Joy in the Moments

This fall marked the bittersweet sendoff of my youngest to full-day
school. Ouch. Letting go hurt more
than I ever imagined it would, but left to sit in my emptier nest, I learned a
few things. Predictably, God navigated and instructed this mama’s smarting heart
through the pain, to a better place…
…The joy place…
In the cool of the morning, as my treasures spill out of the
car and run, backpacked, to meet their classes, the car becomes suddenly,
eerily, silent. All the pandemonium of the past two hours—a whirlwind of bed
sheets, lunchboxes and traffic lights–gives way to peace as I drive off into
my day.
In theory, anyway.
Sometimes in the space of my stilled car, that void rightly pangs. It’s in the silence that the
regrets of a frenzied morning settle…mistakes already scarring a still-young
day. Remorse hangs heavy as I realize: I won’t see my kids again for seven long
hours. No longer submerged in the minutia of the minute, my lens widens; perspective
floods; life is a vapor again, and I see the years for what they are: fleeting.
Precious.
Grace–yes, certainly. But there’s no thing more weighty
than a mama’s regret…
The void especially smarts on days like today…days when I
wake up the worst version of myself, and take it out on my unsuspecting family.
And I continue my rant all the way to school, only to buckle under the
crippling guilt that descends the moment my passengers happily escape my wrath in
the parking lot.
As my heart bleeds out, I plead desperately that the Lord
would hold theirs–mend them; redeem the venomous words that spewed from my
mouth. And most of all, fill them with assurance of how much—so painfully much—their broken mama loves
them, heart and soul. Three o’clock seems
an eternity…
I long for more
moments…
On good mornings and bad, I inevitably return to an empty,
still house—that has become my own classroom of sorts. For it’s here that I
sit. Open my Bible. Seek after Him who has the answers. And I’m continually
convicted to do better. To maximize each precious moment with the gifts He’s
given me, age ten and seven…that some day, too soon, will leave my nest for
good.
“See then that you
walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the
days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)
I’m learning to revel in the fullness of each moment with my
children. But not for the purpose of packing them full—frantically attempting
to fit it all in, as the time ticks apathetically away. No, for the purpose of
LIVING each blessed one. Fully engaged. Primed to grasp the joy available to me,
if only I’ll slow enough to take notice; if only I’ll not squander the seconds
the Time Keeper’s given.
Further, I’m learning to resist the urge to mourn moments
past—days I can never recapture of my kids’ childhoods—and instead embrace the
present, for all it possesses. For all its joy-potential. A cup overflowing,
this journey called parenthood…each twist and turn, an opportunity for
abundance.
And I’m learning not to waste moments fearing the future. All
the change and phases and rights of passage that can straight terrify a mama’s heart;
all that’s at stake if we don’t steer our young ones right; all the sleepless
hours spent ruminating over what could be…Be
still. I’ve got them.
He whispers calm into my quaking spirit.
Most
importantly, I’m learning to invite God into each sacred moment, asking him to
multiply them, in both quantity and quality. Especially during the school year
when time with our children is short; the Mountain Mover can certainly aid us
in carving out space–fertile ground for nurturing the relationships He’s given.
Joy in the moments…
I don’t want to live in regret…in the calm after the
morning’s hurried storm, harsh words spoken in stress, racing for a deadline. After
all, deadlines are just that: dead. Life
comes from slowing; noticing; appreciating. The rush smothers.

With
summer upon us, time is ripe with opportunity, so let’s go picking, moms. Seize
those joy-moments with your kids. It’s a prime time to make memories: treasures
of the mind.

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