August is almost over and September will be here before we know it. What happened to summer? I blinked and it vanished with cooler temperatures, less humidity (hooray!), crisp air, fire red and burnt orange color in the trees, and of course, college football all right around the corner. Can you smell the apple cinnamon yet? I can because I have the autumn spice plug-in wafting through my house. Plus Kroger has the cinnamon infused broom decorative things right at the entrance to their store. Some people can’t stand the smell but I love it. And holy moly, why do stores have Halloween stuff out already? Oh well, bring on the pumpkin spice lattes because this girl is excited for fall! I do love the harvest season and look forward to it…but yet, even as I write that sentence I realize I am always rushing toward the “next big thing”.
My goal is usually just to make it through each day without ever really stopping to enjoy the day I’m in. I grew up watching all the beloved Disney movies, so whenever I get in that mindset (like I’m on a hamster wheel) of course I think of the song the mice sing in Cinderella:
Night and day it’s Cinderelly
Make the fire, fix the breakfast
Wash the dishes, do the moppin’
And the sweepin’ and the dustin’
They always keep her hoppin’
She go around in circles
Till she very, very dizzy
Still they holler
I hope you smile as you remember that scene but on some days I really do just scurry through the days, which turn into weeks, then seasons and eventually years. It’s like I think I can run a 100-yard dash pace for a marathon.
Yesterday my four year old, Jesse, climbed into my lap as we were outside enjoying the “mythical fall weather” as my husband jokingly calls it. My son let me hold him, and sing ‘Jesus loves me’, ‘My God is so great’, and ‘God is so good’, softly into his ear. The crazy part was he kept still for that long and seemed completely content just letting me cuddle close to him. In reality it was probably a total of five minutes but it felt a little longer as I allowed myself to slow down and breathe in this precious moment. It won’t always be like this, I remind myself. Cherish the time. I look down at him with his legs dangling off the chair and think, ‘Where in the world did the time go? Slow down, please!’
The cover of my journal reads, “An extraordinary life is made up of thousands of beautiful moments”. I don’t know who wrote it, but I love it. I want to try and enjoy the big and small moments because as a whole, it is my life. I hope to be more in the present even when the day is completely chaotic or feels like a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”. Because when I start to make a habit of wishing away the days, at the end of my life there might be a whole lot of regret.
God gave us good gifts to enjoy. He tells His children to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8 NIV); He calls us to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV). So often I get caught up in the busyness of life because I think it makes me important and my priorities get out of whack. Remember what Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10? I think Martha had the gift of hospitality but she let her to-do list distract her from enjoying the most important person in her home. I mean, goodness gracious, Jesus the Son of God was standing in the middle of her living room! And yet, she was more concerned about baking bread and making sure there was enough olive oil. I love how the Lord tenderly says her name not once, but twice before He gently corrects her. Jesus says, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV). What was it that Mary chose? Jesus. She sat at His feet soaking in His every word, experiencing the love of Christ.
I know I need to not get caught up in the things that don’t really matter. We all have to live life which include car pools, diaper changing, meeting deadlines, cleaning the house, PTA, baseball practice, piano practice and cooking dinner, but if we let those things distract us from the one thing needed most then we’ve missed it. It is way too easy to allow my schedule to squeeze out time needed with my Heavenly Father. I want, no I need to feed my soul. Just like if I did not feed my physical body I would starve, so it is with my spirit. It has to be nourished and nurtured for growth.
So my goal today is to slow down. Enjoy the many blessings that come from the hand of God and take time to know Him. Busyness, distractions and forgetting to live in the present are tools of discontentment which take our eyes off of the the One who loves us more than anything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (NIV). So some seasons are busier than others, but what is needed most no matter what season of life I am in is fellowship with the Lover of my soul. I hope you are blessed today as you slow down a bit and recognize the good gifts from our Heavenly Father.
“When the vanities of the world ensnare me,
let me not plunge into new guilt and ruin.
May I remember the dignity of my spiritual release,
never be too busy to attend to my soul,
never be so engrossed with time
that I neglect the things of eternity;
thus may I not only live, but grow towards thee.”
(‘A Christian’s Prayer’ The Valley of Vision, p. 108-9)
Grace upon grace,
Go deeper: Colossians 3:1-2; Psalm 118:24