I've always had major issues with time. I know that many people feel the "temporal" nature that is required of us in this life - its pressures and its fleeting moments that barely let you escape each day without thinking "where did it go?" And I am to the extreme.
I would say that time, in fact, haunts me. I have always felt it. I remember being seven years old and nearly having a panic attack that I practically wasted my sixth year and would never get to be five years old ever again. (Yes, I know I'm strange.) I remember the night before I turned thirteen thinking "This is it - you are going to be a teenager. You've waited your whole life for this and now it is here - are you ready? Have you done everything you hoped you would do up until now?" (Yes, I know I had some emotional issues.) And if you read any of my previous blogs about turning thirty this year, then you get that I am still plagued with those same kind of questions even years later.
I realize that this must sound emotionally exhausting to some of you, downright kooky to others. Perhaps. But, it also has its benefits.
I remember a LOT. Just ask my family. If anything ever comes up or there is a dispute in recalling something - they all look at each other and say "I bet Emily remembers" and...usually I do! There is some kind of "stop and smell the roses" mechanism in my brain that I believe was put there for a reason - so I try to use my superpowers for good and not for evil.
I also believe that having lived through some hardships in my life, that this "fight for time" has also allowed me to be able to genuinely be intentional about how I spend my time and truly do my best to not take things for granted. I am very firm with my values, and I guard their boundaries with my life: God first, Family a very close second. And I am very deliberate about enjoying the moments with my family - because they are all passing so quickly.
There is such freedom in this! When you are able to gain perspective - and I strive as hard as I can to maintain it - then you will realize that you hardly have anything to complain about. Truly, I used to be the world's best (worst?) complainer. And it is a struggle for me in various areas of my life, for sure (we can all ALWAYS find SOMETHING to complain about - and when you need a buddy for that, I'm your gal - and I'll bring the brownies to serve on the side of that giant plate of whining). But, when it comes to my family, my husband and my baby girl, I really am just so grateful for them it doesn't leave much room for selfishness or impatience. And, let me tell you, (coming from a bona fide Debbie Downer at one point in my life...) that when you suddenly become aware of each moment as a fleeting spark of time, you just do all you can to hang on to it. Therefore, the littlest things become blessings. And the things you THOUGHT were important ("Oh, why didn't he take out the trash!" "Why won't she go to sleep!") become the endearing parts of life that are left as minor frustrations and characteristics of...well....life! And I remind myself constantly "Enjoy this! Soon you will look back and be thinking 'Oh, remember when Matilda would throw tantrums when you took away the remotes from her! Oh that seems so long ago!' but it's now - right now - soon to be gone!" and so I can sit back and watch her little tantrum with joy (trying to hold back the smile all the while) and regain the patience that I otherwise might have lost. After all, how can I NOT stop myself and make myself enjoy each moment? I am constantly feeling my temporal heart beating to the rhythm of an eternal meter. I am not meant for this world. It is fleeting.
All this to say, last night was an emotional night for me. Even with the entire year of mental preparation, I knew that the first year with my daughter would come to a close (with cause for much celebration!) and so I rocked her extra long last night at bedtime. I always sing "Jesus Loves Me" when I rock her to sleep, but last night I also added in a verse of "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder - which Josh and I named as "her song" and we even sang it to her in the womb, and also in the hospital room after she was born. Made from love, indeed, our girl is so lovely.
As I was praying over her, rocking her, I became overwhelmed with gratitude. My heart swelled so big it felt like my throat was closed off, and the tears were soon to follow.
God is so good.
MY GOODNESS, God is so good.
We have been living in a season of such blessing, sometimes it is easy for me to stress out "waiting for the other shoe to drop" - it all just seems too good to be true. But it is true, and it is good - and so, I soak it up. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for each moment. Thank you for our baby girl. Thank you for Matilda.
And so we celebrate her...and the many moments yet to come.