I was sitting on my bed last night, looking at the computer screen as I followed-up on some commitments and researched some different opportunities when Jack got a bit noisy. I reached down to pat him. He quieted. I proceeded with what I was doing. Then, he squealed again. I looked at him. Immediately, he gave me a bright-eyed, open mouthed, arms and legs wiggling giggle.
Jack was happy simply to have me looking at him.
A deep breath and two thoughts later, I found myself holding him with a tear slipping from the corner of my eye.
The deep, cleansing breath I took cleared my mind of thoughts of work and research for future opportunities. It brought me back to the present moment and the precious scent of my youngest child in my arms. A visceral delight. Something I felt overwhelming gratitude for.
Babies. Breathe them in. It’s so good for the spirit!
Then, the a thought flashed into my mind: There I had been online concentrating on how I might provide a better life for my kids when one of my children was right next to me, fussing, but, then, squealing and smiling as soon as I looked at him. Hey, Mommy, be present! Look at me right now. Life need not be better. It is perfect in its imperfection right here, right now, with me. Truly, God has graced me with beautiful children, and He has honored me by placing trust in Mike and me to be good stewards in raising them. Why do I let myself get distracted from the very present portions of this mission with thoughts of future things? I do not know. But, I am sure glad Jack brought me back from the “worry about the future” abyss.
The present truly is a precious gift from God. He reminds us not to worry about the future, but to live and love right here and right now. A practice that brings delight!
Indeed, Jack’s gurgles and glee brought me delight last night. They also acted as a catalyst for my second thought – a reflection that brought tears and peace all at once.
You see, when Jack was able to catch my attention his reaction was immediate and absolute. Every part of him responded with joy. As I witnessed his fussiness immediately transform into an excited, open-mouth smile, arms-a-waving, legs-a-kicking, I could not help but to feel overwhelming delight myself. One simple look from parent to child translated into an ageless moment of smiling satisfaction.
Amazing that just by looking at my sweet baby I could bring him such pleasure! Just as remarkable that when his joy burst forth, mine emerged, too. Still more miraculous, if a imple shared look could bring such powerful delight to my son and I, how much greater is the joy that my Father and I can share?
He is never so wrapped up in what He is doing that he neglects to look down at me until I fuss. In fact, He is always there just waiting for me to look back at Him. So, all I, His child, need do in order to embrace true joy is to direct my focus towards Him.
Where my attention focuses, there my joy can also be.
Thank you, Jack, for helping Mommy to remember this simple truth and, thank you, Father, for always being there to share rapture.