Sunday, September 26, 2010

the gift of the present

  As I was coming home from the mall the other day, I made a phone call to a friend and she teased me about being at the mall in the middle of the day....the thing is, I squeezed in the mall trip in order to get my mom's birthday gift and some favors for the dinner we were having for her birthday (which was the next day).  I commented that it would be nice to have the cushion of that I'm not running around the day before the event, trying to pull things together.  But, that's not the season that I'm in at this time. 
 Right now, I'm:
* working at being a present and attentive wife (you can't take a vacation from your marriage...ever)
* running a household of 5 (6 if you count my mother in law who lives with us)
* home schooling 3 kids (high school, middle school, elementary school)
* teaching every week in a co-op class
* helping with administration for a home school basketball ministry
* making time for friends and family (relationships take time and nurturing in order to grow)
* exercising regularly (heck, I'm 42...I've gotta do something or it all goes south!)
* probably some others...but my mind is too jumbled to think of them
So, my husband gently pointed out that I was spending too much of my time complaining about the busyness.  And that rather than complaining about the busy-ness and the lack of time, I needed to refocus and be thankful for the fullness and the overflowing of all that's in my life. 
Then on Friday, I sat at dinner with one of my mom's friends who had lost her husband of many years to cancer.  He'd battled cancer for 12 years.  (I'm sure our sitting together was one of those Divine Appointments.)  She is a widow now and rather than cry about how lonely she was, she told me that she's enjoying this season of her life.  Of course, she would rather have her husband with her...but she's able to focus on the blessings that are around her. 
For example, she was having 6 orphans from Africa to spend the night at her house while they were here touring with a choir.  Her husband wouldn't have really encouraged that and so now that she's alone she can open up her home in ways that she couldn't when they were a couple and she needed to think of his feelings and desires. 
 She said, that when she was a mother raising her 5 kids, she couldn't imagine how she'd survive when her kids went off to school and careers.  So, she asked the Lord to help her to enjoy each season that He placed her in.  She didn't want to miss the blessings of the present over fears of the future or wistfulness over the past. 
 She said, that He'd done just that....He allowed her the gift of enjoying the right now.  When she prayed that prayer, I'm not sure she had any idea of what the future held.  But of course, none of us have any idea of what our futures hold.  What a blessing it was to talk to her and be encouraged to enjoy the here and now.  So, currently I am honing my focus in on all that I have and all the blessings in my life.  I'm sure I'll need to readjust it from time to time (in all honesty), but I'm thankful to the Lord sending me people who can speak truth into this season of my life...I don't want to miss a minute of the joy because we all know how fast the seasons fly. 
{all the photos are from a special afternoon that John Samuel and I spent together at a local park}


Anonymous said...

That's beautiful mom! You're so specile and wonderful. I love you so much!


Anonymous said...

Oops i meant special!


Debi said...

What a beautiful post.

Stephanie said...

Lovely post. It's hard to stay in the present at times and this is such a great reminder to do so, because like you said the seasons do fly by!

Sally said...

wow -- that was EXACTLY what i needed to read today. thank you ~

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

You put it all so well. Life is full of seasons and taking advantage of the moments is so, so important. (So cool that you captured that turtle picture).

Kristyn Knits said...

It's so comforting to know that He sends just the people we need in the season we're in. While your season is really full, never loose sight of the ones you bless each and every day and the overflowing love we have for you! awesome pictures of one great day with jammer. xoxoxo

Larissa said...

So perfectly put, Lisa. I think about this balance of busyness versus enjoying the moment all the time. I studied gerontology as part of my master's degree in Atlanta and for a paper i interviewed women in their eighties and nineties who had lost many loved ones and overcome many struggles during their lives and they all told me the same thing - continue to look forward and count your blessings.

Thank you for this beautiful post. I see you are already focusing on the blessing in your life by taking your guy to the park and focusing on so much beauty - your photos are amazing!

Kelly said...

That is such a beautiful sentiment. I too am working on relaxing (how ironic) and enjoying each season of life.

Sewn With Grace said...

You are so right, about all of it. It is hard to focus on the present and count it as joy when there is so much to be done and often we are so tired. But we are not promised tomorrow so to be present in our todays are what matter. Thank you for the reminder. God Bless!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

What a beautiful post! A lovely reminder to all of us no matter where we are in our lives to focus and be present!!! Love it Lisa.

a friend to knit with said...

oh, lisa. that was SUCH a beautiful post! i, too, am working on this... and trying to instill it in my children. instead of worrying about what may not even come.. enjoy the now.

and please tell your maggie that i was thinking of looking up the word "specile" . i was certain you were teaching her something i didn't know! :)

From All Stitched Up said...

I love,love,love your post. It is what I've been working on for awhile and this is a great reminder! What a perfect reminder. I love your turtle too. I haven't seen a turtle in ages!!

PurlingPenny said...

Thanks so much for this encouraging post. I'm dealing with a rebellious teen these days, and needed to hear again that this is a season, and change will happen in His time. Bible study last evening focused on how we loose our hungry for God by filling up with the "junk" of life. My busyness is so often just the "junk" taking over.

Christina said...

Just the thought I needed today. Thanks! : )

wayside wanderer said...

What a beautiful and encouraging post. Right now I am wrestling with a Hard Thing and I keep trying to be thankful for it because I see God using it to change me and make me more like Him, but it is still a Hard Thing so even being thankful is work. Thank you for these sweet words and God bless you today.

Imene said...

It is oh so true. Sometimes the busyness of our lives makes us forget the blessings we have. Thank you so much for the reminder

hazel said...

Such a lovely post Lisa and how wise the lady was that sat next to you. I was only 48 when my husband died (23years ago) and I was determine that I would swim and not sink. It was not the life I choose but I have made the best of it and have lots of happy memories of my previous life.

You have taken some beautiful photos and are very talented in all that you are achieving.

Thank you for sharing.
Hazel (UK)

Gloria said...

I love these Divine moments. You shared this so beautifully through your words and photos!
All of us have SO much to be grateful for, at any Season of life, if we just look for those blessings given to us!
Thanks for sharing...:)
Sweet blessings to you,
Gloria @}~`}~~~

Firefly said...

What a wonderfully wise and thoughtful post - and so much truth in what you say.
I have to say, I'm enjoying my 'season' of middle age very much!

Tracy said...

Such inspiration here, Lisa... so much food for thought--thank you for this! We are just returned from an impromptu trip, which was wonderful, and I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that needed doing. Taking time to re-balance, and see where the time is spent, is a good time. Keeping it all in perspective. And the seasons are good to learn these lessons from. LOVE the photos here too. These musings were just what I needed today. Thanks, again! :o) ((HUGS))

The WoodLand School said...

Such lovely words, Lisa ... and so true! Thank you for sharing!