Wednesday, January 9, 2013

seize the day but not too hard

I feel this pressure lately (OK, who am I kidding, always) to seize every moment.  To maximize every situation.  To take advantage of every single opportunity that comes our way.

For example:  It's an unusually nice day.  I MUST get the kids outside to play!  The weather will never be this beautiful again!!!

Or:  The kids' ministry at church is hosting an ice cream social.  Don't want to miss out!!!  Never mind that two of us are sick, or that the littles may run wild, or that one child's food obsession might make a food-centered event less than enjoyable.

Or:  All the kids on Facebook are in gymnastics and dance and soccer and Christian theater and are fully immersed in Chinese culture and are embalming whole chickens as part of their home school education!  How can I find a way to do it all?!?!?  (there's that nefarious comparison again)

It's kind of oppressive, this way of thinking.

I'm all for seizing the day, the moment, whatever.  My Sweet Tea just turned three months old, and I am endeavoring to cherish every little bit of her babyhood.  It passes so quickly.  I was almost a little sad when she started sleeping through the night!  I know, crazy, right?

I also want to make wise investments in my children's education and experiences, prayerfully considering what will bear the most fruit.  Sometimes you don't know.  It's cool to try new things.  But with five young kids and limited resources, they might turn out to be the classroom equivalent of busy work.  Dr. Husband and I actually ask God to clue us in early to our kids' natural and spiritual gifts so we can make the best use of the resources we have and guide the kids into fulfillment, not just busyness.

Today my thoughts turn a bit somber.  I just learned that the wife of a college acquaintance died.  She was only 42.  I cried thinking of her eleven and eight year old, time with their mom on this earth come to an end.  I sensed sorrow turning to fear, and I had to work to evict those not-from-God thoughts.

Being mindful that life is precious and unpredictable, and therefore trying to seek out every bit of joy and fruitfulness and gratitude is appropriate. Operating out of unhealthy comparison, desperation, or fear of lack, loss, or regret does not sound like the life Jesus wants for me.

We are temporal beings. We are also eternal beings.  I want to learn to live restfully and abundantly in the balance.