I want to begin by dedicating with post to a dear friend of our family who passed away last Tuesday morning into glory, the presence of his dear and beloved Savior.
As I go through life I tend to catch myself in discontentment. Not major, down-in-the-dumps, miserable depression, but moments of "If things were this way...." These snapshot thoughts of mine go against my hopeful romance. They are my fleshly reaction when things aren't the way I want things to be.
When my sister, Abigail, was born, I remember holding her, delighting in her new life. I stroked her tiny, soft hands, kissed her tender cheeks, stroked the silky head, but yet there was a fleeting thought, "I wish she could smile at me..."
My little brother, John-David. I was almost 7 when he was born. For the longest time, I filled the "firstborn son" role. Yep, if Daddy was away I took out the garbage, I killed any unwanted pests that came into the house, I did any heavy lifting, etc, etc, etc. As I looked at the happy, giggling 2-year-old with a pack of fruit snacks in one hand, sippy cup in the other, I longed, sometimes even laughingly, "Can you grow up a little faster?"
I always wanted an older brother. My mom miscarried hers and my dad's first baby, the one right before me. He would have been 20 now. All my life, "Lord, why? Didn't You know how much I wanted an older sibling?" Even though I knew that it couldn't be undone.
God has a distinct and specific purpose for everything.
These thoughts, though they seemed fleeting and innocent at the time, are deadly. They wreak havoc in the mind, open the door for major discontentment, which ultimately leads to depression. But it's a slow, steady process of allowing those tiny thoughts to perpetrate my mind.
This is a video that I made for my dad as a father's day gift 3.5 years ago.
This song, Turn Around Slowly teaches a simple truth. The truth of that hopeful romance that I was talking so much about in my last post.
Live in this moment.
Love in this moment.
Thank God for this moment.
It's so easy for me to get caught up in how things could be. "What would my life be like if...?" Or to dream about what might be coming next. "When I get married...", "When I have kids...", "When we record a CD..."
Where is my gratitude? Where is my contentment? Where is my perspective?
God has given me each of these moments as a gift. Every breath that I take is ordained by Him. He knows me, knows my heart, knows what's best for me. When I am living in this truth, it helps me to "see" like a child again.
"She said, 'Look at me, Daddy, and love me this moment
this moment is all that we have...'"
Abigail is almost 6 years old now. She no longer has those tiny baby hands and silky baby fuzz on her head. That moment went by so quickly! But what do I have in this moment? Her smile. Is nearly contagious, revealing that adorable tiny dimple on one side.
John-David is 12 now. No longer a giggly toddler, toting snacks and juice, but a boy quickly maturing to manhood before my very eyes. Where did the time go?
My older brother, in heaven. I later realized that if he had been born, I wouldn't have been. Our pregnancies were too close together for it to have been possible for both of us to have been born. He died, I lived.
"Turn around slowly, treasure your days here.
These precious moments may come to be rare..."
I would like to take a moment to tell you about the man to whom I dedicated this post.
About a year ago, a family in our church bought a piece of property that had a house on it with an attached apartment for the reasons of having the father's parents living with them. The grandfather had Alzheimer's, and it was difficult for him to do anything for himself. He could barely communicate verbally.
This grandfather was a godly man. He and his wife loved each other dearly. They invested heavily into their children, the grandfather taught his son amazing wood-working skills, work ethic, and most importantly, a love for God. It was this love for God that kindled within the son the obedience to honor his father and mother, by caring for them in their old age-- even though it was difficult.
Every week at church, we would watch the father and son interact. It was hard to watch the decline in the father's health. But he always had a smile on his face-- almost every time I saw him, he had a huge grin on his face that just lit up the room. When I would greet him on Sunday mornings, the love that spilled from his face touched my heart.
When we pray for someone with Alzheimer's, what do we hope will happen? That they will be healed and back to their "normal" selves?
Don't despise the moment. Don't despise that beautiful smile. I know his son longed to hear his father's voice, at least say his name, once more. But as he watched his father tap his foot to the rhythm of the music that he and his children played one night, he knew he couldn't look back and miss this precious moment. We all smiled and laughed when the grandfather noticed that one of the dads in the church had missed a belt loop. The way he would waved and smile at my baby brother warmed my heart. These moments were precious, and they have now come to be rare. Yes, how we would have praised God for his healing, but now we praise God for those precious memories. Those beautiful, smiling eyes, "Love me this moment..."
Don't live for what could be. Don't spend your life allowing those seemingly innocent thoughts of "what if" to flit about your heart. Live in this moment. Love in this moment. It is a gift from the Lord-- cherish it. These precious moments may come to be rare...