Posts Tagged ‘#lookingback’

I have hit that stage, as a woman, that hubby and I used to refer to as PMW … the post menopausal woman … children have grown to adulthood, no grandchildren, but there is a twinkle in her eye when she sees a little one.

Don’t worry … I am not quite at the yearning for grandkids stage, but I am more aware of the reality of the saying

the days are long
but the years are short.

Lately there seem to be littles at every turn. Friends with newborns, children who stop to chat when I am outside, the cutie who comes to our church food bank, whose smile melts my heart.

With each turn I hear the words, the voices of women my current age (the PMWs),

“time goes so fast”
“just savour every minute”
“don’t rush them to grow up”
“you’ll miss this stage when they grow up”

The thing is, I was never a baby-person. Oh, I loved my littles with my whole, entire momma heart, but I had babies so as to get teenagers. So, when they were (finally) teens, making me the happiest momma around, I just didn’t relate when the PMWs would say,

“don’t you wish they were still little?”

and I would smile and say, “nope.”

Yesterday I was emptying a cabinet and rediscovered the framed images from my kids childhood. My heart ached a bit as I looked at their little faces, remembering small hands in mine, busy and demanding days, sweet bedtime snuggles, stories and prayers.

But my ache, the source of the lump in my throat … it wasn’t because I long to go back in time to their childhood, but because I hoped that I had savoured the moments I was in, the moments of their years as littles.

Then, as if the young, exhausted, pulled-in-every-direction momma I was back then, was standing behind me, whispering in my ear, I heard her youthful wisdom say,

“time still goes so fast”
“savour every moment with them as adults”
“don’t rush them to the next stage of adulthood”
“you may, one day, miss this stage they are in now”

And so, I am going to take the wisdom of younger me … not long for the future, not yearn for the past, but just enjoy the gift of today. I may not see or speak to them daily, but I can take every opportunity to listen actively, to encourage them, to take every chance to speak words and actions of love to their hearts. I can pound on the doors of heaven for them each day.

For, these days too can be long, but the years are also short.

“Look carefully then how you walk,
not as unwise but as wise, 
making the best use of the time …”

Ephesians 5:15-16


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“I can’t wait for things to go back to normal”

That has to be the most commonly expressed and felt sentiment of our day. We long for our ‘normal’ life, filled with the activities and habits and people that give breath to our life. We long for predictability and the possibility of planning for events and travel.

Our Covid 19 life of social distancing is so far from ‘normal’ and we just want it to return, in all it’s human-intersecting splendor. Even the introverts among us are longing for normal, to be with people (choice people, the ones who fill our cups).

Recently, while scrolling through Instagram, someone posted the following excerpt from a book, published in early February of this year. Beth Moore had written this book prior to 2020, prior to Covid 19, yet, this excerpt could have been written today (for today):

From the book, Chasing Vines

What are you asking for, desiring most? What do you miss from your before Covid 19 restriction life? What and who are you longing for?

Perhaps, you just want to hug your socially distanced children, parents, friends. Maybe you too long to sing with other followers of Christ in church. Perhaps you are missing your work community, or work. Maybe you just long to sit in a restaurant and share a nice dinner with someone. Maybe you miss your hair stylist, a manicurist. Or your athletic club, group or team.

The things we miss are often the normal, everyday people and events … the things that have become life-giving to us.

I keep hearing health and government officials speak of a return to our new normal, that life will not return to the normal that we knew before Covid 19, but, instead, a new normal will emerge.

I wonder what that new normal will look like …

But, here’s the thing, I don’t think that the new normal will be different from the old normal in that the people who we hold dear will be back in reach (literally). We will still participate in activities that keep us healthy, active and entertained. We will still worship our God, who goes ahead of us, with us and behind us.

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:18-19

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It is the eve of the New Year …

2020 … just like perfect vision.

It is interesting that it is as we look back we see the year that has been lived with clarity, perfectly.

When we look back a year ago, we had no idea what was in store in our lives, in the lives of those who we love. We did not know what changes would occur, what friends we would make (or lose), what lives would be lost (or born), what celebrations would be had, what struggles we would stand, shaking in our boots, and face … or hide from.

As I look back at one year ago, I wonder how I might have done things differently … if I knew then what I know now. What would I change? What would I do the same?

But, we cannot live life backwards. The hours and the days move only one way, forward. The learning is done in the moments that we live, and the wisdom that we gain … well it is gathered over time.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn”

We cannot look forward to 2020 with clarity. Oh, we can make plans, fill our calendars and have good intentions, but the reality, the clarity of this new year will only provide 2020 vision as we peer back at it, one year from now.

The shadows on the days to come will be illuminated by being able to look back. To know what is ahead of us, can only be seen fully when looking at it, in reverse. What we see is only clear in it’s reflection.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

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IMG_4899.JPGIt was an evening of quiet, with clouds that were as sun-hiding as coastal fog.

Hubby had left to take our son and his friend to camp, where they will be working all summer.

Just the evening before, my family honored my request for a photo, by changing their schedules to make it happen. That’s what  families do … give and stretch for each other, even when it doesn’t make sense.

It was the last opportunity for all five of us to be in the house, and I wanted just one specific image. I am pretty sure they thought I had lost all sense of creativity, but they did it nonetheless (and I didn’t even have to pull out the “do you realize how difficult childbirth was” stories).

So that photo was taken (at the bottom of this page), then, the next day, our son walked out of his home of fourteen of his eighteen years for the last time.

Standing at my kitchen sink (my favourite place in the house), looking out into the back yard, the memories made in this home started to flood into my mind, and a realization that the opportunity to have memories promoted by this setting is coming to an end.

So I emerged from my window perch and wandered down memory lane.

When we entered this place our youngest couldn’t reach the light switch. He had to share a room with his sister, while the roof was added to the upper deck, to make a bedroom for him. He has had three different bedrooms in this house. We would often look to the back yard and see him use the back yard as a urinal (or his sisters would have him ‘water’ spiders). He learned to swim in our pool, just one week after we moved in. His favourite room in the house is the loft, where he and friends played various video games.

Back at the beginning, our oldest was ten, a competitive swimmer and eager to throw a party. She has thrown her share of parties, and utilized our pool for summer employment for a number of years. She has lived in an upper bedroom and in the basement suite. She was the first to leave our nest a year and a half ago. Her favourite place at our home … the pool.

Our middle daughter was only seven … just a little girl finishing grade one, swimming daily for the swim club, always angling to have a friend over and toting notebooks of scribbles and sketches. She has only ever had one bedroom in this house … the largest bedroom. She has been in school ever since we moved in and has had more friends over than all the rest of us (probably combined). Her favourite place at this place is her bedroom.

Our kids have grown up here, we all grew here, and in a few days we will move on to a new time and place, where stories and growth and laughter and tears will happen.

It was good to look back, and remember what we had here together.



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