the list.

So...I am home. To my children, that means I am available, right?

Faith asked me to join in the fire pit gathering, as did each of the older boys. I kept saying “yeah...I’ll be there in a minute.” But guess what, that minute never came.

Oh, it was there all right. I have all of the minutes that they had, that you have, I hadn’t lost any...I wasn’t short-changed...I had just decided that my minutes were too important, too precious to be spent outside looking at a fire.

Jesse brought me 2 roasted marshmallows to devour as I relentlessly worked over the calculator and my notes. My neck was getting stiff, my bum was sore from sitting at my desk for so long and I was missing out on a memory.

Now in all fairness, will my children remember 10 years from now whether or not I joined them that night for marshmallows around a smoky fire pit? No, probably not. But several evenings with an empty chair set for Mom will be marked in their hearts.

But “I have so much to do!”... "So much is dependent upon me getting my stuff done!”... "I am accountable before God and my husband to be faithful to my responsibilities!” Yes...that is true, so what is the balance?

Nate toddled in after awhile. He had had an exhausting day being a 19 month old little boy! He grabbed his blanket off the floor, stuck his thumb in his mouth and asked for (in his toddler-ese language) a Baby Einstein DVD. So I popped one in and he climbed up on the couch and snuggled up with his “lovie” and personal, built in pacifier.

I smiled at him, thinking how cute he was and had the thought pass by, ever fleetingly, that I should snuggle up and watch with him. I decided maybe tomorrow...I really wanted to get that project I was working on done with. And anyhow, hadn’t I stayed home from bible study for that purpose! Okay...he is happy and content, the others are happily outside, so off I go to finish my task...unbothered...

Now fast forward to this morning.

I was working on that bible study when God brought to mind the words to a song that I love.

sometimes we forget the sound of our own laughter

sometimes we move too swiftly toward the ‘ever after’

we forget exactly what we are after

far too soon we skip the book to read the final chapter

but I will savor every moment I can capture...of this life profound

There you go...there I am...forgetting, moving, skipping and not always capturing.

Forgetting...how quickly the moments turn into days which turn into a lifetime—this short, precious, one and only profound (or not) lifetime.

Forgetting...how blessed I am of God to have been chosen to mother these children and walk alongside this handsome man of mine.

Forgetting...that my life is most rewarding, most joyful when I walk remembering that my purpose is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Catechism) and notice all the God-stops along the way, pointing them out to those along for the ride with me, and stopping to see the God-stops they have to share with me.

Moving...throughout my day to accomplish those things which seem urgent, but really are not crucially important.

Moving...those important ones to the “waiting area” of my mind intending to give them attention when things settle down a bit and I am more on top of my world.

Moving...to finish the race without fully noticing, seizing moments and enjoying the journey.

Skipping...the pages of the book that are being written daily by my children.

Skipping...the moments that are here so briefly yet are so profound in forming us and others thinking that “I’ll catch the next one” without realizing there is no guarantee of a “next one”.

Skipping...the little pauses along the way to hug, laugh, smile, dance, twirl, sip cocoa, draw with crayons, roast a marshmallow, snuggle with a blanket and a tired toddler...

My love may never really “fail” my children (1 Corinthians 13:8), but it gets busy with things that they don’t see or understand. I allow this busy-ness to swallow me up at times so that the love gets poured out a little less than it should. Less than I’d like.

Thank you, God, for getting my attention today! Thank you for knowing my heart wants to love and mother and wife in such a different way that I wouldn’t want them to miss out on these savoring moments. Thank you for loving me enough to not want me to miss out on them!

Now...that “to do” list is still there. I crossed off a lot of things yesterday, but you know there is always more. (That’s not even counting the things that I remember and do that weren’t even on the list. Anyone else ever add them so that you can cross it off with the rest! :)

Today I will go back to consciously working at involving my children to work alongside me in the completion of those tasks. For the ones that I alone can do (and need a quiet mind in which to do them) I will pray and ask God to give me that time and be willing to put the work down when the time is over, even if the work is not.

I will put in the forefront of my mind the desire to capture teachable, loveable or funny moments in the making and then savor them to the fullest.

And most of all, I am going to smile at my children a lot today! Smile and be sweet!

The furrowed brow and strained face of a women with a lot on her plate and a lot on her mind is not going to be remembered as a “martyr” by her children for how “humbly, devoted and servant-like” she tackled her duties and carried the weight of the world...nope, she will only be remembered as a short-tempered Mama who didn’t have time to stop and smell the dandelions.

Thank you for those lives you’ve blessed my life with, Father. Thank you for the joys along this journey. Continue to help me capture and savor each and every one! Amen