Category Archives: Small Moments

Twelve years…

Today I am feeling all the feelings.

It’s Emma’s birthday today.  She is 12 years old.

I’m not really sure how that happened.  😉

Sometimes the day this photo was taken – the first day I wore the name “mom” and held this new little soul in my arms – seems like a lifetime ago. But sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Time is funny like that. All these moments, one after the other…and before you know it, you’re looking back at a lifetime that feels like just a breath.

Because somehow, it’s been 12 years.

TWELVE.

Twelve years of days lie between those two photos. Twelve years of good days and hard days and days I didn’t think I would make it….days full of joy and laughter, tears and exhaustion, challenges and uncertainty, smiles and adventures…twelve years of days full of moments and memories I honestly wouldn’t trade for anything.

It’s been twelve years full of gifts. Twelve years full of grace.

I haven’t been perfect at this mom thing. Not by a long shot. Motherhood is so much harder, and more wonderful, than I had ever expected it to be. I had no idea what I was getting into when they put her in my arms for the first time. No. Idea. I have fumbled and stumbled my way through this thing…and this “tween” stage is stretching me and challenging me more than ever. There are so many days I feel so inadequate to do this great thing of growing another human, of leading this other soul through this crazy broken world.

Because I’m so broken myself. I’m so banged up and bruised up and messed up.

But I just keep leaning hard into Jesus…I just keep trusting His grace to fill in the gaps.

And somehow we’ve survived twelve years.

And with Jesus, we’ll make it twelve more. (Only by then, she could very well have a little one of her own…but oh my word, I can’t even begin to go there! At this point, we just gotta survive middle school 😉 )

But I know that day will be here before I know it…the days seem to be moving faster, the weeks are flying by.  Which is why I am more passionate than ever about making the most of every moment I can…seizing every opportunity to intentionally invest in our family and in our girls.  Because even though one single moment may not seem like much…it all adds up. One little conversation, one little family night, one little prayer before bedtime, one little heart-to-heart talk, one little snuggle or cuddle, one little game, one little devotion, one little act of kindness, one little hug, one little word of encouragement…one little moment by itself may not seem to make much of an impact…but together? Day after day, year after year? Each moment is like a little drop of water. One drop may not make much of a difference…but drop after drop after drop, over time…all together, those drops add up and become a raging river.  All those moments we have with our children have the potential to become a river of influence in their lives.

Even the moments when we mess up. Even the drops that are tainted and colored by our mistakes and our sin…those drops add to the influence too. I don’t know about you, but I am so not perfect. I don’t have it all together. Not every drop of influence I give my children is good. Sometimes they see me mess up, they see me fall apart, they see me fail. But I wonder if these moments – the not-so-pinterest-perfect-moments – may possibly have an even greater impact on them than all the “good” I do…because humbling myself and asking forgiveness, being forgiven and still being secure in God’s love for me, leaning into Him and trusting Him even in my brokenness, and finding joy and comfort in His grace…that’s a powerful thing for my children to see.

Our moments matter. What we do with our moments, what we do with our days…how we forgive and how we love and how we talk and how we act…it all matters…it is all making an impact, it is all adding up. The good, the bad, and the ugly…all weaving together into a beautiful tapestry that tells our children the story of God’s love and grace and redemption.

So today, on my “mom-iversary”, as we celebrate this sweet, precious, beautiful soul that is my Emma girl, I am recommitting myself to parent intentionally. Even though the days may be exhausting and the challenges are changing and I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time, now as much as ever my daughters need a mom who is leaning hard into Jesus and who is consistently and intentionally adding drops of influence into their lives, who is modeling for them what it is like to live for Jesus, and who is present with them in this moment (not afraid of the future or regretting the past, but fully here right now), finding joy in the middle of the crazy and grace in the middle of it all.  Because this life? It really is just a breath. A precious, fleeting breath. And I want my breath to breathe life and love and joy and grace into the lives of the people God has given me, for as long as He lets me have them.

morning fog

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Snow Day

I haven’t sat down to write in several days.  Lots going on around here…including crazy winter weather that brought SNOW to our little house here in central Georgia!!

I know it’s not much compared to the blizzards and mountains of snow the beautiful northern states get every year…but around here, 2 inches of snow is rare and exciting and a big deal.  The last time it snowed this much here was about 4 years ago… (The pictures below are from February, 2010):

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The girls were so little!  And so was that cute little puppy…hard to believe this is that same silly dog now:

The girls don’t really remember that snow day four years ago.  But they were sure excited this week when school was cancelled because of the impending snow heading our way.  They waited by the window all day Tuesday.  I can’t even tell you how many times I was asked “when will it start snowing??”  It didn’t start falling until after they had fallen asleep that night, but the next morning brought squeals of delight as they looked outside and saw the yard covered in white.  It really was beautiful. 

{We even made a little snowman!}

We have thoroughly enjoyed our snow days…but today the ice and snow began to melt away.  Our little snowman looked pretty sad tonight.  And so did the girls as they resumed their regular early bedtime to rest up for school…life will resume as normal tomorrow.

This week did not go like I had planned.  I didn’t have “snow days” penciled in on my calendar, at all.  My daily routine was put on hold…checklists were put to the side…lots of things did not get done.  But as I look back I am so thankful for this week…this little break in the routine, this unexpected and complete slowing down.  The snow days that slowed us down…made us stop…gave us time, together.

I’m still working on that whole slowing down thing…making space in the pace…finding peace.

I wonder…I wonder if sometimes God has to send a “snow day” into my life just to make me stop.   Not literally snow necessarily, but sometimes He sends something rare and unexpected to shut down the busyness in my life, to slow me down enough to pay attention.

The snow this week got our attention.  It stopped everything around here…schools, businesses, roads.   Things that seemed so important and pressing ended up not being as urgent as they seemed…after all, it was SNOWING in middle Georgia!  Who knows when this will happen again…it’s exciting…we didn’t want to miss a minute of it! (Yes, we are silly crazy when it snows here…and I’m ok with that 😉 ).  So we went outside, we played in the snow, we built a snowman, we had a snowball fight.  We cuddled up under blankets and watched movies, we made hot chocolate and spent so much time just gazing out of the windows at the crazy white that covered the ground.  We had so much fun!  Those snow days are now special family memories…they were just what we needed, even if we didn’t plan it or expect it.

Not every day can be a snow day (not here in Georgia anyway 😉 )…and we can’t totally stop everything every day.  But we can slow down…we can look for “snow day” moments and capture them, embrace them.  Because sometimes the unexpected things become the most beautiful things, and the unplanned moments make the sweetest memories.

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