Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunsets and Seizing the Moment

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.


Emmaline said...

Have you seen the movie Into the Woods? It's really fantastic, I think you'd like it.

Phyllis said...

What a beautiful sunset! I know all too well how quickly the time flies. Seems like yesterday sometimes that I flew half way around the world to China to get my daughters (I did in twice!). I remember the feeling I had when I first held each one of them and what it was like to fall in love with them. My oldest daughter is now a young adult and in her first year of college. She works and studies hard and I could not be more proud of her. My youngest is a freshman in High School and sometimes I long for the days when I rocked her too sleep, but I am also proud of the young lady she is becoming. I look forward to all of the opportunities the new year will bring and the shared moments with my girls. I am truly blessed! God bless as you embark on your journey to write a book -- I hope to hear more about that this year!

Farrah Lily said...

Stunning sunset!! I can only image how amazing it was in person. I completely agree with you about finding peace and joy in all of these "now" moments...having a 5 and 2 year old I totally get what you mean about how it can be crazy at times, but life really is about savoring each moment and being eager for what is to come. I have even started a "happiness journal" where I take a few moments each day and write a little bit of my appreciation for the major things I "used" to complain about. Feeling abundant even if the checkbook says something different and feeling beautiful even if I don't like a certain body part, feeling blessed with love even if something in my relationship makes me crabby, etc! Happiness truly does come from within...great post!! :)

Jan said...

Your sunset pictures are just beautiful! :-). I know what you mean about capturing how beautiful a sunset is in photos though; I always try to take photos of especially striking sunsets, and while my photos usually turn out ok, they don't show all the gorgeous realms of color in the skies. ;-). Oh, well. We can always 'seize the moment' to enjoy them while they are occurring, right? :D


beastsbelle said...

Hi Emmaline! Yes, I did just see Into the Woods last week. I've been mulling over it and thinking about doing a blog review. (My last few attempts at movie review posts have kind of fizzled, though, so I'm not sure if I'll get around to it.) :} I did enjoy it overall, aside from a few small issues. I was pleased that they removed some of the more objectionable content from the original play. I am fascinated by Sondheim's music, and rather frustrated with how hard it is to sing along to it. ;)

Phyllis, I wish I could have fully captured just how lovely it was. I'm glad I snapped the pictures when I did, though. :)

Thank you for sharing about your daughters, too. It's always fun to hear about other families. It sounds like you have two very special girls, too. :)

I will definitely be keeping all of you posted about my book and how things go. I'm excited to see what God has planned! :)

DJwolf-Addy said...

I know what you mean about the time just flying off with out you. I'm only 14 and next Christmas I'll be getting my driving permit. It seems just yesterday my older brothers were getting a permit....Sigh...

BTW- Have you seen Big hero 6? It is really good! I love it so much!

beastsbelle said...

Exactly right, Jan. ;) I guess we can just take a photo in our memory. :)

Hi DJwolf-Addy! It's amazing how the time flies, and it only goes faster as you get older. ;)

I have seen Big Hero 6 and really loved it! :D I planned on doing a movie review, but ran out of time during the holidays. :}

Paige said...

Wow, that is an amazing sunset! :D
Thank you for the reminder to enjoy whatever stage of life we're in - right now for me it's being a single young woman, which is exciting but also sometimes frustrating. :) I know someday I'll cherish memories of this time!

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Paige. :) I think all of us need the reminder, no matter what stage we're in. ;)