I had the privilege of meeting a dear friend for coffee this evening at a quaint coffee shop a few blocks from my house. I decided to walk there since it wasn’t far and for the first time since October I could be outside without a jacket on. I grabbed a scarf just in case it was cold later, plugged in my ear phones, cranked Mumford and Sons and began my stroll. It felt like spring. It finally felt like spring. The snow is gradually disappearing, the air is no longer cold and crisp but warm and welcoming. The sun was shining and I was basically skipping to the cafe. After my delightful two hour chat I walked my friend to her car and decided to take the long way home. It was slightly cooler than before, so I donned my lulu scarf and at a more leisurely pace, took the scenic route.
With Mumford singing my every step I began to sight see in my own neighborhood. I have lived here for just over 6 months now, yet I have never seen it this way before. So calm and peaceful yet full of life. I passed at least 4 families out for an evening stroll, kids of all ages giggling and chasing each other around trees while mom and dad walked hand in hand or arm in arm. Family… that’s what it felt like.
I drew my attention to the houses. I’ve always loved architecture and the idea that someone creates a building out of their imagination.
They plan the layout from the front door to the back door and from the basement to the ceiling. They picture the placement of the windows and the style of the door. They decide the elegance of a staircase or the simplicity of a yard. They can even get to the point where they guess at what kind of person, couple or family will occupy the building based on what they have designed. But even if two houses were built exactly the same, sat on the same sized lot, built with the same colour scheme, window treatments and garage, these houses would look and feel like two completely different houses.
Architects can plan and design and guess away when it comes to building a house but that house has never fulfilled its purpose until it has a buyer. Someone who decides that potential is there, they see beyond the paint on the walls and size of the rooms and they believe in what it can become. So they make the purchase, nay, the investment in the house. They move in and room by room begin to renovate. First it may be knocking down a wall or two, then adding paint to the walls and replacing the carpet. Changing light fixtures and picking art for the walls. Then furniture, and so on and so on. But here’s the thing, the house is never “finished”. Why? Because the owners are never “finished”. We are always changing and growing, so our homes grow and change with us. Each season we go through in our lives corresponds with our house. If there is a young family the furniture will be more durable, more child safe if you will. They won’t care about the colour on the walls because the kids will decorate them with crayons and markers, they won’t mind if the floor is scuffed or the carpet is stained. If they are empty nesters the first thing they do is purchase nice new furniture because they know the purchase won’t broken within moments of its arrival. If they are a newlywed couple most like you have a mishmash of new and old furniture because they are just starting out. People go through fads of style and colour, themes and inspiration, minimalistic and over dramatic. This could be the same person over 3o years of their life and yet it can all happen in the same house. It all depends on our season.
If only we knew how to be still… how to be in
the moment, soaking up every ounce of
pleasure that it offers.
The thing is, when we don’t recognize the season we are in, we can become distracted by the things that don’t matter. Imagine this, your house is filled with beautiful furniture like expensive suede couches, glass tables and one of a kind pieces of art… and two toddlers. You do everything in your power to ensure that your kids do not wreck your furniture. If they cannot sit nicely on the couch they do not sit on the couch, if they touch the glass table tops with their sticky fingers then they are learning to clean the table tops, if they knock over a piece of art they are no longer allowed in that room. If this all continues the kids move in the dog house… unless that was expensive too… By stressing over the furniture not only are you setting yourself up for a cardiac arrest but you are ensuring that your kids are missing out on being kids and you are missing them being kids. This analogy isn’t just for parents, what about those who don’t have kids yet? The young newlyweds who think only of their future five children but forget to enjoy this time of just being a couple? What about those empty nesters who now have to relearn what it means to be with each other after raising those five children? What if your a single woman/man who wants nothing more than the love of their life and refuses to enjoy the time they have for themselves? What if your in a season of being still yet you try and distract yourself with everything and anything else?
So what season are you in and are you actually allowing yourself to be in that season, or are you pushing towards the next season of life, like most of us are. Are you allowing yourself to enjoy all aspects of where you are in your life, are you enjoying the people God has placed in your zone, the joys and even the sorrows, the victories and the challenges. Are you able to sit, look around you and absorb all that is happening in that moment? Are you present in all of those things or are you trying to look into the future to what will be?
The thing is, when we don’t recognize the
season we are in, we can become distracted by
the things that don’t matter.
The funny thing is that we tend to go through these seasons only to look back later asking ourselves “how did that go by so fast?” or “where was I for that?”. We look so far forward that we forget that the very things we look forward to will eventually be the present… will you be in that moment or will you be looking even further to the next “I can’t wait until __________ happens”.
If only we knew how to be still… how to be in the moment, soaking up every ounce of pleasure that it offers. If only we knew how to blow out one candle at a time instead of rushing through the song to get to the cake. What if we dealt with pain when it happened instead of pushing it to the side and pretending it’s not there. When our kids are playing in the yard, what if we watched every smile, every giggle, expressed in the pure joy of throwing leaves instead of wandering what career they will choose. How about when we are hurt and broken it isn’t the pain that we focus on but the love we are surrounded with in every card, facebook message or visit we get from family and friends. Tell me, When will we start living the moments and stop assuming the future?
If every moment was a memory…
If every memory a picture …
If you invited me into your home …
What pictures would I see?
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