The Phenomenal Privilege of a Particular Moment

I walked outside last night for the routine task of covering the grill. The trees were bathed in light so ethereal that I forgot where I was for a moment. But then I remembered, and I ran inside for my camera. This was the scene:


The “snow moon” (SNOW?) was just about to reveal itself behind this beautiful cloud.

I suddenly realized that I was about to encounter a viewing, a moment, that no other soul in the entire universe was there for. As tiny as I am in the mind-blowingly enormous scheme of what is, I was the only one given the privilege of witnessing the moon’s spectacular arrival in that exact location of space time.

And here it came:


I was struck dumb by the awareness of all the moments that I have missed because, although I was there,  I wasn’t really THERE. I was distracted, or occupied by 2 of my worst time-sucking habits – rehashing the past and planning the future.

Fortunately, I have found 3 new pastimes that unwind those bad habits and land me square in the present: beach combing, photography, and fishing. Photography is my favorite because it heightens my awareness of details and balance and color and design.

I am trying to take this lesson and apply it with determination to my time with people throughout my day, be it with my kids, or the cashier at HEB. Talk about beautiful displays of God’s design! When I see my cashier and imagine framing her for a photo, I see her in all her precious uniqueness.

I was reminded of this challenging blog post by a dear friend, Len Woods. He contemplates how we interact with strangers and says:

“I’m going to begin to cultivate the simple habit of mentioning people to God—whoever he puts in my path—as I go about my day. Not just my family and friends—I already do that. But all the strangers along the way—and especially in my way.” 

I highly recommend clicking the link above and reading his entire post. I can’t imagine a better way than this to stay present with human beings.

I would love to hear from anyone that made it to the end of this post. When do you feel most connected to the here and now? What beautiful moments have you witnessed that were yours alone in the universe? And what joyful moments might be yours today?

Isaiah 43:18-19 “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.”

Amen and amen.


Coming To Terms With Time

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I have spent too many days out of sorts with time in one way or another. When I was in elementary school, children made little sense to me. Drawn to the conversations and complications of the adult world, I skipped through time, burdened with self-made responsibilities, longing to be grown up.

I passed right over the traditional college years altogether (at least 3 of them), choosing to marry young. Then I spent my 20’s trying to cram more hours into every day as I worked 80-100 hours a week trying to save my little slice of the world. All of the time in the world could not have saved it.

When my children came, I mentally held my infants at arms’ length, silently pleading with them to become proper humans so that I might know what to do with them. Now that my oldest is nearing adulthood, I am often silently pleading for more time to enjoy his company.

I have had moments I wish had been days, a handful of days I wish had been years. Then, there are entire years I wish I could erase. The years that followed my darkest days I spent wishing away if only to put space between the pain and the present.

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That brings me to today. I deeply desire to let time be what it is, to let it flow freely, to stop grasping and regretting, to joyfully gather the moments that graciously continue to come and to hold those temporary gifts with open hands.