Right now I’m still straddling November gratitude and December “LightTheWorld” (are you guys with me on how cool it is that they will send prompts to your phone each day as to good service/love ideas to help “LightTheWorld” this Christmas season? If not click HERE, it is the best!) I have so much that is pulling me to linger on from the last two weeks, so many thoughts, so much rumbling through my heart and mind, and I really thought I’d get to the Turkey Trot here on the blog today. But December is marching forward. And I have discovered (again and again), that the way to slow my racing heart from the long lists of “to dos” is to stop and feel the “moments.”
Because they are there.
Every single day.
Sometimes we just get too busy and huffy and wrapped up in the “doing” that we forget to stop and feel the “feeling,” and to let those moments calm us and speak to us.
So last night when the dust had settled from hauling out all the Christmas gear, extension cords and extra lights bought and the Christmas tree finally done, piano lessons were over and Claire and Dave were off to volleyball, when Lucy asked me to sit down and read her The Gift of the Magi, I did.
The same thing that happens every time I read that story happened: I try my best to hold off the “ugly crying” as I am filled up with the power of love and sacrifice in that story. The air around us thickens and holds us tight.
I think my kids know exactly which stories will produce those tears. I think that’s why Lucy requested that one first. Even when I complained we should wait for Claire. She needed that “moment” as much as I did and she knows fully well that story gets me there (as well as Christmas Day in the Morning and The Three Trees…I think those ones get me the most).
We snuggled a little bit and time slowed down and all was well in the world.
It’s moments like those when I realize it doesn’t really matter if the Christmas cards get done, or the garlands are lit or if we’re a few minutes late for piano lessons or if I can’t quite keep up with all my best-laid plans.
What matters is that we stop to feel and give love. And we let that feeling filter into the moments that make up our days.
I stopped and tried to memorize how Dave, Claire and I sat on the counter discussing volleyball club options the other day. How it felt to drive, all four of us to run some errands together the other night, the car filling up with laughter at Dave’s jokes. The weight of Lucy’s head on my shoulder, the marvel of how cold it is when we ride our bike in the mornings as opposed to the oppressive heat of the summer, the way that Dave looked when he came home from the turkey trot after all that work, a big smile across his face. Laughing at Bo who snuggles up to the fire each morning after scriptures. The sounds of Dave’s whole family playing wiffle ball in our back yard after our Thanksgiving feast. Sitting around the table with cousins eating ocean pancakes three mornings of the Thanksgiving break.
Oh, there’s going to be chaos. There will always be things that go wrong. Some of the “moments” that come along will make our hearts stop. There will be heartbreak along with the glory. But stopping to realize the moments help us feel and learn so much beauty from it all.