Life is very short. It can be gone in an instant, a single flicker of a butterfly's wing - swept away in a moment we probably didn't even see coming. In the whirlwind of our daily lives, we don't really ever have the chance to stop and think about the fragility of life. And maybe it's not that we don't have the chance; it's that we don't take that chance. In the secular world, people are always speaking about how life is too short, so have fun and live it up as best you can; take risks, do whatever you want. We are taught more and more that all that matters is the "here and now" and living "in the moment." But living in the moment isn't always a good thing; and just doing whatever you want regardless of the outcome is never a good thing.
For the past week, I've been contemplating how very fragile life is; something I don't do very often, but especially as a mother, should. I have witnessed several times throughout my life the paper-thin reality of existence, and I am in awe of how far out of our control it is. It's out of our control when and how we die - our time here in this world just part of the sweeping momentum of the bigger picture; stirred up one minute, gone the next. It is hard to grasp this idea, to really understand its weight and meaning; to define how it affects our lives. But the truth is, we have to try. We have to think about these things..... But think; don't worry. Worry is so easy for us mothers to do but that is where God's design for Faith is supposed to step in and sweep us up into its strong embrace, whisking us away to be placed in the lap of our Father. We are only to think about life's teetering and smallness in regards to how our thoughts will produce actions that are pleasing to Him and follow His will for us.
Some of these actions for mothers look like this:
*Raising our children with not only the knowledge of Him but the experience of His love poured over us like warm oil, releasing us from our burdens and strengthening us within
*Spending time with Him, listening to His breath, His plans for us; searching for His gentle reminders of where our place is in His grand design (and showing our children how to do the same)
*Teaching our children to always be aware of their thoughts and actions, that they should be pleasing to Him in even the smallest of ways; and setting that example ourselves
I look into the faces of these beautiful blessings which God has given me to raise...and I see such an innocent wisdom, as if they know what my job is as their mother and are just waiting for me to fulfill it. I see my purpose buried deep within the irises of my daughters' eyes, daring me to become the strong, servant woman written about in Proverbs 31, modeling to them God's design for one who belongs to Him. I find my drive hidden in the expectant smile of my little boy, challenging me to teach him by example what it means to unconditionally love all who God places in our lives. I am often paralyzed within these moments of searching them this way, holding my breath because I'm afraid it's my last and I have so much more to do for them, and for Him.
Yes, life is fragile and so very short. But it's not about living out our days doing 1,000 things that make us happy or making sure we enjoy every single second. It's about taking this small amount of time to take in each breath we have to share with our families, our children, using every last millisecond preparing ourselves and each other for what God has called us to do for Him.