Thursday, December 29, 2011


I'm learning. A lot lately. A lot about becoming a big girl. And it feels good.

Maybe you're like me and you rush around from moment to moment, I wonder if you are but I know the answer because we all find ourselves chained to thoughts 5 minutes ahead of us, never realizing when we're actually living them. I can think and think for weeks about Christmas and our trip to Ohio, and before we have even boarded a plane to go will feel sad and distraught at the thought of saying goodbye to our loved ones again and how I'm going to lift a 70 pound Christmas tree to the crawl space when I get home. I'm realizing, when I live in the future, I miss God in the present.

I'm reading a book called One Thousand Gifts, and the idea is that we have been given gifts each moment, each day, no matter how trivial they seem and we can choose to receive with thankfulness the carefully wrapped gifts of comfy socks, and birds chirping, or throw the entire package in the trash. I'm learning to live in right now, the only moment I've been given grace enough for and to slow down long enough to experience God's grace right now, where it's offered to me.

"On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur." -Evelyn Underhill

So I'm trying, to stop in the moments, and realize. To slow down and look around. To take in 360 degrees of my life one moment at a time. And today, I caught a glimpse of the gift.

It was wrapped in the package of my little daughter. Falling asleep in my arms long enough for me to witness road maps on her eyelids, and to trace the ski slope that swoops down her nose. When the little girl ceased from singing and hitting, dancing and dress-up long enough for me to sing to her, brush her hair from her sleepy face and whisper to her how fast she's growing up.
I realize that just (what likely seemed like) yesterday a mother held my same sleeping self, and traced my young face with the same panicked desire to stop time long enough to absorb a moment. And there, in that chair, holding my bundle of 3-year-old, slipping my finger into her hand and listening to her slow breath, picturing someday in the near future how she'll be too old, and too smart to let me steal those moments, I received gift upon gift of the moment as the clock moved from 2:16 to 2:15.

I know the next moment after I shut the door would quickly start the sand falling through hourglass life I lead again, but I had a moment to realize what I have, to appreciate, and to thank God. You see, I can spend so much time seeing what I lack, that I fail to realize how full my hands are. So much time wasted with thoughts of calories and checklists, split ends and menus that I blur right past a God with outstretched hands, leaving tire tracks over gift upon gift. Voskamp writes in her book: "Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be affronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur? The very same surging magnificence that cascades over our every day here. Who has time or eyes to notice?"

Today, thank God, I did.


Ashley said...

I love that book! I have had it for at least six months and I'm not finished with it yet... taking it in so slowly and digesting it. It really is an eyeopener. I have come to understand that every sin begins with unthankfulness... It' a really a really crazy thing how obeying that one little phrase all over the Bible "give thanks" can transform a perspective. :)

Travis & Kira said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you for posting it, I appreciate your insight and I agree that we can most enjoy life when we stop to realize how blessed we are. Why is the stopping part so difficult for us women? You are not alone by any means. :)

Jenn said...

I just read your blog. I'm so proud to have you as a daughter-in-law.