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  • Writer's picturealliemacs

Enjoy the Moment.

Yesterday I took Wes in for his kindergarten assessment - how is this kid going to be in full-time Kindergarten next year? (sniffle, sniffle) "Come on back with me Wesley" the teacher said, and he just went right back with her. Lucy and Will were SO clingy and apprehensive and crying when they had to leave me - all the way until 1st grade! And Wes just marches back without a second thought about leaving mom. Third child? I should be happy about that, right? Those clingy days were SO hard and I probably shed just as many tears as the kids. And I really am relieved, but a part of me mourns that those days are gone. Why is the grass is always greener on the other side?

After that, he wanted to go to a park we hadn't been to in awhile. So we went and there were all these moms having playdates with their picnic lunches, strollers and all their gear, chasing little tots all over the place. Looking around, I realized Wes was the oldest one there. I slowly began to notice that he was outgrowing the park. The slides that used to seem so big for him, he just slides down on no problem. The swings I used to push him on for what seemed like an eternity - now all the swings in this park are so low that his feet skid in the sand. I remember being exhausted chasing everyone around, and every time I sat down and started having a conversation with a friend, someone started crying and the conversation was halted. Then after calming whoever down, you go back to your friend and can't remember what in the heck you were talking about. How many conversations did we start and not finish? Too many to count. (This does still happen - just not like it used to) I remember being so tired and just wishing my kids were older and more self sufficient.

"When they are out of diapers..."

"When they can go to the bathroom by themselves..."

"When they don't need me to feed them..."

"When they can carry their own stuff..."

"When I don't have to do every single thing for them..."

Well, I'm out of those stages. I'm there. And what do I find myself doing? I think about "when they will be able to stay at home by themselves," "When they can remember what they need for school," and so on. When, when, when. Always thinking into the future (or being sad about the past).

Right in the middle of writing this, a friend called. She had been at a book signing of a local business owner (Janelle Bruland) who wrote a book called The Success Lie. My friend raved about the book and read me a quote from it that she loved. The quote was so relevant to what I'd been feeling and writing about, it definitely felt like a Godwink.

"Today, I will live today. Yesterday is past. Tomorrow is not yet. I’m left with today. So, today, I will live today.

Relive yesterday? No. I will learn from it. I will seek mercy for it. I will take joy in it. But I won’t live in it. The sun has set on yesterday.

The sun has yet to rise on tomorrow. Worry about the future? To what gain? It deserves a glance, nothing more. I can’t change tomorrow until tomorrow.

Today I will live today. I will face today’s challenges with today’s strength. I will dance today’s waltz with today’s music. I will celebrate today’s opportunities with today’s hope.

Today. May I laugh, listen, learn, and love today. And, tomorrow, if it comes, may I do so again.”

-Max Lucado

Godwinks always seem to happen in the present. If I'd been too busy to answer the phone, I wouldn't have heard this quote and I absolutely LOVE it. What does this teach me? Don't mourn the past and my babies growing up. Don't worry about the future and when they'll be able to _______. Enjoy where they are at today, at this moment.

Now that I think about it, this message has been popping up all over the place for me.

I look out my window. The berry fields surrounding our house look pretty sad. Maybe not to anyone else, but to a girl that's grown up on a berry farm her whole life, I know what they look like on a good year. The winter did a lot of damage and there is so much bare and brown where there should be fullness of green bushy leaves, getting ready to flower in the next months and then turn to berries in the summer. Less green, means less berries. It's not looking like a good year for raspberry farmers. I know my Dad and brothers are disappointed. Yet when I've seen them lately, they strangely seem in good moods. I know they may have had their moment of mourning that it will be a down year, but at the same time, they've been doing this long enough to know that in farming, there are good years and bad years. They've learned that stressing out about things they can't control doesn't do them any good. Farmers can teach us a lot. Don't stress over things out of your control.

Josh's small group has been reading a book called Respectable Sins, by Jerry Bridges. One of the sins they've discussed in the book is worry. Killing, adultery - we know those are bad. But worry. I don't always try to stop myself from worrying or regret. I've had times where I let myself sit and sulk in it. But when in the heck is the last time that something positive came out of worry or regret. Let me know if you think of something, because I can't. It's sickening to think of the time wasted worrying. WORRY + REGRET = ANXIETY. And anxiety only leads to illness, whether it's physical or mental.

When we choose to live in the moment, we are more open to seeing and hearing the messages that God is sending to us. The sooner we get those messages, the faster we'll be back on track. When we live in the past or the future, our eyes are shielded and our ears are covered to what's actually happening around us. I know I've felt that way before. Get me the hell off that hamster wheel - it's self sabotage! All we can do is our best TODAY, in this moment. Isn't that what we want to be demonstrating to our kids too? I know it's a daily practice for me, as I so easily fall back into the regret/worry cycle. For some ideas on how to live mindfully in the present, check out this post.

Life is crazy. Parenting is crazy. Being present is easier said than done. And even though I've heard "enjoy the moment, they grow up so fast" it a million times (and I may have rolled my eyes most times), I continue to learn this lesson over and over again. The days do feel long sometimes, but the years are short. So this weekend, give whoever you're with your full attention (including yourself). Cheers to putting your phone down, looking into someone's eyes, listening with your full attention, laughing, and loving whoever you're with.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present. - Alice Morse Earle
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