Sometimes I am surprised by the things that move me. The things that stir my heart and bring emotions to the front that I didn’t expect.
Tonight I’ve been ironing a giant pile of school shirts preparing for the consignment sale tomorrow. I’m selling all the shirts because the boys will not be going back to school in the Fall. They’ll be staying with me. At home. You know, homeschooling.
I’m watching television as I iron the shirts and I grab a random one from the pile. It is a blue oxford with the school patch on the pocket and it unleashed a flood of memories, from the first trip to the uniform store to taking Zachary to his first day of kindergarten. It brought this little boy back to my mind’s eye…
That was five years ago, almost six. I couldn’t part with that first uniform shirt…it goes to the stack of things I can’t quite let go of yet. It was the beginning of school days, the beginning of growing up, the beginning of adventure and friends and stories in the car on the way home of all that happened at school.
I find myself with such a mixture of feelings, the result of ironing. Melancholy feelings as I think of all that has passed in the last five years….wanting to hold on to those memories and not let go. Feelings of guilt that I am bringing the boys “school” experience to a halt and changing what will happen as we move forward. Still, excitement about the new adventure of homeschooling.
Just as something like a child’s uniform shirt can stir a flood of memories, I am aware that I am quick to second-guess myself. I am quick to question if the path we are moving on is correct. I’m quick to wonder if I’m doing this thing….life…correctly.
In those moments, when memories mix with anxiety or guilt or regret or fear or even joy and wonder, I realize that I am in danger of missing out on the joy of what God is doing in this moment. The things that have gone by are like the picture above of Zachary…they stir emotions because this little boy has captured my heart and continues to do so. They stir me because they remind me how quickly life goes by, I know that in the blink of an eye I’ll be looking back at pictures of Maddie and wonder where the time went.
The time snuck away while I was wondering if I was doing things correctly. It snuck by me while I was analyzing the past and anticipating the future.
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.” Matt 6:34
God is here, in this moment between moments. All that has gone before is done, and is there to reflect upon, but not to regret or worry about. All that is to come will come in its own time and while I can prepare I cannot dictate what will come.
I can breathe, I can be still and know that God is God. That there is a Sovereign One who holds it all together.
I can rest. I can enjoy the life that has brought me to this point and I can rejoice in three laughing, healthy, wonder-filled boys who will start a new adventure with me in a few months. And one little girl who captures us all continually.
We can plan, and we can hope and we can prepare…but ultimately we have to trust that God is leading us and stirring our desires and our hopes. It is okay to be moved by our lives, and to reflect with deep emotions, but then we can come back to the moment we are in and be wholly here. We can rest and enjoy the moment. We can trust that we are held by One who knows the beginning and the end…and that gives us much freedom.