Stop and Smell

Life feels content. Life is settled, happy, and for the most part, normal. (I didn’t think I’d ever say that word again…) We all seem to be in an emotionally stable place around here. We are busy, motivated, caught up and rested. Life is good.

For once in my adult life, I seem to have maintained order in the house for more than 24 hours. The dishes are done, the toys tucked away, laundry folded, kids slumbering, and dinner prepped for tonight. We are going to the indoor swimming pool after naps, and I thought it’s about due to write something.

But, what is something to write about?

Hmmmm. I’d say, peace. Some good ol’ quiet, clean, peace.

I got my bi-annual haircut yesterday. (The pro of having long hair, if I do say so myself.) When you get your hair trimmed twice a year, there is a good deal of catching up to do with your stylist— just enough to keep a good, hearty conversation going for the full cut. But after zipping up my coat and opening the salon door, I realized I had entirely forgotten the biggest update of our whole lives! I didn’t even mention seminary, nor that we were moving!

I wasn’t about to roll back in there and be like, “Oh, and I forgot to tell you— we are moving to Minnesota.” I love my haircutter, and she probably would have loved the random gossip tidbit of my life, but the cut was done, thus the opportunity.

And I questioned myself later, “Why did seminary and moving not even cross my mind? Like, it wasn’t even in my brain! There we were, talking about our lives in bulk-mode, and the biggest, most exciting thing in my life didn’t come out of my mouth, let alone even into my mind!

And again today, when I had a get-together with an old friend from my church, it felt almost foreign to me to be asked a bunch of questions about seminary. I hadn’t chatted with her for ages, and she wanted to know the whole scoop. But all morning, I sat there digging back into my memory, in an attempt to give her our seminary spiel.

My guess as to the cause of all of this, is none other than a miraculous answer to a life-long prayer of mine: Lord, help me to live in the present.

If you ask my parents, they will tell you with no hesitation that I have always been the what’s-next-girl. As soon as I was doing one thing, I’d ask about the next; and when I was doing the thing I was just asking about, would I then ask about the next thing, and so forth. I like to consider myself a master, energizer bunny, but in reality, in my worst moments, I’m probably more like a distracted, antsy vacuum. Always sucking in life, and never being satisfied with anything. Zooming along at lightning speed and never stopping to smell the flowers.

Well, I think God has given me a little pocket of flower-smelling time. You’d think COVID-19 would have been the prime blossom-sniffing season. But right now… well, it feels like the calm, dripping tranquility after a thundery storm. Or maybe the quiet drive after a loud and rowdy sports game. Or maybe the stillness and beauty of a Colorado mountain landscape after a 15-mile, steep-incline hike. Yes. Here I am, just soaking in the scenery God has put before me.

Oh, how good the Lord is to ever grant us the gift of seeing today’s pleasures. I don’t know if there has ever been such a simple time as now. I’m finally learning the art of pure enjoyment. Enjoying my kids. Enjoying being a mom. Enjoying my schedule. Enjoying people. Enjoying God. Enjoying the moments that the Lord gives, in the day that the Lord has given. I’m enjoying enjoyment, and enjoying enjoying it!

Bobby recently said while teaching Ecclesiastes, that we shouldn’t try to “seize the day!” (carpe diem). We rather ought to, “receive the day.” It is good for us to take the current season the Lord has given, and toil, feel, and live it. Receive the day!

So, as I pull on my three little pip-squeaks’ PJs tonight, I can look at their bright eyes and make a joke about their toes being hamburgers, instead of trying to rush bedtime as quickly as I can so I can finally sit on the couch. Or when I go to the swimming pool, I can grasp my baby’s shriveled, water-soaked fingers with my own pruny hands and walk her across at a pre-walker speed to the splashing fountains, instead of checking the clock a million times for when it’s time to go home. I’m finally feeling like God has brought into view just what I need to see… Namely: NOW. The moment. The seconds that pass in front of my face instead of the hours, or days, that are ahead.

I’m sorry, but not sorry that seminary isn’t in the forefront of my mind. I know it’s still there. And I have moments of dreaming and/or lamenting. But mostly, I’ve been living in the day. Looking at my moments. Stopping and smelling the flowers. Or, in my case, stopping and smelling the Bobby-yeast-killing-diet-styled “pancakes,” turkey sage sausage, and hashed rutabaga. (Let me know if you want the recipe.) But either way, I’m smelling something— And whether it’s summery flowers (real or hypothetical), or weird-o food for my man, God has given both to whom he gives it! Thank you Lord for the ability to live out and enjoy what you give, when you give it.

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