Savor the Little Moments
Have you noticed in the past few years that everything in life has become an extravagant and an expensive event?
Let me explain …
Gender reveal parties for babies have become incredible events… families gather around a designer cake waiting to discover whether it is pink or blue underneath that fabulous ganache. At the right moment, when the very pregnant mom cuts into the $200 cake, a roar goes up from the ground as blue or pink crumbs are revealed.
I have seen gender reveals that are characterized by the popping of balloons by the parents-to-be that explode into pink or blue glitter.
And how about this one … guns that are fired into the air with pink or blue smoke while a crowd of family onlookers shouts their approval.
Or what about marriage proposals?
Marriage proposals have become romantic events with a steep price tag. No longer is it the engagement ring that completely destroys a fellow’s budget … it’s now the proposal itself that sets him back several paychecks!
The future husband plans for months how he is going to pop the question to his one and only.
After all … she is worth it, right?!
There are lights … and hot air balloons … and a choir singing a love song in beautiful harmony … and flower petals strewn along a pathway … and proposals written in the sky.
There are hundreds of candles on the beach … and trips to far off destinations … and elaborate buffets of gourmet food … and lanterns that drift into the sunset.
Proposals happen at concerts … on the Jumbotron at sporting events … and are even televised!!
I hope that the soon-to-be-wed couple puts as much work into building a marriage as they did into planning the proposal.
And then there are birthday parties for children that have literally become thousand dollar events!
Have you seen some of the birthday parties that parents are planning for toddlers?
Bounce houses … and pony rides … and the appearance of a princess or two … and clowns that juggle … and unicorns and fairies.
I wonder if the 2 year old will remember the spectacular moment … I wonder.
O.K. … I’m not done yet. Almost but not quite …
Have you seen some of the ways that teenage boys are asking girls to go to the prom?
They make music videos or have a singing telegram sent to the girl’s house.
They write on their chest in paint, “Will you go to the prom with me?” Now … that’s just absurd!!
They write out the prom question in donuts … or in cupcakes … or with flowers or with chicken nuggets. I. Kid. You. Not.
They decorate the girl’s front yard with signs … and with balloons … and with lights that spell out that age-old question, “Will you go to the prom with me?”
It’s called a “promposal.” Who knew?!!
It seems to me that people are living from event to event … that the “occasion” has become an episode of such wonder and reverence that the simple joys of life are ignored.
Now … let me assure you … I love a good party! I love something to celebrate!
But I don’t want to lose the purity of the simple days in life in the wait for the next grand event that becomes a professional display of exorbitance.
I don’t want to plan such demonstrations of excess that I forget the giggles of the little ones that I am celebrating.
After all … all they really want is you and a cupcake!
Events don’t lay the foundation for a strong life … but ordinary days that are sprinkled with joy and with love are what living is all about at its very finest!
My dad used to sing this song to me as he worked with his hands in the deep, rich earth of our garden. Perhaps it is a song that we should sing to each other once again in our event-driven society:
“I don't believe in frettin' and grievin';
Why mess around with strife?
I never was cut out to step and strut out.
Give me the simple life.
Some find it pleasant dining on pheasant.
Those things roll off my knife;
Just serve me tomatoes; and mashed potatoes;
Give me the simple life.
A cottage small is all I'm after,
Not one that's spacious and wide.
A house that rings with joy and laughter
And the ones you love inside.
Some like the high road, I like the low road,
Free from the care and strife.
Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeedy;
Give me the simple life.”
Rather than planning events … let’s all resolve to savor the magical yet fleeting moments of life.
I love the gathering of friends and family around a table of food that is bedecked with flowers and with my grandmother’s china.
I love the sharing of memories … the holding of hands as we pray as a family … and the camaraderie that is experienced as we simply do the dishes together.
I love listening to my grandchildren practice the piano on a winter’s afternoon … and hearing my mom’s voice on the telephone … and going for a walk with my husband of over 40 years.
I love opening my windows to smell the first flowers of springtime … and having a cup of coffee with my daughter before the start of a long day.
I love listening to a 4-year-old tell a story with joy and enthusiasm …
I love dusting the furniture in my home with worship music playing in the background …
I love watching a 9-year-old boy shoot his basketball into the goal in his driveway for hours upon hours …
I love reading my Bible during the early morning hours when the dew is still on the ground and before anyone has yet begun to stir for the day …
You see, for me as a woman, it is not the grand events upon which I have built a life, but my life has been constructed upon the glory of the simple yet profound experiences in life.
A glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s afternoon while the neighborhood children use the sidewalk chalk that I have left out for them …
A sweet thank you note from a loved one who took the time to verbalize their appreciation …
Savoring a cup of hot tea while remembering and praying for the high school friend who gave me the mug from which I am drinking …
These simple joys are the stuff of which life is truly made.
“They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs’
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy!
You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
You water its furrows abundantly,
You settle its ridges,
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
You have crowned the year with Your bounty,
And Your paths drip with fatness.” – Psalm 65: 8 – 11
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!