Saturday night there was a gorgeous sunset as my girls and I left my mom and dad's house. I snapped a few pictures on my phone. They turned out okay, but came nowhere near to capturing the amazing colors above our heads.
The girls stood and watched the sky in awe.
We kept staring out the windows of the truck as we drove home, reveling in God's beautiful artistry in the sky. By the time we were halfway home, around three minutes after we'd first seen the colorful pinks and oranges, the sky had already faded to the gray-blue of dusk.
It always amazes me how quickly the pink and orange glory of sunrises and sunsets disappears. One moment, the entire sky seems to be on fire, and the next, the colors are gone.
Life is like that too. The older I get, the more I realize how fleeting time really is. I can still remember bringing each of my sweet girls home as little newborns. Now, I'm a little over two years away from having my first teenager!
It's so easy to wish and dream half of our life away. "I wish we had more money." "I wish we had a bigger house." "I can't wait 'til the kids are old enough to do so-and-so." "I'm so sick of diapers and laundry!"
When I was a majorly-stressed-out mom with three young girls (two of them in diapers), I felt like I would be stuck in that season of my life forever. I was tired and overwhelmed all the time. Older moms would come up to me and say, "Enjoy this stage! It goes by so fast." I used to want to tell them to take a hike, or offer them the children for a day and see how much they could "enjoy this stage". ;)
It really was true, though. Almost before I knew it, all three of the girls were in school. And no, I'm not one of those moms who cries every time I drop them off in the mornings. (I'm usually the mom going, "Whoo hoo! I have seven hours to myself!") But I have noticed how quickly the days are flying by. I can't keep waiting for the next big thing. I have to make sure I'm enjoying the small moments now, because all too soon, just like Saturday's sunset, this stage of my life will be over. I'll look around to an empty house and miss the little things that are a daily part of my life now. I want to remember the sound of Middle Gal practicing her piano scales, or Little Gal telling me her favorite movie quote, or Oldest Gal and I sitting and talking through her latest friendship troubles at school. I want to remember Middle Gal and Little Gal holding hands as they run off to school together, or Hubby in his work clothes, coming and giving me a hug when he gets home, and the countless hugs and kisses and "I love you, Mommy" whispers I hear every day.
I've said before that I'm not a fan of "New Year's Resolutions". I don't like setting myself up for failure. However, I do have a goal for 2015. I want to seize the moment. I want to live in the present, making the most of every opportunity life offers. Whether it's taking the time to tell the girls a story before bed, or going on a spontaneous date with Hubby while the girls are in school, or using that extra time to myself to read the Bible or work on my book rather than sit and watch a movie, I want to make every moment count. :)
Of course, I don't plan on living in the present to the extent that I have no regard for the future. Each decision I make needs to be weighed carefully in light of God's Word and the effect my choice will have on days to come. (In other words, living in the present will not give me the excuse to buy all the doll stuff I want this year. Bummer.) ;)
I know I'm only human and that this year will be full of just as many mistakes as last year, if not more. But I'd love to look back at the end of 2015 and be able to celebrate the good choices I made, too, and the memories I shared with my loved ones.