Sometimes I can be just like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. There’s always a reason to be sad isn’t there?! Even on the most perfect days, I can think, “Well it’s going to end sometime.”
That is not a good attitude to have!
And you know what?
I’ve deeply regretted looking ahead to brighter days in the midst of difficult times because doing so has caused me to miss out on much of the beauty that’s offered in the here-and-now.
Last year, I wrote an article about waiting for my Sunday to come. During that time, I had been searching for six months for an office manager to take my place at my husband’s computer business. I was weary. I couldn’t wait for the right person to take my position so I could just focus on homeschooling and writing and being with my sweet girls, as well as being able to take better care of my house.
But you know what happened in the midst of my search for a replacement? My grandfather passed away. His health had been getting poorer, but his death was very sudden. Here one minute, in Paradise the next. (It is mind-boggling to me to think about how quickly that happens).
Still, I clung to the hope that I’d be finished at the office soon. I even wrote my grandmother a two page letter about it. I told her all about how nervous I’d been for my upcoming transition into becoming a full-time stay-at-home-mom. I also wrote that as the time drew nearer, I’d started feeling a peace about it as God prepared my heart for home and for being together more with my precious family.
After I wrote that letter, I couldn’t help but think about the metaphorical similarities between God preparing my heart to come home to my children and God preparing my Grandmother’s heart to be with her missed loved ones in a more permanent dwelling place.
And just a few weeks after the new office manager took over my position, my grandmother passed away. Another sudden death. Out of the four family deaths in a nine month period, three happened so fast that nobody could even say goodbye.
Processing those deaths was difficult for me. And I learned a huge and painful lesson: I need to savor today. To enjoy the people I have right here. If I’d known my grandparents were going to die when I was busy searching for an office manager, I wouldn’t have been so anxious for that time of searching to end. I would have held on to those days, visited my grandparents more frequently on weekends, and soaked up their every word as I lingered on their couch and at their table.
But the thing is, I couldn’t know. I have no way of knowing who may or may not be in my life for much longer, whether it’s due to death, a move, or another circumstance. I don’t know how long I’ll have my health, or my possessions, or even my own earthy life. Everything could be gone in a second and I can’t do a thing about it.
I can choose to do one of two things with that knowledge: I can let fear of the unknown paralyze me, or I can appreciate what I have now, while it’s still here to enjoy.
I’m choosing the latter.
I’m learning how to savor the moments so I can enjoy my days and my life.
Does this mean I’ll always be perfect at savoring every second? Absolutely not!
Recently, my kids acted ugly and I acted ugly right back. But instead of letting that ruin our day, I apologized and they apologized and we hugged and made up, then we all willingly admitted that we needed a break from each-other. So we set the timer for 90 minutes and went into our own corners of the house.
When we reunited, we were all happier to be together and we moved on with our day, refreshed and joyful once again.
I can’t always choose what happens, but I can choose my reaction.
For example, I can choose to get annoyed when my husband arrives home late from work. Or, I can appreciate that he works hard to provide for our family and then choose to have a good evening with him.
When others treat me unkindly, I can get mad and treat them poorly right back, or I can realize that I’m blessed with an opportunity to grow, to mature, and to show them Jesus.
Regardless of the circumstances, I can either lean into the moments I’m given, or I can resist any discomfort as I allow undesirable situations to build a wall around my heart.
Although I know I won’t do this perfectly, whether my day is full of storms, filled with sunshine, or a mixture of both…
I want to lean.