“Not reaching back for what was lost in my yesterdays. And not reaching for what I hope will be in my tomorrow. But living fully with what is right in front of me. And truly seeing the gift of this moment.” ~Lysa TerKeurst
I’m sitting in my dad’s big chair, drinking my dark roast with two healthy(as in giant) and delicious pumps of pumpkin. Because Fall isn’t here, but pumpkin is, so I’ll drink it to my heart’s content. I’m surrounded by girls this weekend, which is unfamiliar. I have just one little girl in my house, and she’s surrounded by boys, so sometimes her girliness gets drowned out by Star Wars and Xbox and ESPN. But today I’m seeing it in all it’s glory. And it’s so sweet.
My sister has 4 kids, 3 are girls. They all spent the night at my mom and dad’s last night so they could play with Lila. We left the boys at home to do their sports thing and decided to road trip just the two of us. Sometimes it takes getting away from all of your ordinary to see things in a new way. I’m with little miss thing all the time. But life gets loud and I don’t always see her for who she is. I see laundry and to do list’s and school lunches, but sometimes the very essence of who my kids are escapes me. Why is that?
“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” ~Anne Lamott
So, when we escape for a while and find ourselves in a different living room with different dolls and the surrounding of all that is comfortable and fun, she comes to life even more. She comes fully and ferociously into girl world. Jumping with both feet in to experience all the wonder that is being a kid. The dolls and the stroller’s and the portable doll potty all become real to her, to them. The girls squeal and play and make-believe and somehow with the presence of 4 of them, it’s all magnified, as if I’ve never even seen it before.
It’s so innocent really, the way kids play. It makes me want to keep them small forever. Their joy is so simply placed. Like they make it look easy to be joyful. They find it in the normal places. They sing and dance and have parties. They are currently upstairs playing instruments, some real, some pretend, singing their hearts out for absolutely no one. And I’m sitting in a chair, still drinking coffee. If the boys were the ones up there at now nearly 11am, an outside run would be in order. Some tackle football in the grass or a trip to the park. But not the girls. They are perfectly content in their own little world.
I wish I was better at that. Being ok where I am and in my own skin and my own world. That I could find more joy in the simple places. I used to be so good at it, and I still see glimpses of that girl from time to time. The sight of a mountain literally makes me cry. It’s ridiculous really. Those two shots of pumpkin in my coffee freaking made my day. But, why is it that those two things(seeing mountains and taking time to enjoy my coffee) are things that happen when I’m out of my normal routine? I want to reclaim that simple joy in my every day life, and to do that, I have to slow the heck down. I need to see life more like my kids do. Simple and lovely and FUN.
It’s something I’m working on in this season of de-cluttering my life. Weeding out the unhealthy. The crazy busy schedule that only Superman(or woman) could keep or the relationships that don’t add anything of value, the need to perfect and work, to perform and produce. To simply be. Because I’ve always been someone who seems to find joy in the small things, it’s the pace I sometimes keep that stops that from happening. Like these little sillies I’ve been watching all weekend. So perfectly happy and content to play in the sprinkler’s and be with each other. Either still or on the move, they are so ok right where they are.
“Many of the most deeply spiritual moments of my life haven’t happened just in my mind or in my soul. They happened while holding my son in the middle of the night, or watching the water break along the shore, or around my table, watching the people I love feel nourished in all sorts of ways.” – Shauna Niequist
I’m always amazed how much I learn from just watching kids be kids. I remember not wanting to grow up. Because being a grown up just seemed stupid to me. You get old and enter hard places( I couldn’t see all the good that would come too), you make hard decisions and lose your innocence and care freeness. But that’s not entirely true. There is SO much good that comes in this season too. I’m learning, as a grown up, to adopt this same sense of self and wonder with the world. To appreciate the simplicity of the things in my every day life. Some of them suck. Let’s be real. Like dishes and laundry and hard conversations. Like seeing a loved one suffering and losing themselves to an ugly disease.
But the story God is weaving, through the good and the bad, is still good. Because He works all things together for that, for the good. His good and our good. Not our good feelings. Not our good earthly outcome. But our eternal good. Meaning we may not see it now, or ever. But it’s there. Etching its way into our lives and our stories. For His good. Meaning He gets the glory and fame from our lives. because he IS good. And so much of that comes from being still, and being ok with where we are. With who we are. In having, and choosing, joy. In enjoying that giant cup of coffee even though it’s probably staining your teeth or the walk on the beach. Being ok with the laundry or the story time instead of the laundry. The late night talks with our kids and the road trips. The good the bad and the ugly. All of it. Just be still and enjoy.
….”Be not afraid, my dear one. He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Be still and know. Be still. Be. It starts with ‘be.’ Just be, dear one.” ~From Shauna Niequist’s Present Over Perfect
This is Lila helping my dad get his feet on the foot rest’s of his wheel chair. Be still my heart.
She LOVED playing in this recliner. Like it was a roller coaster and trampoline and surf board all rolled into one. It entertained her, so whatever man.