Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memorize the Moments

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Jason has spent the last two weekends working Christian retreats in Monticello, one as a spiritual team member at a youth retreat, and the other as part of the music team at a men's retreat.  I am so proud that he has been able to be an influence on so many lives, but it has also been a strain going from being used to having him at home every night, to having him be gone almost eight full days in the last two weeks.  Again, I commend moms who do it all on their own...I am more than ever grateful for Jason's help.

As a result, I have found myself a little more stressed, a little more tense, and a little more frazzled than usual.  If there is one thing I do not want to be, it is the mother in the grocery store who is snippy with her children and hateful to the cashier, or who is too busy working (even at home) to play, or who doesn't notice the little things (and appreciate them).  I don't want to "waste" the precious time I have with Connor.

Instead, I want to remember the words of Psalm 127:3 -- "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him."  I am humbled that God has entrusted Connor to Jason and me, and I want, more than anything, to take each moment I can to show him the kind of love (selfless, unconditional, sacrificial) that was shown to me through Jesus.

However that word, sacrifice, is also tough.  As a human, my tendency is first to look out for myself, and then to worry about others.  This mindset began to change with marrying Jason, when I began to realize that marriage and love take just as much sacrifice and patience as it does love and friendship.  Now, with Connor, it is not as though I resent the sacrifices I make for him, but sometimes I just get tired and selfish, and I remember the days when I could take a nap or read a book any time I wanted to, and for a moment, I give in to that temptation to feel sorry for myself.  I am not a perfect mom or daughter or wife, and I know that, but in those moments, I feel like dirt, like I can't do anything right, or maybe like I am not even accomplishing anything worthwhile at that moment.

However, as soon as I see Connor's gap-toothed smile, or hear his laugh, or look into his gorgeous blue eyes, I forget any trace of selfishness, negativity, exhaustion, and I cannot even remember what life was like before him.

And then I heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "One Heartbeat at a Time" on the radio this week.  I had heard the song before (Jason had sung it at a mother/daughter luncheon a couple of years ago and I heard him practicing in his office a few times.), but it hit me in a special way at this point in my life, with the circumstances of Jason being gone, my level of tiredness being up, and my confidence as a mother being down a bit.

Steven Curtis Chapman's music seems to be a recurring theme in my life when I need encouragement.  I already posted once about his song "Everything You Do" here, which changed my perspective completely on serving others. 

This song, though, focuses specifically on mothers, and our feelings of inadequacy, and reminded me that while I may sometimes feel that what I am doing is insignificant, we really do have a chance to change the world with every moment we are given, no matter how small it might seem, and even on those days when we are too exhausted to remember how important our jobs really are (This goes for moms, grandmas, moms-at-heart, and even dads and other male figures, too.  We women just seem to put more pressure, at least outwardly, on ourselves.).

Although it would be more traditional to share this song near Mother's Day, I needed to hear it today, so I thought maybe some of you might need to hear it as well.

I hope this song (video below) encourages and uplifts you as much as it did me.  It reminded me to focus on the fact that every heartbeat, every moment, every memory matters, and to revel in and enjoy it.  As my dear friend Dawn told me the other day, "Memorize the moment."  This one phrase completely changed how I want to look at each moment and milestonr in my life.  I promise to memorize the moments more often.

"One Heartbeat at a Time"


Ashlea said...

I understand! Thank you for sharing... I needed this & feel very blessed to have come across your blog on fb! You are a beautiful & amazing Mommy! We all have those moments in some days...don't feel bad! Hope you have a great week ;)

Laura Ashley said...

Thank you so much, Ashlea! I am glad other folks need encouragement too, and I appreciate your words of kindness. How are things with the new baby? She's a doll! :)