My dad is flying off to Germany today, so I called him last night for a little chat, since it had been awhile. Whenever we talk, he always wants to know that we’re all okay, that we’re happy and healthy and feeling good about life, and if we’re not, then he wants to convince me that things are better than they seem at the moment.:)
So we talked about what the kids are up to, and about parenting, and he said, “We need to be intentional. There needs to be a way to enjoy the moment as much as we can, because it passes too quickly.”
It reminded me of something Ann Voskamp wrote years ago:
When I fully enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.
Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.
I’ve thought about that often over the years since I read it – time slows down when I am fully here, in this moment. When I stop being distracted, and stop wishing for anything different than what I have right now. When I use all my senses to savor everything I can about that moment.
And I think Ann Voskamp is right – the moments stay with us in sharp clarity when we take them time to really live them, and become aware to the fullest sense. I can look back over my life and remember times when everything stood still and I was fully there….
The night Anika was born, and I stayed awake all night, even though I was exhausted, just listening to her and Ben breathing softly on either side of me.
Slowly walking through all the rooms of the little house we built for the last time before we moved away to live at camp.
A particularly beautiful sunset at the lake, or a morning when I skipped breakfast and went down to the water because it was like a perfect mirror.
Standing in the hallway of our little house, right where I could see both Anika and Kaylia asleep in their rooms, overwhelmed by the fact that after years of waiting, I was finally the mother of children (plural!!) and my heart was overflowing.
Coming into the room and just stopping right there in the doorway, watching Anika holding Kaylia in the rocker, thinking about all the years she’d prayed for a baby sister.
Walking down the road at camp in winter with my eyes closed, so I could focus on the smell of wood stoves and pine trees, and listen to the snow crunching.
Turning to see Everett for the first time after he was born, hardly able to believe he was here, surprised by how light his hair was and thinking about how he looked exactly like Ben.
Feeling Everett put his little arms around my neck, and thinking how I wanted to remember the moment for my whole life.
Lying on a blanket under the trees in our backyard, and consciously thinking about how the sun felt on my face, the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the feeling of having my little family around me, the luxury of having absolutely nothing else to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I could go on and on. Beautiful moments, clear memories that are mine to think over, and add to whenever I choose to slow down and think fully about what I am experiencing in that moment.
I’m learning that it can be done in the most ordinary of moments – this morning I stopped myself just to listen to the silence in our house, thinking about my peacefully sleeping family, filling myself up for the loud, crazy day ahead. Everyone is here, and everyone is happy, and someday, it will not be this way. I don’t want to ruin a beautiful day by getting depressed about that, or bring stress into the moment by adding tons of pressure TO ENJOY EVERYTHING and live a life of scarcity.
Rather, I just want to be aware of blessings, and not take them for granted. I want to be intentional with my moments, my memories.
So if you stopped right now, and sat there really quietly, making yourself aware of what you are feeling in your body, anything nice you might be smelling or hearing or seeing, what would you notice? Can you slow the current down right now, just for a second? I would love to hear what you become aware of!