I remember how tired I was. Newborn baby in the sling, resting against my chest, and the two-year-old running wild in the milk aisle. I can still feel my tight hand-grip on the grocery cart and how I wrestled, trying to keep both it and my out-of-reach daughter in line, while trying not to wake the babe. It was dreary cold out. I was worn thin.
My eyes met those of an elderly woman who seemed to be surveying us in that milk aisle. I was too frazzled to make small talk.
But do you know what she had the gall to come up and say to me?
“Honey, enjoy every minute. This is the best time of your life.”
Now I’m not usually the type of girl who gets riled very easily. But just then, I really wanted to screech, “How can you be so cruel to say that me right now? Don’t you know I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in weeks? That my body is literally worn out? That my husband and I have barely had time to look each other in the eyes?! That I’m here in the milk aisle just trying survive this grocery trip and you say these are the best moments of my life?!?!” I don’t even remember what I actually said to the woman, but I was too tired to scream, so instead, I muffled my soul’s unbelief and gave the typical Southern smile and probably said something about how, yeah, I was trying to savor the moments.
To be honest, the woman’s words stuck like unwanted syrup on the outside of a glass syrup bottle, and until recently, still conjured up a twinge of panic whenever they surfaced to mind.
What if she’s right? This??? This could be the best time of my life?
Because my days are merely filled with wiping bottoms and folding underwear, sweeping floors and serving PB and J’s on Winnie the Pooh plates.
But recently, I picked up Laura Bush’s memoir, Spoken from the Heart. Whether or not you side with her husband in his politics, it is hard for anyone to deny that the former first lady has lived an intriguing life . . . doing things, visiting places, meeting world leaders and attending spectacular events that few of us will ever have the opportunity to experience.
And do you know what she wrote? After serving as the First Lady of the United States of America for two terms and having lived probably the most exciting time of her life, she reminisces on the first few months of parenting their twin girls:
Every morning before dawn, George would get up to make the coffee, as he had done from the start of our marriage; then he would go get the girls and carry them into our bed. We’d each hold a baby and drink our coffee while they drank their bottles, with the morning news droning quietly in the background. The start of the day was reserved for just the four of us. Those early mornings were some of the sweetest times in our lives.
My breath catches as I read her words.
That’s what I am living. Feeding hungry little tummies. Sipping coffee. Living side-by-side with the man I love. The words of the Wal-Mart lady wash over me and I realize her words just may be true.
And I wonder.
What if I lived every moment like it just might be the ______-est moment of my life?
Maybe every moment in our lives is *THE* something. The sweetest time. The busiest time. The most exciting time. The most difficult time. The craziest vacation. The most intimate Christmas. The stupidest recipe mistake. The wisest parenting moment. The tastiest dinner. The most hilarious date. The funniest Monday.
How will I embrace it?
Taking the time to count those little moments that make up all of *my* time, my story, my one, all-or-nothing chance at life on this earth….
#207 a room of sharing mamas and learning mamas-to-be, an honor to sit, listen, watch and pray
#208 that He is Sovereign – even when I don’t understand His plan in the giving and taking
#209 grace in the seeing, the seeking help, the beginning of healing
#210 a small affirmation
#211 sisters-in-law and sisters-in-law-to-be . . . little pieces of hearts known
#212 a brother’s love, brimming beneath the calm surface
#213 drawings, drawings, drawings
#214 the little one’s grasp of a crayon
#215 baby friendships blossoming from their mamas’ years’ worth of shared phone calls, get-togethers, funerals, weddings and pregnancies
#216 spontaneous sister-dates
#217 that we were made to cleave
#218 flexibility and her learning
#219 the missing of the one I love on a Monday
#220 that he misses me too
#221 hearing him play with her and watching her love tank fill
#222 that heart-stopping moment that she grabbed my face just to kiss me
#223 a shared journey
#224 that every moment is full of possibility
#225 that maybe, just maybe, I could right now be living the very best time of my life
Let me embrace. Let me anticipate. Let me find.
He is here.
In this moment.
And the next.