Thursday, December 8, 2011

The secret of a life...

I love that song by Faith Hill..'The Secret of a Life' about the guys sitting around a bar commiserating about finding real satisfaction in life. I am not sure of the full meaning behind the lyrics but it always leaves me thinking about how the secrets in life are really not in the big things.. it's more as they say in another good song by John Lennon (Beautiful Boy) that.. "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." The moments have already passed by the time we take any real appreciation of them and by then we are distracted by the next new thing.

I think the secrets of life are most often in the simple stuff. A few of mine are found in..the giggles, hot coffee, being alone and ..being together, the squeeze of your husband's hand when you both listen to the innocent prayers of your little girls, feeling relief when it all works out, a warm blanket, a hug from a friend, a choir in harmony, shining eyes looking up to you with love, a edding, a birth, a death, a good hard cry, being okay with imperfections, feeling the warm sun on your skin, feeling loved, having a sense of accomplishment after working hard.. and tonight it was the squeal of my baby boy as he proclaimed to the world that he finally did it.

I hope I am getting better at appreciating these moments. Tonight was huge for me. Sam walked. After weekly PT sessions for almost 22 months and agonizing nights and days of worry, prayers, hope and faith about whether he would get to accomplish goals like these one day..and then he did it. I never would have expected what I would feel at seeing Samuel take his first steps as something that could leave me so completely humbled and in awe of what really matters in my life. But the amazement I felt was not really for his actual first fledgling efforts at walking.. something I watched each of the girls do in the normal progression of their development.. and even as long awaited as this all was after being told by so many for so long that it might never happen.. It was actually in the witnessing of the simple and immense joy illuminating my sweet boy's little face as he discovered his accomplishment that I felt God's grace and real praise. I will have to post some videos here of these moments when I can figure out how.. it was in his simple crys of glory, all the while being cheered on by his sisters that made my heart swell.

Why can't we all be so perfectly full of hope and joy at experiencing each new development of our lives in the moment? Why can't we stop and just enjoy them with child-like wonder? To our children, every moment holds some kind of new fascination or appreciation. Very little is taken for granted. In the Faith Hill song, the bartender Sam says "The secret of life is to try not to hurry..But don't wait. Don't wait." This speaks to me so much.. I am always in a rush or conversely..I get too tangled up in looking back that I don't effectively move on and let myself just go with the waves a bit. You can over rush it or defeat yourself before you are even out of the gate. Sam has everything ahead of him but finds special joy in relishing each moment in its own light. For a kid who has been through what I can only call hell on earth.. it has not stolen his innocent joy and curiosity. Sam showed me this tonight as he squealed with excitement and kept bounding back up to try, try again. He was quite tired at the end of it all but the smile seemed permanently glued to his cheeks.

How can we justify hearing adults whining about the inequities and challenges of life or worse..even doing it myself when I see this incredible light coming out of a child, despite experiencing setbacks and struggles we can hardly relate to ourselves?

The secrets of my life are not in the past.. or really too far off in what I want for the future. It is in appreciating the pure and simple beauty of the here and now.. while still moving on towards whatever life has in store ahead.. they may seem fleeting but if I give God the thanks for the richness of each as it happens than it's not really a secret life will be filled as I live it. As they say in the song.. "the secret is nothing at all." God intended for us to be in the middle on life.. not a perfect mess, completely rushed and chaotic with no sense of direction or effort but also not so completely stable, comfortable and micro managed that we don't have areas left to chance.. left to force us to really live in the moment. Because after all, we need Him in order to whether the ups and downs of life.. and He is a jealous God.. who expects to be in the center of it all..for us to meet him part way, and then to trust him on the rest of the ride. SO this post is about rekindling my child-like faith and allowing Him to show me the secrets to a full and satisfying life one experience at a time.

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