A Lesson in Presence

I knew that being a mom would change me. I was prepared for the late night feedings. I was prepared for the discipline struggles. I was prepared for the hugs and the bedtimes and the total change in routine.

I was prepared for a lot. But there is something that continually surprises me. Something for which I was not prepared.

I was not prepared for how much my kids would teach me.

Their joyful perspective shows me how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Their questions and constant learning remind me to stay curious. Their unconditional hugs and cuddles teach me about love.

Their relationship with me helps me understand my relationship with my God.

I am thrilled and humbled to be writing about that today at Prodigal Magazine. It is one of my favorite reads. They share seriously beautiful stories. Stories that show the fingerprint of a God who loves His sons and daughters so much that He shows up, even when they aren’t looking.

I sit in front of the computer, as usual. Too often I let the moments of the day tick away underneath the click-clacking of my fingers. “Nigh, nigh.” The words wake me from my digital haze. I turn around to see my toddler, usually full of activity and spunk, lay down on the floor. He puts his thumb in his mouth and gazes up at me with puppy dog eyes. “Mama.” He points to the floor, and then looks back up at me. His desire is clear: he wants me to stop what I am doing and lay down next to him. How can I say no to such an invitation?

Jump over to Prodigal Magazine to read the rest.

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full

Why are you crying? My husband asked me this recently. It was a good question, because it was an odd place to shed tears. I was at the entrance of the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. Even more odd, perhaps, was the reason I was crying. I was crying because I saw Bumble Bee. The transformer. The huge robot transformer from the movies.

Yes. I cried when I saw a transformer. Why?

Because my son LOVES transformers. At our house, anything that serves more than one purpose, or can change from one thing to another, or has a part of any sort that moves, is lumped into the transformer category. Tape measures, old cameras, USB drives, anything. He even has a huge envelope filled with “paper transformers” (otherwise known as paper airplanes).

Cameron with Bumble Bee

So, when we walked into the museum and saw Bumble Bee, I immediately looked at my son. I observed the look on his face. It was priceless. It was one of those looks that perfectly captures the joy that can be found in a single moment; a moment when you become so enraptured by what is around you that everything else ceases to exist.

We were both having one of those moments. Cameron was enraptured by Bumble Bee. I was enraptured by Cameron.

The tears were because my joy became so full that it had to spill out. I love that the words that best describe these moments have the word “full” in them. Cameron was joyful. It was delightful. We were both full.

Many moments in life do not feel full. Usually that is because we are not fully present.

We spend so much of our time half-present. We are working on the computer while kids play in the next room. Or checking text messages while at the dinner table. Or daydreaming about the next thing we need to do while we still working on something else.

We think it’s doing lots of things that will make us feel full. But really, all it takes is a moment. We cheat ourselves out of those moments when we are distracted. We miss out on opportunities to be enraptured by the simple joys of life.

I believe delightful moments of joyfulness are a glimpse at the divine. I think this is especially true when we become filled with joy by witnessing the joy of another. It reflects the character of a God who rejoices over his children.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.  – Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. - James 1:17

I hope for many more full moments in my days. Even if they lead to tears in odd places. It's worth it.

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