Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 13...Live In The Moment

Well, it's been a long "13 Days"...more like 30?  :-)  I guess that's what happens when you don't expect life to throw so many curves within a three week period!  It was to be a busy month, with a large fundraiser, school Thanksgiving dinner, Thanksgiving holiday, church Christmas dinner, and school Christmas play, but so many extra things piled was almost eerie how many things happened in one month around here!

But...we've survived, and other than a minor glitch (like me having a sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis) it may still prove to be a holly, jolly Christmas!  I think this little exercise in focusing on being thankful has helped me to navigate all the stress much better than I would have otherwise. 

Now, here we are on Day 13.  I saw a sign this week that gave me a poignant reminder.  It read:


These weren't new words to me.  I'm a big fan of primitive decor, and little signs sporting catchy phrases such as these are abundant in primitive shops.  However, I think it spoke to me a little stronger this week because days like I have experienced recently are days that could easily be wished away.
How many times have we been guilty of the "I can't wait until..." mentality?  Whether it's getting the kids through unpleasant stages, hoping for more financial stability, achieving educational goals...we wish away the moments that bring pain and discomfort, not understanding that they weave themselves through the good times to make the beautiful tapestry we call life.
I mentioned a few days ago that my co-worker's mother was diagnosed with cancer.  She passed away last night, exactly thirty days after her diagnosis. Such a shock...completely unexpected.  She was 63 years old and looking toward retirement.  Twenty years ago, the age of 63 would have seemed like "old" age to me, but today that seems like a life cut short.  There is still so much living to be done in those golden years. 

It reminds me again of the importance of living "in the moment." Not "for the moment," but "in the moment."  The difference is clear.  I chuckle inside when I hear people talk about the "good 'ole days."  I can only imagine that if they had actually lived in the "good 'ole days," they would have longed for the "better 'ole days" that would have occurred sometime previous to the "good 'ole days."  Could it be that we justify our neglect of the present by living in the past or wishing for the future?

"Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

As we plunge full force into the Christmas season, let's not be consumed with either what has been or what is yet to come.  Instead let's drink in every detail of the blessed present, being in tune with what others may or may not be saying, watching for opportunities to make a difference in the life of someone who needs us now. 

This is one of my very favorite books, written by one of my very favorite authors, Gloria Gaither.  The title of the book is also the title to one of her timeless lyrics, Fully Alive.  This prayer has been a call to action in my life, and I trust that it will bless you today.

Don't let me miss all the glory around me,
Waiting for heaven someday to come.
Open my eyes to miraculous Monday,
And make my feet march to eternity's drum.

Don't let me wait for some far off forever,
To say what I feel to the ones I hold dear.
Risking the pain and the joy of loving,
Keep me awake and alive while I'm here.

Fully alive in Your Spirit,
Lord, make me fully alive!
Fully aware of Your presence, Lord,
Totally, fully alive!

Be blessed today as you live in the moment!

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