Monday, June 25, 2012

Living In The Moment

Today, I did something that I haven't done for a very long time.  Or...come to think of it...maybe never at all. 

I lived in the moment.

I'm normally not a spontaneous person.  I like to know what I'm doing and when I'm going to do it.  To-do lists can be found in most every room of my house. Change up my schedule and you can be certain that I will freak out a bit.  Sometimes more than a bit. I could be considered someone who is anal-retentive, and not a person who thrives on living in the moment. 

I can also be overly concerned with how others see me and what they think of me.  I don't like to call attention to myself (although I did many years ago), preferring instead to remain just another face in the crowd. 

But today, I did things a little bit differently.

Today, in the middle of a sudden downpour, I responded to the urge to take off my shoes and socks and step out from my dry and protective little spot on my front porch right into the rain.  While I didn't dance in it, I did jump and splash in the puddles, kicking water as I happily waded through the small flash flood raging down my street.  I didn't care how I looked or who saw me acting like an overgrown 5 year old. 

It was different.
It was spontaneous.
It was fun!
It was freeing!

It was living in the moment.

Later in the evening, I went for a walk.  Most times, I walk to help maintain my health and body weight.  Sometimes, I walk to clear my head of all the gunk that is often swirling through it.  Tonight, it was to do both.  I'll often drive to a local park or to my daughter's high school track to walk, or I'll just walk through my neighborhood a few times.  Tonight, however, I strayed beyond the borders of my neighborhood, walking about a mile and a half from it.

As I was walking, I received a phone call from a lovely friend of mine; an older, wise and godly woman whom I've known for about twelve years now, and who, as of late, has become a mentor to me.  She didn't have an easy life for most of her years.  Yet, she is a joyful and thankful woman who loves, leans on, and walks and talks with God every day.  His love, grace, mercy, peace and compassion practically radiate from her, and she is as authentic a person and follower of Christ as the day is long. 

We had a wonderful conversation.  She asked me how I was doing, knowing I've been battling depression recently, and I told her that I was trying to look at various circumstances and people in my life from a different perspective -- a more thankful, grateful perspective.  She told me she was so happy to hear that and then mentioned this 'little book' (she always uses the word 'little' to describe things -- little book, little song, little prayer, little verse) someone had given her called ''One Thousand Gifts,' by Ann Voskamp, asking me if I'd ever heard of it or read it.  I laughed and told her that so many people I know have read it or are currently reading it, but I had yet to do so. She offered to let me borrow it, and went on to say that this was what the book was about:

living in the moment and

finding things to be grateful for in both the grace-filled and adversity-filled moments of life

She encouraged me to look around me as I continued on my walk tonight, to be on the look out for things to be grateful for that God might have waiting for me just around the bend, and to be ready to 'live in the moment.'  We ended our conversation with my promising her that I would try.

And I did.  

As I walked, I gave thanks for the sudden coolness today's rain had brought, and for the vivid colors of the flowers in all the yards I passed. 

I listened to and was thankful for the beautiful soundtrack of music that accompanied me, from the medley of tunes from a cheerful and rather loud mockingbird who seemed to follow me down one street, to the varied tones of several different wind chimes hanging from a neighbor's porch to the wind whispering through the tree leaves. 

I enjoyed and thanked God for a glorious display of light to which I was a privileged audience, as huge rays of the evening sun suddenly broke through some dark clouds, transforming the sky into a breathtaking heavenly and almost sacred scene.  All that was missing was a choir of angels belting out the Hallelujah Chorus (oh, but believe me, they were singing in my head)!

I had a huge smile on my face, and very briefly wondered if someone might decide to call the police as I realized I had stopped and was standing halfway up someone's driveway, staring up at the sky.  But oddly enough (odd for me), I didn't care.  

Because I was living in the moment.

Then, I passed by the elementary school that my son and daughter had attended and thought it would be nice to sit for just a few minutes on one of the benches in the playground.  But then, I looked a little further past the bench -- to the swings -- and thought, "Why sit when you can fly?"

And decided yet again to live in the moment.

The same overgrown 5 year old who splashed in rain puddles earlier in the day, now ran over to the playground equipment, hopped on one of the swings and swung up to the sky, putting my head all the way back, despite my vertigo, so I could continue seeing and enjoying God's light show.  Yes, my head spun for awhile, but it was SO worth it.  I laughed out loud as I saw a robin standing nearby, curiously studying me, no doubt wondering what this big person was doing on a kid's swing.   Then, I noticed a little boy and his dad over by the sliding board, staring at me, too, probably wondering the same thing. But it was okay. 

Because, once again:

It was different.

It was spontaneous.
It was fun!
It was freeing!

It was living in the moment.

How often in the course of our day do we go through the motions, always taking the same path, never deviating from the norm or jumping into the pool of spontaneity with all of our clothes on?  How often do we miss the sweet, funny, beautiful and tender blessings God delights to give us, if only we would choose to pull our eyes away from our iPads and iPhones and look around us?  When was the last time you laid down on the ground, not worrying about getting your clothes or your hair dirty or finding an ant or two (or three) crawling up your arm, to just watch and enjoy the clouds slowly moving by?  Perhaps picking out a few of them that resemble animals or people or even a heart.

What will tomorrow bring?  For me, I hope it's a day emptied of most of my To Do lists and instead, filled with more spontaneous opportunities to be thankful and grateful to the One Who has numbered all of my days and longs for me to enjoy each and every one of them.  Living in the moment.

What will tomorrow bring for you, dear one?  Will you choose to live in the moment?


  1. Congrats & good for you. My word for the year is random.

  2. Welcome to your childlike faith! How happy I am with Lord of the Rings in the you understand why my husband makes me promise that I won't embarrass him...but he knows (since he married me after all) that the stakes are high I will and most likely I think he suspects it doesn't matter BUT he is not there yet. We are not promised the next moment, my friend- we have to live like it. It's true. I love you and hope you live all of your moments with the possibility of abandon and when you forget His love will remind you and all the rest is grace. Hugs!

  3. WOW YOU SURE DO KNOW HOW TO MAKE A GROWN GIRL CRY. SO HAPPY FOR YOU DEAR FRIEND. As you know me well enough I have choose to take the other road this summer to be layed back but the most important lesson I'm taking away from this is to be thankful to our Dearest Heavenly Father for ALL THINGS BIG OR SMALL.
    Love you beautaful Lady!! Thanks for being gracious and sharing your heart.

  4. Sooooooooooo Cool...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE :)

  5. Oh my word! Thank you all SO very much for your encouraging comments.

    Honestly -- all I wanted to do was get out of the house and walk yesterday. No plans or 'whisperings' from God to write anything in my journal OR the blog. Until I sat on that swing. And then, it all came flooding in. Guess I had to clear my head to make room for what was coming from Him! That's the way it always seems to work.

    That's something else to be thankful and grateful for -- that you all enjoyed this and that you each got something out of it. That's what it's all about for me. Thanks be to God!


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