It feels as if I was just writing while the world outside was covered in a thick blanket of never ending snow. Winter, last year, was one of those winters that makes one finally begin to understand Laura Ingalls Wilder’s words in the book The Long Winter. I would write lamenting about the constant series of domino falling over days where the outside was too dreary to step into and my kids were going stir crazy and I’d dream about summer and them running around burning off all of that cooped inside energy.
And now, now it’s almost the end of July.
Somehow time slipped by.
It moved like sand through my fingers – constantly moving – and yet it felt as if there was always so much time. Summer was going to be inevitably long. So I thought.
Yet, here I am, walking through Target as the Back to School display is stocked with pens and pencils and notebooks and kids inside asking when the leaves are going to change colors and a garden that was so carefully planted in those days after the snow finally left that is now bearing beans and tomatoes and onions.
And my to do list of things to do with my kids is barely scratched.
Where did the time go? The busy? Life spins so fast at times.
There have been so many in a minutes from me. Or when I get backs. Or laters. Or how about this afternoon? Or after lunch? Or maybe tomorrows.
Motherhood, sigh motherhood. Full of good intentions and plans and agendas and really hard days and totally awesome days (as my Samuel would say) and days where one wants to throw in the towel and days where one wants to simply stop time for just one moment so the moment could last.
As I looked at the to-do list of summer things I began to think about all the things I didn’t accomplish. All those things I wanted to do with them. And yet, then, then when I watch them I see children who are happy. Content.
They love the little things.
The moments in life.
The times on the boat as the water slipped underneath. Going under a bridge and hearing cars speed overhead. Racing out with me in the morning to see if our raspberries were ripe. Ice cream late at night with extra chocolate sauce. Books read over and over and over. Walks around the block. Water fights in the backyard. The big box of Playmobil brought in from the garage and dumped out over the floor. Playing Angry Birds in the morning. Going to the store with me. Coffee and lattes outside of Starbucks.
Little things matter.
When the days spin so fast sometimes it’s easy to forget to see the power of the little things, the simple every single day moments in our lives.
Today, today you will have a day full of moments. Little breaths, little jewels hidden in the pile of the ordinary. And if you are like me you will miss them most of the time.
I see the things that don’t seem to work so often. The frustrating moments. The lists not done.
And I miss the joy on my almost four year old’s face. And the laughter of my girls as they watch the original Star Trek series at night. And the excitement as the sprinkler is turned on and little ones run through the cooling water in the heat of July. Little things.
Too often I see the messy living room with the books strewn on the floor and the legos that I inevitably will step on and get irritated about and the kitchen with dishes in the sink that should have been done hours ago and the lawn that needs to be mowed and laundry that needs to be folded and a little boys room that was clean at night that now has a pile of clothes on the floor from the almost six year old looking for his favorite shirt.
My eyes saw the work. Not the beauty.
So I’ve worked to train my eyes to see the joy in the middle of what often feels like spinning too fast chaos.
Life will never be perfect.
We have to look for the joy. Finding it, moment after moment after moment. It won’t just appear – it’s a posture, a way of living, and seeking. It’s being willing to let our ideal to-do list of things to accomplish go and instead being willing to sit just a bit longer with that almost six year old in your arms.
So today, today it will probably be a bit crazy. Expect that. There will probably be great moments. Expect them. And challenging moments. Yes, really expect them (especially if you are in any phase of potty training). And boring moments. And you’ve got to be kidding moments. And moments where you do the same thing again and again. Expect the incredible smorgasboard of moments in the middle of ordinary.
And in all of the race are these little moments, little things, that matter.
Start seeing those.
That’s the challenge on those life spinning too fast racing by days.
Little things matter.
Today, look for the little things. Write them down. Celebrate the ordinary.
to receive finding joy via email simply click subscribe.
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.