Monday, November 20, 2017

Why store moments?

Why store moments?

I am a writer, a gatherer of moments. I look for things that inspire, for drops of grace, for moments of beauty around me, so that I can capture them and pass them on.  I see them often in my children. My mind takes a snapshot with a “click,” and I return to it later and paint it with words.

And then I stop and wonder, why store moments?  Why keep my eyes and hands open? What am I collecting memories for?

When I knew my husband was leaving for Iraq, I feasted on every last second we had together. I think I tried to “stock up” on him somehow, as if I could fill myself up with moments to avoid future pain. As if I would miss him less if I just had more of him to keep with me. I feasted on him, and still, he carried my heart with him when he got on that plane.  Moments stored do not lessen future pain.

Also, I’ve been a mama long enough to know that not every moment can be a moment. There won’t be a “moment” every day, or every week for that matter!  Sometimes all I can say is, “well, we got through the day and nobody died” and I stagger through the dirty living room, kick aside the laundry, not even CARE to investigate the weird smell in the kitchen, pick the nerf darts out of my bed, and collapse in exhaustion.

Motherhood is not all moments, but there are some, and they are precious.

My children are fluttering through their days with no thought for gathering, so I gather for them. I collect a few bright spots from their childhoods and save them with the other keepsakes. I’d like them to be able to look back through my eyes and see that they were loved and blessed and cared-for by God. They already know that, but I hope to help them know it even more.  Moments stored may age like wine and bless us later. We will be glad to gaze again on the faded beauty, and we will thank God even for the days of re-living. We will remember and re-thank.

But I don’t really gather moments for later. In picking them up, I savor them right now.

Moments gathered water my soul and help me to love. Living with open hands and open eyes is a way of keeping my antenna tuned to what is important: to God and the people around me. When those precious moments come, free and beautiful, like grace, I drink them in.

And as I drink, I remember:

I remember that the noisy, dirty creatures messing up my house each day are people, beloved by God, wonderful works of His hand.
I remember that I am a child of God—weak, and loved.
I remember that my Father sees me, knows me, cares for me.
I remember that I am here to receive love and to love.

No automatic alt text available.And the grace swallowed down waters my heart and makes it soft and grateful, even when my hands are in the dish water again.

Thank you Jesus, for this moment.

A few recent moments:
- When the little one said his memory verse, "Ceasar Augustus issued a decree over the entire Ramen noodle.."
- Evening church, and it feels like midnight. I stop singing the hymn: the voice behind me is too beautiful. My heart worships louder when I listen in silence, marveling at the miracles God is still doing- in my very own daughter.
- We're listing things we're thankful for, and my littlest baby writes "marriage." This makes my older son squirm and blush, and I am doubly thankful.

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