I was thinking today, after a full and busy week, how many moments I have taken for granted. Not the big important moments, but the little small ones that got away from me. I don’t think I’ve so much forsaken moments or memories with my family, those have always been priorities for me. My husband and I have grown (and it’s a growth process) fairly good at saying “no” and choosing home and family above simply busyness. I think if I’m really honest it’s actually time itself that I miss. I remember when my son was little, he would take 3 naps a day. I was always very big on schedules and so I set my schedule around his so that he slept, ate, and played with a routine. Yup, I’m all about the routine and structure. I’m just designed that way, I guess. God made me to be a person of order – it is one of my gifts (that I must be mindful does not turn into a curse). But, I think of all that “free” nap time and wonder if I should have been more productive, more constructive, more organized? Did I redeem the time – did I exchange the moments for the appropriate amount of memories and tangible results?
Like every woman, I’ve gone through my share of hobbies and pastimes. I don’t think I’ve ever had that “one” thing I was extraordinary at – the one gift or talent that was marketable or stood out among the rest. I’ve dabbled in this and that and probably been a little above average, at best. There was the scrapbooking phase – oh, the photos I cropped and cut into circles adorned with decorative scissors and cute stickers. Haha! I even took on a little scrapbooking business convinced I would create amazing albums and inspire others to do the same…not! Really, who has time for that?! I have gone through sewing phases where I picked up a few little things here and there and was so excited to create something from scratch. Toss in a little jewelry making, toll painting, and other miscellaneous ventures and you get a regular smorgasbord of creativity. But, alas, not one that really “stuck.”
I think at the root of it all is truly…time! In the midst of the have-tos and the must-dos, there really is not a vast amount of free time. Even for a mom of one! Between my fervent desire to stay on top of the schedules and committments and make sure my home and family are cared for and established in a routine, while giving it all 110%, there just aren’t a lot of free moments. And really – truly – when I’m done doing what I must do, what I want to do is…nothing. Where does the have-to end and the want-to begin? They intermingle for me and there is a bit of a constant battle between choices and the energy and time required to accomplish them. And…lets just make it clear that the moments when I’m exhausted, or I’ve worked myself into sickness, and I’m rendered useless and motionless – they don’t count as free time! ;)
I’m certain there have been many wasted moments. I’ll always look back on my son being little and wish I could have a few of those moments back – to just sit and watch him grow – slowly. I’ll fondly remember when my husband and I first married – we worked and played and it all seems like a lifetime ago. I remember being completely healthy with no ailments or issues and I wish I appreciated it more fully. I never thought to really stop and savor every second of more carefree times. Hindsight is 20/20, or so the saying goes.
The lesson in it all? Stop and smell the roses? Appreciate the little things? Don’t sweat the small stuff? Maybe, but not so much. I don’t think that’s the pace we live in anymore – and I just don’t think we can function and be productive that way – without being bogged down with guilt and uncertainty. I think the lesson really is to just…be. To seek God and be wise. Redeem the time and be mindful. To fix our hearts on what we feel truly called to, in each moment, and be purposeful. Mindful that time is fleeting – it passes far more quickly than we can ever imagine and nothing beyond the precise moment we are in, is promised to us. I think we do the best we can and when we think we’ve done our best we strive for something a little better. And, when we don’t hit those marks at all, we remember, that there is grace in all things and we let it go. We don’t beat ourselves up, but we press on – move forward to the next moment and when it turns out right, we savor it. We were designed to bring glory to God, we are not perfect, and there is glory in learning from our mistakes and finding rest in grace and forgiveness. The next moment, the next opportunity, is just around the corner and the one before it – well, its gone. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.