It's been over two weeks since returning from Ecuador. Much has returned to normal, but other things have not. My heart has not... Have no fear, my heart is right here in little Fuquay Varina, North Carolina with my wonderful husband and three precious girls, but my heart has changed.
One of the greatest lessons I learned while we were away concerns "living in the moment." On our first full day in Ecuador, the missionary told us that Ecuadorians are different from Americans in many ways, but in one way in particular. They live fully in each moment. In conversations, they will give their undivided attention to whom they are speaking with. They won't be thinking about who they will speak with next or what they are having for supper. They won't be concerned with what time it is and how much of it they have to give. Do we as Americans ever do that? I don't.
In the book, The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan says "The essence of a Sabbath heart: paying attention. It is being fully present, wholly awake, in each moment."
People in the grocery store, at church, in the neighborhood are forever telling me, "Enjoy them now! Time will fly. Don't wish the time away." It's true. (But sometimes I just have to smile and nod as my three year old throws a fit for not getting a "little buggie" on a Wednesday afternoon at Trader Joes. I know it's true, but it still doesn't help in the moment.) But these moments add up... Each one counts for something, some pure God-moments, others only covered by grace (still all God!).
I want to be fully present as water balloons are squirted between sisters, giggles falling like drops. I want to laugh at the jokes, some funny for real, others funny because of the jokester. I want to notice the freckles so perfectly placed on my sweet girl's face. I don't want to be so busy that these things pass me by unnoticed.
"What if instead of discounting the current moment, the uncontrollable, the simple given - what if I counted it - and on the God who controls it all?
It is only the present moment alone that holds the possibility of coming into the presence of God. Look around, breathe deep, enter into this one moment."
- Ann Voskamp