The Stay Awake Challenge: Week 11

Week 11 is about savoring. Read the challenge here.

Savoring the moment is something I try to be fairly intentional about. I am well aware that my life is but a series of fleeting moments that will never come again. My children are growing up before my eyes. Just the other day, Ben decided to give up the bottle; in a few months, it will be time to pack away the cloth diapers and start potty training. The “baby years” may well be behind me soon, and so I have been trying to savor the moments that remain. If I were to be perfectly honest here, I would say that I sometimes feel that our transient life these past seven years robbed me of true enjoyment of my kids’ early years. I mean, it’s hard to “savor the moment” when you’re packing boxes, cleaning, and taking care of the myriad of logistical details that moving around the world requires.

Savoring helps me more fully enjoy and be present in the moment as I’m living it… but it also helps me cement the moment in my memory. It’s a lot like a mental picture of the moment, except it employs all the senses, not just sight.

Two weekends ago, we took some friends who were visiting to Mindo for the day. And what a lovely, enjoyable day it was. There were so many moments to savor throughout the day… the view of the gorgeous countryside out the car window… watching colorful hummingbirds at their feeders just inches away from where I stood and marveling at their delicate beauty and thrumming wings… the taste of a rich, chocolatey brownie and the feel of a warm cup of coffee in my hands… the rush of wind in my face as the cable car raced out over the cloud forest.

But probably my favorite moment was the one that found me perched on a boulder beside a stream, listening to the sound it made as it rushed over its rocky bed, and holding my baby, who was content for once just to nestle into my arms. He is always on the move these days it seems, but for that one moment, he was still. And so was I.

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Hummingbirds

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La Tarabita

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The cloud forest

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Contentment

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On Mother’s Day…

Today was Mother’s Day. If I were feeling more eloquent, I would write a post about the innumerable ways my mom has blessed my life through her love, her teaching, and her example. But the truth is that for most of the day, my thoughts have been going out to all those for whom Mother’s Day may not be a happy day, to those who may have wounds that are reopened somewhat by all the hype about mothers and motherhood today.

And so this post is for my friends…

…who have recently lost a mother,

…whose mother has been several years gone,

…who are struggling with infertility,

…who are walking the adoption road,

…who suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of a mother,

…who are dealing with a rebellious or wayward child,

…who have lost a child,

…who have suffered a miscarriage,

…who are separated from their children,

…who are raising their children alone,

…who are single and childless…

…whose children have chosen a life of service on the other side of the world.

See, I’ve been in church services where they asked all the mothers to stand and gave them all a rose. And I appreciate the sentiment behind honoring mothers and motherhood, but it never really occurred to me until recently that something like that could be painful for many women. And so, I just want to say, in case today was hard for you, that today, you were close to my heart. Today, I prayed that you would know the peace and comfort of the Lord who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Today, you are loved.