After celebrating our 5th Wedding Anniversary almost a month ago and then attending my brother-in-law’s wedding this past weekend I’m feeling rather nostalgic. Reflecting back on the last five years and all the life that has happened has made me appreciate the days gone by so much.

It has also left me wishing I appreciated each season of our marriage more while we were in the moment. So much of my time in each stage was spent planning and dreaming of the one that would come next. Our first year of marriage while living in our one bedroom apartment, I spent time dreaming of the house we would buy. Once we bought the house I spent time dreaming of the children we’d have to fill it. Once one baby was born it wasn’t six months before I was planning and looking forward to the next one.

While I don’t believe at all that dreaming and making plans are bad things, I do believe that as a culture we often miss the beauty of today, by focusing too much on what we hope will come next.

Looking back on the year we spent in our 700 sq ft. apartment, I long for the simplicity of that time. For the massive amount of quality time with Kevin that I took for granted, and for the freedom to get up and go/do without having to consider nap schedules and mealtimes.

After Everett was born and our world was rocked by all the joy and sacrifices that parenting brings, I wish I had taken more time to revel in the little moments. I wish I’d stopped to appreciate the newborn cuddles more and really taken time to enjoy our short time as a family of three.

Even after Clara was born there was this urgency in me to answer the question, “what comes next?” We spent lots of time talking and thinking about fostering to adopt, even going so far as to attend a training when Clara was only 4 months old. Why???

Why do I have this constant need to plan for what comes next? What is it innately in me that longs for something more even as I’m surrounded by such sweet blessings? The Lord began stirring in me the desire to just slow down and be present earlier this year, and has been reminding me of it again lately. He gently calls me to be still in His presence and reminds me that only He can satisfy the yearning inside me.

Now as we’re expecting our third little blessing from the Lord, I want to be intentional about being present in our current moment. I want to soak up the simplicity of life as a family of four, even though it honestly doesn’t feel very simple at all most days. I’ve learned that each new season brings a new level of beautiful mayhem, and I feel confident that this time next year I will look back and reflect on the “simpler” days when we felt like we had it all together with two (ha!).

My goal this week is to be present and thankful, to turn off the TV, put away my phone and computer, and sit on the floor with my children. To spend time sitting and observing our life as it is today and praise God for all He has given us. I don’t want to let any more of “the good ole days” fly by while I’m consumed by thoughts of what comes next.

Application:

What area of your life currently has you yearning for more? Take some time to bring that yearning to the Lord and ask if it is from Him or if it is your own flesh stirring up discontentment.

Join me in taking time to sit back and give the Lord the thanks and praise He is due for all He has done.

Father, help us this week to be present with you and with those you’ve placed in our lives. Help us to have thankful hearts and give us eyes to recognize the blessings you’ve given us. You are good and faithful. Only you can fulfil the longing in our hearts. Remind us of who you are this week as we draw near to you through thanksgiving and praise. Grant us the peace and contentment that is ours in You! Amen.

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