Finding Joy in This Season
The other day, Matt walked into the kitchen and saw me holding one of Cyrus's tiny shoes in my hand. He asked what I was doing and I told him that one day I am going to come across these shoes in disbelief that Cyrus ever fit in them, reminiscent on this season. One day I am going to miss days like these. Days filled with naps and sticky, grubby hands and little inflatable pools and that tired feeling that only young mamas understand. And it makes me realize that if I'm not careful, I'll miss it while it's still in front of me.
If I'm being honest, I spend so much of my time stressing about school and to-do lists and petty, worldly things. I'm perpetually longing for the next season, when I won't be so tired, when I won't be in school any more, when things will be easier. But I know deep down it is a dangerous lie that keeps so many of us from really living, because the best is always yet to come. But I'm proposing something kind of crazy: what if we treated each day, each season, like the best is now? What if these are the days? It doesn't mean we stop investing in our futures, or that we even stop dreaming or goal setting or looking forward to what lies ahead. It just means that one day things will be different, and something in us is going to long for the things that were lost.
So I'm going to try harder to be present and grateful in the small moments, the stressful moments, the quiet and the hard moments. I'm going to spend more time memorizing every precious dimple on my son's face than checking likes on instagram. I'm going to opt for the sand box or the kiddy pool, even if it means another bath, or another mess to clean up. I'm going to work at making healthier choices for my body and spirit so that the next season will be just as fruitful.
And in moments when I feel that tiny urge well up inside me to get off the couch or off my phone or computer, I am going to work harder to respond. I'm going to spend the evening around a fire pit with my people when everything in me wants to shut my brain off and throw on another episode of Parenthood. Being in the moment, present and alert, doesn't come naturally for me. But I notice how much more fulfilling my days are when I fully engage myself with the people and things around me.
I notice that this new way of living is easiest when I'm looking for the beauty, writing down the things I'm thankful for, and cultivating a mindset of positivity. Author, Shauna Niequist talks about a prolonged period of time when she stopped investing in her soul, until the time came when all the other areas began to suffer. I think investing in your soul begins with making peace with your life now, or taking steps today towards reaching that place. I sometimes forget that joy is a command to be taken seriously.
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances."
I share this to say that maybe I'm not the only one. Maybe we can work on this thing together. A beautiful life begins with finding beauty in today, in this very moment.
Food for thought: Jim Elliot says, "wherever you are, be all there." What is something that keeps you from being "all there"? What is one change you can make this week in order to be more present and engaged?