Sunday, August 4, 2019

how to relish today: kissing and dancing in the everyday mundane

I whispered “I love you” a hundred times in his little ear. 
He threw his soft one-year-old arms around my neck and buried his chocolate filthy face into my chest. I told my sister to take a picture and hurry. 

It’s not always going to be like this. 

But today. We have today. 

The five-year-old, one and only niece, stood outside my bedroom door, “Will you play Candyland with me? I have it all set up for us.” 

 Look around and appreciate?
God's teaching me how. 

They’re growing up and I’m growing older and nothing’s slowing down. But these days God’s giving us, gifts—-fragile mundane beautiful and never going to get back—-gifts. I want to open each one with zeal-soaked fingers, taking my time, relishing, embracing and kissing chocolate faces.  

As I’m living with these four kids, in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, driving to drug rehabs and falling in love with the Grace-Giver in ways I hadn’t until now, He's teaching me to dance through the aisles of Costco with sister's youngest baby because God is good and relishing today is His idea. And a good idea. 

Look around. 
Who do you see? 

It won't always be this way, but God's given us today. 

I miss Hong Kong and the other places I'm not in right now and those African women and those hard days that don’t seem so hard now--but good grief, look around. When am I going to open my eyes and see my today? My right-where-I’m-at with these people and relish it like a gift I’m never going to get back? Now. I’m going to do that now. 

Things still aren't perfect. 

People still disappoint me, I still disappoint me, life still isn't exactly going like I thought it would.
But God--He's still perfect. And He still likes living in me and being with me and letting me rest my head against His perfect Chest and breathe. And He's teaching me to look around and enjoy, to pause and just be--here, in the moment, this right now. 
He's gifting me with today. 

 Even with the extra pounds and the messy kitchens and the big questions--When these moments pass, we'll miss them. So let's  value the present as a true handed-to-us-by-God present, while we're in it. 

Enjoying today and enjoying God. 
In the everyday monotony? Can enjoying God be the answer to how to enjoy our lives? 

And how do we enjoy God? 

Here's what I'm learning to do: 
Pausing on the countless--literally, so many that I can't count them--things He's doing for me, giving to me, sharing from His Heart with me. Letting my pausing turn to thanking and dancing. Then today becomes the moment I'm living in, enjoying. 

And then I start dancing in the aisles of Costco, that soft laughing baby in my arms. 

These aren’t my kids. This isn't my house. 
But I get to live here with sister and her family all year, and I’m aimed to absorb these memories, soaked into my heart and stored there till I die. 

And that day’s gonna be here before I know it. All of us. Our lives have an end. Let's not forget. 

I've got this rotten habit of waiting until the "next thing" comes, with the feeling that when "next thing" has arrived; the country, the husband, the achieved goals, the whatever, then I'll be able to stop and enjoy. What's a lot better than this rotten habit is to look around at the four wild beauties I'm living with and hug my sister in the kitchen and tell her "thank you" for what she's giving me and know that here-and-now is the "thing" God wants me to enjoy.  

The girl who’s five won’t always want me to hold her and tell her stories before she falls asleep, or want her hair to look a mess like mine because she thinks I'm cool. My bed partner isn’t always going to be three and pleading with me to read “all the Bible stories” every night and then reaching over in the dark and touching my hand right before he falls asleep. The oldest of the crew, 11, will not always think eating sushi with me is a big adventure or want me to show him again how “Heart and Soul” goes on the piano. And the youngest, he’s not always going to fit in my arms in the aisles of Costco. But today. Today he does, so today we dance. 

And God, help us see today as a gift, even with its flaws and hurts and disappointments, help us look around and treasure today anyway. And to enjoy You. 
And help us dance more often. 
Thank You.