Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Be Here Now

The boy is at school and I'm sitting by the window watching the morning sun stream through the trees over the carpet of grass that is my father's life's work and possibly his first love (I kid. But, it's basically a small golf course back there). The steam rises from my mug of black tea and the sound of a newly discovered band plays in the background. (Of Monsters and Men, if you're curious. And yes, I realize I'm a little late to the party on that one.) The new normal continues to unfold here and I am trying really hard to embrace it.

It's cold this morning and I have on a cardigan, perhaps the best article of clothing ever invented. And just for the record, 51 degrees in Georgia is cold, people. Don't judge, Canadians. Cardigans make me happy in a way that doesn't make sense for 99.8 percent of you out there. And I'm okay with that. Something about needing to throw on a sweater reminds me that it's not a million degrees in the Deep South and that a good hair day may, indeed, be achievable. Good hair on any given day during a southern summer is about as rare as a unicorn. If you have a good hair day here in Georgia between May and September, you marvel and take pictures and tell your grandchildren about it, for it is the stuff of dreams. But, I digress.

Today I'm thinking about something my friend Molly said on her blog recently regarding having just moved with her little family to a new place. She explained that she had decided to be intentional about finding good in the season she's in instead of focusing on the difficult, the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable parts of a new context. I'm going to take that word of wisdom and run with it.

So, here I am, purposing to stop moaning about what I've left behind with this move and determining to start dwelling on the good and the beautiful things that are here now. I'm tired of waiting for joy. I keep thinking it'll happen when we find our dream house, or if and when we have another little one, or when the creators of Gilmore Girls finally call me back so that I can persuade them to make an eighth season and let me play Lorelai's other daughter (I realize I need to let this dream die).

I think one of the keys to finding joy in our circumstances has to be this: learning how to actually be where you are. One of my favorite quotes is by the missionary, Jim Elliot, who said "Wherever you are, be all there." In the age of television, laptops, iPhones and iPads, this feels like an impossible charge. But, I'm discovering that lamenting the past or pining for the future leaves me unable to appreciate the now. I want to be more present and to find joy in the little things, the things right in front of me, the things that matter.

And then, there's this:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~Psalm 16:11

According to Psalms, the definitive answer to finding joy is being in God's presence. I'm terrible at that. I'm too busy doing laundry, picking up after my family, cooking dinner, watching HGTV, organizing my sock drawer, reading articles about what Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick ate for dinner. I'm really good at finding things to do to keep myself busy. And, in the midst of all that, I miss it: the being present, the being still. I miss God and the joy He's offering me here and now.

It sounds simple. And maybe it is for some people (i.e. Billy Graham and a few really godly mommy bloggers who don't waste time watching tv and reading celebrity magazines). But, I have a feeling that being present, being still, and finding joy might prove to be a little more difficult than it sounds.

But, I think it just might be worth it. I'd like to trade in all my discontent and my busyness and my impatience for real, no preservatives added, actual joy.

I'm ready to be here now.


  1. I can hear your writing voice emerging here in this online space, and it makes me so happy I could just squeal.

    This is beautiful. Your heart is beautiful. Keep working it out on paper, dear friend. I love to hear your words. (And also, you make me laugh. WE ARE SO FUNNY. Sigh. I miss us.)

  2. Thanks, friend. I miss us, too. Heh. Let's have a reunion via phone soon. (-;



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