My word for the year.
Being present in the moment, thinking of the present, not yesterday or tomorrow, seeing even the difficult as a present, a gift, that the Lord's hand is upon.
It's nearly the half way mark and we're challenged to check in on our word, how it has changed us, how we've practiced it and how we might want to try to live it out more effectively.
The biggest change for me this year has been practicing not letting the past affect today.
I've had some big things in my past haunt me and I tell you I'm bound and determined to close the door, to not ruminate, to not let those things seep into the beauty of today. It takes such mental practice to stop the thoughts right in their tracks, to stop the enemy from robbing joy. It is getting easier and I know the Lord is growing me up in this way. I'm so grateful and it makes me feel stronger in my faith, seeing that it really works.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5
This goes for the future as well. In January I wrote that I was so excited to see the plans the Lord has set out for this year. It hasn't been as smooth as I would have liked. We began, just days into the new year with the unexpected death of our 11-year-old four legged baby Bella. And much of this year has been sprinkled with discovering developmental delays and learning challenges for one of our children. They're subtle, but still it's affecting a lot of decisions for the future for our whole family. I haven't written about it here, but it has been heavy on my mind and prayer life. In this process of evaulations and assessments and suggestions from experts there are words thrown out and diagnosis that sometimes sound so negative for a girl like me who can start spinning. But I am trusting the Lord has His hand upon this as well.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
It takes practice to rest in Him, to rest in His peace, to just rest in the PRESENT. I haven't been very good at this in my life. But in the past couple of years, He's teaching me. So often we don't learn when it's easy do we? It takes practice and we're given circumstances to practice. Seeing the blessing in the circumstances is changing me.
I was thinking the other day in terms of general sadness over life circumstances, not the big things, but the little things that sort of bum you out. And I know we all know this, but it was like the Lord took me by the shoulders and reminded me that I have him within me, He is a part of me and that is just so, so amazing and reason to rejoice from the mountain tops. If I have Him by my side, walking through all of this with me, why in the world am I letting these petty things that are going to be a blip on the map of my life bring me down. Really. Think of the amazing gift you've been given of knowing Him and calling Him friend. Snapped me out of my mood I tell you.
I think the best part of practicing being PRESENT is I'm learning to lean on God. Really, truly, know He's in control.
It's so easy to say it, but to feel it. That has been a struggle for me for years.
One of the biggest ways I wanted to practice being PRESENT is with my family. I have mourned over the fact that it felt like those newborn years would be here forever and suddenly they're gone. We're in a new phase of life of school and schedules, practices and lots of miles on the road. I yearn for those simple days of naps and park outings and mommy and me music classes. But you know, I totally acknowledge that those days had challenges of their own and I didn't always find them blissful the way I reminisce about them today.
I know that one day I'll look back on today and all this craziness and be reminiscent wishing it hadn't flown by so quickly. I'm realizing the only way to not look back and feel remorse about the days gone by is to really truly be present with my kids, to soak in all the little stories and joys and outings and miles on the road to and from school and schedules.
I will miss this one day. So I want to lock it in my mind, in my memory by being present, really truly present. And I want my kids to know I cared about the little details of their lives, I wasn't just shuttling from one thing to another in a hurry to check off our to do list. I want to be a part of their world, of their lives, their little moments.
I want to feel the moment. Do you know what I mean? The way you remember the smell of your newborn's skin, the softness of their fuzzy hair. Each and every phase has it's own visceral memories. If I'm present today, I'll have them to hold onto forever.
|el capitan july 2008|
I still need to work on being even more present when I'm making dinner and they want me to come see something or when I need to answer a call or an email and a little one is tugging at my arm. It's all about balance isn't it? Some things are urgent, but a lot aren't.
This is where I've made an intentional effort to be more selfless.
Sometimes it's hard though. I'll feel just plain tired. But I'm aware of that nudging from the Holy Spirit to get up, to push past my tiredness for them, so they know I truly care about their cares.
These are the little things that matter to them. This is what makes them feel loved and how I can build them up. And I can't get this present back.
I'm seeing more and more the present of my husband. How grateful I am for him and how much I need to treasure our moments together as the gift they are and let him know how much I treasure him. We're in such a good place of truly being friends and partners leading our little ones to know and love the Lord and growing up our family prayerfully to glorify Him. I feel the Lord so strongly in his life as the leader of our home and and sense how He has knit us together stronger than we were before.
I have one more take on being present and it should have been first, it certainly is foremost in my life. To be present with God. To focus in my prayer and quiet time, to talk to him as the friend He is. To be present with him all throughout my day and to talk freely about Him to others when the opportunity arises.
A verse that has been coming to me time and again especially in regards to the future is:
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
When I start to veer from being present, to thinking about the past or worrying about the future I think of Him and I think of how He works all things for good. I've seen it happen, so who am I to doubt. When I start to let the worry or anxiety creep in I have to stop and remember all I have to do is seek after Him. He's there, He knows. And it's ok, for me to not understand. All I need to do is trust.