Golden Days

There’s a crisp bite to the air, nipping blooms of color into my little one’s chubby cheeks. They chase after each other, the almost-five-year-old and her tagalong brother giggling madly and frolicking like puppies. The baby, cozy in his fleecy jacket with the bear hood, kicks like crazy, wanting to join the fun.

Golden shafts of sun light pierce the leafy canopy and brush them with a luminous patina.

I want to keep them little, but I can’t wait for life to get easier.

“Little people, little problems,” the older mothers say.  “Enjoy them while they’re small.”

Mostly, I do.

But there are other moments when I just want to finish a sentence. Have an uninterrupted 5 minutes. Have a clean house for a full day.  Have a tantrum-free morning.

If these baby/toddler/preschooler years are the golden ones, then mercy.

Then I think back to nursing school, and all the stress of deadlines and tests and clinicals, and how many people told me then to enjoy it.  “Being in college…” they would sigh. “Those were the best years for me.” Really?

Or my years working as an ER nurse, young, single, professionally successful.  And lonely. Cry-in-the-dark lonely.  Harried wives and mothers envious for my freedom encouraged me to have fun while I could. (Pity parties…so much fun, people.)

Can we only glimpse the golden days through the rear view mirror?  The bitterness of unrealized expectations can taint the sweetness of even picture-perfect moments.  So, I have to wonder…

Is it the circumstances?

The season?

Or is it me?

What is it that causes me to sort and sift and label every experience as good or bad when I know that all things pass through the hands that love me?

Maybe it isn’t so much about finding the golden moments, but in seeing the golden thread of grace through every day. Do I have to pick through the days with a pair of tweezers, discarding the darker threads, the tangled moments that stretched my patience and forged some character?  It’s grace.  All grace.  All invitations to drink deeply of Jesus.

What stretches me, changes me.  What breaks my heart draws me closer to the Comforter. What delights me points me to the Maker of laughter.  What stirs my soul makes me long all the more for heaven.

I don’t want to live in a world of only picture-perfect moments.

Could I just take the golden, laughing moments and the tantrums and the interruptions and the messiness and the sweetness of this season….could I just gather it all up in my heart?

And with the clarity of perspective say, “Thank You”

…for all of it.

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