Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Welcome To The NOW

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a place where we step back and take in life. There are moments where we’re so caught up in it all, the hectic, mind-boggling pace of the day. but here we encourage you to take a moment and view the Bigger Picture. Whatever that means to you. A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and breathe in the bigness of it all -- the hugeness that is life and all the small moments adding up to one Bigger Picture.

We hope you’ll join us! Take a few moments, think about your week, and pour however little or much onto a page. Then share. Tell us your moment. Link up, grab our button, and share your Bigger Picture Moment. And while you’re at it, share the love and check out at least one other participant’s moment, too! Melissa will be hosting next week, so keep an open mind and heart throughout the week and come back to participate again or for the first time! All are welcome!

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I sat down at the computer recently to sift through the photo files, searching through a year's worth of moments. Swimming, swinging, sleeping, smiling -- my children's faces peeked out at me, showing a plain ascension of growth. Small to bigger. Young to older. One whole year of activities and daily happenings, recorded and saved, hidden, in my computer's files.

Time flies. It sneaks. It dresses up in normal days and passes itself off as a slow wanderer, when in fact, it's a speeding bullet.

And all the while, I've kept on working, doing my job, and wanting to do every part of it well. Making dinner from scratch and with detailed recipes. Cleaning the house while the girls played. Running errands and marking events on my calendar. Making our home a comfortable, romantic place for my husband to live. Writing and reading in every spare moment. Going to bed too late with the busyness of living. I've been present through everything but still it seems like time got lost in the living, and in the meanwhile....

The pictures told a story of life unfolding. Pigtails grew into a long, elegant ponytail. Chubby cheeks grew lean and rosy. A worried mama started trying to do everything to perfection and grew stressed and distant.

The truth is that that woman is not me. I'm not good at planning our lives to the best of efficiency and smooth operation. I love cooking, but not when I start thinking every meal has to be perfectly balanced and beautiful. It makes me happy to know my house is clean, but not when it means my daughters hear I'm busy to any playful request. I truly enjoy writing and meeting new friends in the blog world, but not when it means I'm exhausted every morning from staying up too late the night before.

I want to waltz through my days, not skitter. The moments I want my kids to remember are those when I threw the dishrag down defiantly, and screamed in laughter while chasing squealing children through the house, tickling them upon impact. When I'm old, I want to laugh at the silly games we played instead of the well-ordered home I ran. My life -- my marriage -- my family -- will be the most important thing I've nurtured, and that nurturing doesn't include perfect meals, 5 nights a week.

That's not what my life is about.

It's about being happy in the middle of it all. It's about accepting that I'm not the most organized housekeeper, no matter how many wonderfully helpful blogs or articles I read on the subject. It's about learning to be more present with my kids, and with my husband. With God. With myself.

So I'm going to stop typing now, and go chase my kids instead. I'm going to tickle them until their laughter morphs into wicked hiccups. I'm going to snuggle with my husband tonight, for hours on end.

I'm going to live, right now....not as soon as the dishes are done.



**Link up your Bigger Picture Moment below! Please make sure to use the link that will take us directly to your BPM post, linking back to us within your post, or your link will be deleted.

17 comments:

  1. I know how you feel. And thank you for the reminder.

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  2. This couldn't have struck a chord with me more than right now. I made the worst buttermilk fried chicken/mashed potato/sweet corn on the cob meal last night. 1- because I was stressed beyond measure and 2- because I had such expectations. (Even though my hubby had low expectations) So when I made burnt under cooked chicken... I lost my appetite for the substitue meal I made and lost my temper as well. At my hubby.

    SO yes... less focus on the fact that I suck as a cook (I rock at baking though) and move forward to play, feed, and enjoy my life just a little more.

    I agree with you 100 percent. They won't remember the horrid meal, but they will remember how childish I acted towards my hubby (who shouldn't have to sugar coat his words when it comes to my nasty cooking.)

    --> end rant. sorry about that.

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  3. Aaaaaannnnd.... now I've started the day with tears :)
    This was so very good. And I'm feeling it these days. I'm throwing down the dish towel today too!
    (and how funny, recently I had the same epiphany about dinners. It's ok if we have hot dogs and watermelon for dinner... you know?)

