Live in the Moment

Monday, March 2, 2009

Introduction: I'm proud to introduce my dear friend and fellow Novel Matters author, Sharon K. Souza as my first guest blogger here on Ever Mindful. Sharon has faced shattering tragedy with courage and faith, and today she will share some of that with you.

I was blessed to be witness to the gestation and birth of her two novels. She is a luminous author, who writes stories full of humor, wisdom and grace. I know you'll want to read them, so I've provided links at the end of this post.

I recently spoke at a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-schoolers) gathering. After introducing myself and sharing a bit about my novels, I got to the heart of the matter, Finding Contentment.

My daughter and son-in-law found contentment on Valentine’s Day, when they left their 2-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter with Grandpa and Grandma – namely my husband and me – while they went to Sacramento for shopping and dinner. Rick and I found contentment when they finally picked up the kids 7 hours later! The baby was a breeze, but I’d forgotten what it was like to keep up with a two-year-old. I fell into bed exhausted that night.

But to get serious . . . I’m sure most of us are familiar with the passage from Philippians 4:12, where Paul writes, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." Wow. I confess, there are some verses in the Bible I wish weren’t there, and that’s one of them. Because I haven’t accomplished that one yet. Not even close. I try. I want to be able to say along with Paul, "content . . . in any situation." But there have been plenty of times in my life when I was far from content.

In my writing, for example. It took 20 years for my first novel to be published. Believe me, there were plenty of times in those TWO DECADES I wasn’t content; when I wondered what on earth God was doing with me; wondered why he’d given me a passion to do something for him, only to be hemmed in by a brick wall I couldn’t get over or around, with no door in sight.

And I have to admit, I was that way in my parenting too. Impatient. Not content. I found myself always thinking, I can’t wait until . . . my babies, are walking, or talking, or going to school. Always eager for that next stage, rather than enjoying every single minute of every single day. Of just living in the moment. Because we’re not guaranteed that there will be a next moment.

On March 11, we will arrive at the second anniversary of the death of our son Brian, who died at 34. I could fill the universe with all the things I’d give up for one more moment with him, to see that dimpled smile one more time. I’m thankful for the promise that I’ll see him again, but that doesn’t dry my tears today.

One of my favorite songs of all time is Joni Mitchell’s "Circle Game," a song about a boy who grows from childhood to adulthood. The chorus says, "And the seasons, they go round and round; and the painted ponies go up and down; we’re captive on a carousel of time. We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game."

The verse that means the most to me says, "Sixteen springs and 16 summers gone now; cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town; and they tell him, take your time, it won’t be long now, till you drag your feet to slow the circle down."

How true is that. I find myself dragging my foot more and more, wanting to make the most of my time here. I wish I’d been content with every day when my children were young. Wish I’d listened with both ears, instead of just one so much of the time. Wish I’d played more and worried less about a tidy house. Wish I’d lived in the moment, for every one is precious; not one can be gotten back. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

And yet, God redeems all things, our regrets and mistakes most of all. It's never too late to ride that pony, so ride it for all you're worth.


Michelle Ule said...