The Beauty of Now

I was out walking with a friend pre-snowmageddon, chatting about life as we often do. One of our topics of conversation revolved around the idea of being in two places at once.  I’m not talking about straddling borders or state lines or hangin’ out on the Equator.  I’m talking about how strange it is that our hearts can be rooted in one place and yet long for the next place.  How is that possible?                                                                  Two gifts I get to enjoy.

Since we’re in the process of adopting, my mind of course went to thoughts of a sweet, squishy baby, namely one with an extra chromosome. Some days I physically ache for our new little one, yet I am so unbelievably grateful for the two gifts I already have in Selah & Jude. How is that possible?  If I am really content with the children God has already given to me, then how could I possibly long for more?  I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But my good friend had a point when she said, “Katie, when you feel like you can’t wait another day for that little one, throw your arms around the two you already have and be grateful.”  She’s right.


How many times have I longed for a place or a person without fully enjoying the place and the people I’ve already been given?  As a kid, I remember the anticipation of whatever was next in my developmental years:  learning to ride a bike, going to kindergarten, losing a tooth, getting my ears pierced, making friends, starting high school, and getting my driver’s license.  (I still remember that first night out driving on my own.  I got lost downtown and ended up going the wrong way on a one way street! Two words: SHEER TERROR.)  Then, there was my high school graduation, those eventful college years, my first date with Glendon, our wedding, our first home…I think you get the idea.  In retrospect, I’m not sure that I fully enjoyed the present when I was in it.  I was so eager for the future, the next thing, whatever that “thing” was, that maybe I didn’t fully appreciate what I had in the present.

Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be excited for the next step in our lives or that we shouldn’t anticipate whatever God has for us down the road.  Quite the contrary.  Scripture makes it clear that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have a beautiful future ahead of us, regardless of our present circumstances.  One day, sin’s curse will be destroyed and all things will be made new.  We are encouraged to long for that day.  And I think we all have those days or seasons (or lifetimes) on this broken, fallen planet when we cling to that truth.  Sometimes, that truth is all that we have!

Two gifts I get to enjoy.

What I am saying is that like the apostle Paul reminds us in the book of Philippians, we can learn to be content with where God has led us while we look forward to whatever He has in mind for our future.  Right now, I want to savor this time without our baby.  That’s right: WITHOUT our baby.  I want to be fully present right here, right now, savoring the uniqueness of this time.  I don’t want to be so focused on the horizon (that potential little one) that I fail to see the beauty of now.  So, today I’m throwing my arms around the two gifts I already have and I’m giving thanks to the Giver of their lives.071

Do you feel like you’re living in two places at once right now?  I would love to hear your story!


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10 thoughts on “The Beauty of Now

  1. Sometimes it makes me sad when I think how fast the ‘now’ has become the ‘past’ and some parts of the ‘nows that are past’ I have to dig really deep to remember – Cherish the ‘now’ my friend. Love this too – —

    • Yes! I cannot believe how fast the “now” passes and soon becomes the “past”. All the more reason to give thanks for the present. Thank you for these wise words, Mary Ellen! I appreciate you.

  2. Maddie on said:

    I’ve been so sick with Baby Girl it’s hard not think about how much I just want to be done being pregnant. So many things have happened that I’m not used to and that are scary for me, I can’t help but think “when she’s here, it will be better.” I know I want to and should take this time of development and pregnancy as a gift, and see the beauty of it. At the same time, I so badly want to be done. It’s hard balancing that. Some days I do better than other days. I know that my time with Blair, right now, just us, is limited. And I want to enjoy that. This was a great reminder to do so, thanks. 🙂

    • Mom, I didn’t mean to bring about conviction 🙂 I hope you were encouraged. I don’t know what you could have done differently in December but we sure felt well-loved while we were home with you. You did a wonderful job hosting all of us and then some. Let’s keep encouraging each other to savor each day of 2014. Love you!

    • Oh, my dear Maddie. Ugh. Pregnancy sickness is no fun and some of the things that you have faced have been really tough. Of course you want those really awful things to end. Who wouldn’t?! You’re only human. I pray that you can get some rest and relief from some of the things that you’ve mentioned on FB and otherwise. And yes, take full advantage of your quiet house now because before you know it, you’ll have a sweet little bundle wreaking havoc on your sleep. BUT THEY ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT 🙂 Hugs to you! Wish we could get together for some coffee (unless of course, that makes you sick right now….)

  3. Carol Long on said:

    You make me wish I could live December over! Thank you for that reminder so I can appreciate the beauty of each day of 2014 for what it is.

  4. Lindsey Pettengill on said:

    Great words of wisdom! I was also just talking to a friend the other night about something similar. She has a friend who just recently lost their 5 year old to neuroblastoma. We were talking about, of course, how horrible that would be and how that makes you start to think about your own children and “what if?” But if i started down that road of worry and anxiousness about something I couldn’t even begin to control, that meant I wasn’t trusting in God and His plan. So all we can do is enjoy our children for the time we have them and trust in God for the rest! Btw your children are beautiful and I am also excited to see another smiley little baby with an extra chromosome join your ranks!!!

    • Wow, Lindsey. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s little boy. How tragic. I trust that he is resting in the arms of Jesus, free of illness and pain. Death has a harsh way of jolting us back to the present, reminding us of our limited time, forcing us to focus on what’s really important: souls. You’re right, we need to enjoy the time we are given with our children and others whom God has put on our path. (And your darling Aurora is a great place to start!) Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your encouragement, Lindsey! I miss laughing with you 🙂

  5. Beth, I like the succinct “be here now” admonition. I have a hunch those word will end up written where I can see them daily. Thank you!

  6. Katie, I so agree with you when you said, “I want to be fully present right here, right now, savoring the uniqueness of this time”…one of the study skills strategies we used in my former teaching days was “be here now”…to live fully in the moment you are in, gently bringing your thoughts and focus back to the task at hand…this concept was most recently described so well in Ann Voskamp’s amazing book, One Thousand Gifts–Live Fully Right Where You Are…thank you for this great reminder today 🙂

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