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  4. Sarah, I feel as though I could completely take over your comments chatting about this issue. You do eloquently described my life, EVERYDAY. I'll be honest, I haven't figured it out and lately I seem to be tipping to far into the side that is all about me. And that doesn't feel good either. Perhaps though, that's what life is all about. Ebbs and flows, and changing priorities, even though really they are all priorities. But some days we have energy for one thing and then others we have energy for another. I'm not sure.
    But I want you to know that I really, really appreciated this post and that I too hope to do a better waltz, than a skitter.

    On another note, what you describe here is the exact reason I don't have my own Bigger Picture Post today. I've been writing and posting up a storm and it has taken over (in good and bad ways). So I'll spend some time reading others, and hopefully will be back on board with a refreshed feeling next week.

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  5. Sarah this is a veru honest post about a subject that I think affects all of us as Moms. Why is it we feel the heavy weight of expectation upon us and then pile on top all our own high expectations of being the perfect Mother? I took quite a break over the holiday weekend from blogging and enjoyed not reading and writing for four days. I have funnily enough recently started cooking much more again because it is something I love to do but I know gourmet meal cooking is not possible these days so I find recipes easy and quick to assemble that are still healthy and tasty. It has taken me a long time to be more relaxed about the state of my house but these days I am. It took me three years to start changing, to allow myself not to be the perfect mother and to just enjoy life as it is now, because these days will so soon be gone and when they are I want to look back with fondness and delight. If you are at that point then half the battle is already won - so put down that cloth, the saucepan and mop and just be happy.

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  6. Yes! Absolutely. I used to keep a neat house and spend all kinds of time in the kitchen because of my passion for cooking but I don't have the energy these days. A full time job and a mom to a toddler means I have to be careful with how I spend that energy - truly enjoying and living in the moment with my girl or being half-present, half-mindful while I scrubbed the kitchen counters clean and served them haute cuisine?

    I think as a mom, that choice is clear. Sure my place is more a mess than I like but my baby is happy, her dad is happy, I'm happy - that has to count for something right?

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  7. You have just described my life as well. Except that I work out of the home part-time which adds a tremendous amount of stress and guilt (but it's necessary for us right now). Thanks for helping me see the bigger picture when I get too wrapped up in the details :)

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  8. so nice to know i am not the only one struggling with these very same things right now...finding that balance of fitting in all in *and* feeling good about the way i am fitting it all in! thank you for sharing your words.

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  9. Aaah. This exactly how I feel. I have definitely shifted my focus to working around my life instead of the other way. I like having the time to spend with the kids, even if it means working at midnight.

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  10. Beautiful, Sarah. You sound like you're doing a great job. Motherhood, the balancing act, it's the toughest job in the world, but the rewards are priceless.

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  11. Sarah, that was wonderful! Thanks for the reminder to be living life rather than cleaning up after it!

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  12. Sarah, I completely agree. Our priorities have to right. I've been consciously thinking about this lately. Work time needs to have strict time limits. The first four hours of my day should be devoted to serving my family and God. {I listened to an awesome Focus on the Family episode about this very issue! -- Amazing ideas about how to prioritize -- not tips on how to make it all work, but a real, true Godly perspective on priorities.}
    And that's why I haven't been as active blogging lately.
    My friends here are important, but this season's priorities are found in my little four walls.

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  13. Thanks for a wonderful reminder about what is really important to my family, my time.

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  14. Ah - I needed this reminder!

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  15. love your overall message! my moment this week was sum what similar. I just love how you write...it moves me. I seriously am adding this line to my quote book...
    Time flies. It sneaks. It dresses up in normal days and passes itself off as a slow wanderer, when in fact, it's a speeding bullet.

    thank you so much for sharing your moment!

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  16. It's so hard to find that balance isn't it? I find myself jumping back and forth from doing way to much and note doing as much as I want. Some day I hope to settle in the middle. Until then, I'll keep searching until I find it.

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  17. What a great way to sum it up! I'm hoping to join you for the Bigger picture next week, but lately I've been doing exactly what you wrote about here. :) Thanks for the encouragement.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?