There are very few pictures of myself that I actually like. I always find something to critique – some flaw that I do not want captured for all of eternity! But last weekend, my husband snapped a picture while I wasn’t looking and I absolutely adore it!
We had rented a beautiful house, hours away from our own home. There were no responsibilities calling my name; no work to be done, no laundry to fold, no dishes to clean. Rain fell against the windows, and the overcast sky declared it was okay to do nothing! So I sat on a comfortable couch, snuggled with my beautiful daughter, lost in the simple pleasure of reading. It was delightful!
There are two wonderful things this image captures; things important for me to ponder, to share, then continue to reflect upon and be aware of in our busy world.
1. Touch and closeness with the people I love is a gift!
It is important to make time to stop and savor these intimate moments with my kids while they are young! Yes, my daughter and I were both lost in our own form of entertainment. But the moment would not have been so wonderful if my daughter had not shared it with me. I would read a few pages, then stop and watch her. I’d kiss the top of her head, or gently touch her arm. She would be lost in her tablet, occasionally bursting into song: “S P E L L – I really love to spell!” Then she would look up at me with a big smile, full of contentment.
My daughter, my youngest, is almost 5 years old. She’ll tell anyone she meets that her birthday is in May – we are close to counting down the days! She will start kindergarten in the Fall. I am excited, not sad. Nostalgic maybe, and perplexed by the speed that times passes. There are moments when parenting is not pleasant and we wish life would speed up. Just the day before this picture was taken, this same cuddly child threw-up three times in the car, somehow hitting everything in a 5-foot radius! No one tells you that parenting also includes cleaning up puke in a gas station parking lot.
Yet my love for this little person is so strong I want nothing more than to feel her warmth near me – sick or not. When cuddled together with a person you love, it is almost as if your bodies are joined. God desires us to be in this kind of relationship with people. What a joy we are gifted with: people to love, to join us on this journey of life with all of its ups and downs! Relationships are a gift we should savor often!
2. It is OK to step away and enjoy life!
Life is not meant to be all pain, work and struggle! We are not to simply cope with each day. Yes – suffering exists. But in all things, we know the presence of God brings good, not pain!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
God desires for us to live aware of his presence and reliant on his guidance. When we do, we experience the fruits of the Spirit. These things are good! God gave us gifts of family and laughter, and God desires for us to experience love, joy and peace!
I must find more time for moments like this! I must not allow “guilt” from ignoring my to do list prevent me from savoring life! I must be thankful for moments like this. Life is a gift, and no matter what we face there is always something to be thankful for!