The Sweetest Moments

Isabel is enjoying her first ballet class, a small group that meets once a week right after preschool. The whole scene is outrageously precious.

This week it was my turn to help the teacher get the girls changed into their ballet gear. It’s a lot of work to wrestle ten tiny bodies into tights and leotards and skirts and slippers, all designed to fit just snug enough to make pulling them on an olympic sport.

We got the girls outfitted and lined up, and they followed their teacher down the hall to the classroom. As the queue maneuvered the corner, my Isa girl turned and waved and blew me a kiss. I waved back and returned her kiss. She waved again and blew three more kisses and toddled out of sight while I stood in the now empty hallway blinking back tears of delight.

What a moment, what a beautiful life.

Life is certainly filled with beauty and delight. But goodness knows I’ve had seasons (some longer than others) where I don’t always catch it. Where I’m so antsy about the next thing on my list, or the next person who needs my attention, that I’ve turned my gaze too soon, that I’ve missed what was happening right in front of me.

Sometimes in life, sweetness happens and the reality of life, of the pace of being a human, gets in the way of seeing any of it. Maybe we have to remember to slow down, but I’m inclined to think there are some seasons where that just isn’t an option.

When I think back to our life with lots of little boys (as opposed to our life now with bigger boys and Henry and Isabel), I realize that it was a hard period, end of story. Yes there was grace and beauty in that season, there was lots of fun and laughter too.

But there were also tears and wailing and gnashing of teeth, there was a minute-by-minute existence that only life with small children can offer. If I stood still too long, that meant someone had taken off in the opposite direction. With little children, if you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward.

And God was there in the midst of that season.

Some seasons are just hard. I do know that God has changed my heart over the years, that I am learning to be at peace with where I am and with all that he has given me. I’m working harder to focus on the gifts in my life instead of looking for all the ways I could do better and be better. Because there is a way that a fast pace becomes a habit, perhaps born of necessity but then perpetuated by routine.

If we get used to going at breakneck speed, we won’t know when to stop, to take a deep breath, to stand there for an extra ten seconds and just look. And see.

Slowing down, just a bit, helps us appreciate more. It helps us absorb and embrace where we are right now, instead of always thinking about what comes next and what else we can do and be and finish.

Discontent versus desire for personal growth: they dance a very tricky waltz indeed.

It’s good to always be open to change, to be praying for God to show you who he wants you to be, to be thinking about what comes next and where we go from here. But we also have to be at peace with where we are, and some seasons make inner peace such a challenge.

The key is to keep seeking the Lord, to always be looking for God, in the good and the bad. He’s there in those beautiful moments of peace and tranquility. He’s just as present in the wild and the crazy. Stop. Count to ten. Look for him right there, in this moment where you are.

 This originally appeared in The Southern Cross.

Comments

  1. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today.
    Thank you! 🙂

  2. From ballet tutus to mangled squirrels, you have it ALL covered!! :0)

  3. Getting little ballerinas ready for class is no joke! I remember having to help a number of girls at school into their dancewear in a brief period of time, and it took some work. I love what you say about enjoying the sweetness of the moment, but embracing and finding grace and blessings in the craziness, too. There have been far too many times when I have wanted time to stand-still or to hold onto a moment as tightly as possible, hoping that the joy, togetherness, unity in it would tide me over for the craziness that would likely ensue before long. You’re absolutely right. God’s there in all of it, and if we’re mindful of that, we’ll see Him and experience His presence a lot more often than if we’re focused on checking things off of our never-ending To Do List.

    • Karen Webb says:

      Great foo for thought. I never considered : . I’m working harder to focus on the gifts in my life instead of looking for all the ways I could do better and be better.

      I never considered that. Thank you

  4. I loved this post and am reading it exactly when I needed to hear all of these words of wisdom. I seriously felt like you were talking to me. Isn’t that crazy how that can happen? Just found out we are having our 5th baby and I have never felt older and more tired and overwhelmed in my LIFE! Thank you for the beautiful remiders and precious words. I serioulsy love your blog and your writing.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Amy from Chicago