I'm thinking about tomorrow. Planning for all of the things I need to get done. Thinking through the schedule of the day. My checklist has grown long. And I feel weary already. Can I find a way to fit it all in?
I'm reminiscing about the past. Thinking about days and eras gone by. The days when Saturday meant sleeping in, hiking, leisurely coffee dates, and lazy afternoons full of books and naps.
It's where I often live my life. Somewhere in the future or somewhere in the past. Thinking of the thing thats up next.
And what's the problem you say? Well, I'm missing the now. If I'm always somewhere else in my mind, where am I now? What happens to the current moment?
The reality is, living in the here and now is quite possibly my greatest life challenge. Maybe the great lesson of my life. This year I have chosen and made it my goal to live more fully in the now. The discipline of staying present.
Ann Voskamp captures it so perfectly in her book, 10,000 Gifts:
"Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment."
It reminds me of a passage in the Bible. Jesus goes to the house of a friend named Martha. Martha's the hostess with the mostest. She's mopped the floor. She's wiped the surfaces clean. She's put our her best silverware and dishes. And she's working hard to make the home a hospitable place for her guest. And then comes along her sister. Mary is the carefree, "live in the moment" type girl. You know who I'm talking about. The type of girl that most of us women secretly resent. We hate and envy the way she just sits and enjoys the party, effortlessly chatting it up, enjoying her guests, oblivious to the piles of dishes and the interruptions of her kids. While we frantically chop the onions, run into the bathroom to wipe down the toilet, and quickly throw debris in the closet; Mary sits, listening, totally enraptured by her guests' story.
So Jesus joins Martha in her home, and while Martha, "distracted by all the preparations" is busily working away, Mary "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said." Martha gets bitter and finally errupts. "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
Jesus answers, "You are worried and upset about many things, but few are needed -- or indeed, only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
Ouch. This one hurts. Because I'm definitely Martha in the story. Rushing around. Trying to get things done. Caught up in the next thing. Rarely stopping to drink in this moment. To sit down and be fully present to who is in front of me.
I'm not advocating a life free from responsibility ~ one free of tasks and to-do lists. But I am calling myself to engage in the now. The messy. The mundane. The joy of the moment. A call to not check out ... not on Instagram, or Facebook, or email, or just mentally to travel to the next thing, but to engage with who is in front of me. To set down my phone. To turn off the TV. To shut down the computer. To enter the moment with the weight of my full attention.
When its time to work, to work hard. To engage fully and put my whole heart in it. And when its time to play, to play fully. To live by the motto of Jim Elliot, one of my all time favorite heroes: "Wherever you are, be all there."
We just returned from a trip to Mexico. And there couldn't have been a better place to start practicing the discipline of staying present. The beach is my favorite place in the world, so I drank it in. I swam in the water, dug in the sand, searched for shells, and soaked in the moments. Entering into time's swift current fully. Fully drinking in the moment. Full of gratitude.
I'm back now...and the laundry has started to pile up, and there is no shortage of emails, phone calls to return, or sessions to edit. There are tantrums from my toddler, and yesterday's oatmeal is stuck to the floor. But I keep waking up, trying to choose the now. Entering into the moment. Because this moment is a gift.
Would you join me on the journey? Not easy. But oh, so worth it. Would love to hear from you.
Happy Friday, friends. May you soak in the moments this weekend.
Photography credit to my most wonderful hubby and our sweet friend Brooke...edited by yours truly. :)