Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Present Moment

As I drove past a Catholic church on my way to visit a friend on Wednesday (after hearing our baby's heartbeat for the second time that morning!), I crossed myself as usual, and then added the prayer, "Lord, please help me to live in the present moment."

My friend is a stay-at-home Mom to two beautiful little boys--my godson, who is 19 months, and his little 6-7 month-old brother. We talked about how motherhood makes you live in the present moment--can practically force you to do so, just as parenthood (in some ways) can force you to be selfless in ways that being married without kids doesn't. (Don't feel like getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby? Well, you don't have all that much choice!)

And I realized (again) that I am in a pretty funny place right now. I want that so badly--that present-moment lifestyle of taking care of a little one. It's what I've always wanted for my life, to be a mother (and to write), and I guess not many people have their childhood wishes fulfilled so clearly. But living in the present moment isn't something I'm called to do five or six months from now; it's something I'm called to do--well, now, in the present. And it's very difficult.

I keep finding myself wishing that I was on the other side of this graduate degree, that grad school was over. Even more often, I find myself wishing, simply, that it was next semester, that the process of drafting my manuscript was over and I could simply focus on revision, which to me right now seems like a distant and peaceful dream. (Oh, I know revision will be tough. But the stories will already all exist in some state or other, and believe me, that's a big deal.)

I have to struggle sometimes not to be jealous of my friends who aren't in school, not because I have some romanticized idea of their lives, but because I am at this weird in-between spot where I *can't* make dinner for my husband half the time (we usually cook together, which is nice too), or keep up with the laundry and the dishes and the dusting, much as I want to, because even though I am home three weekdays out of five ... I am grading, and reading and writing for class, and working on my manuscript.

My present moment right now is overwhelming. It is, in fact, a place where I am mightily struggling with discouragement about myself. But it is where I am. It's where God wants me to be, and more importantly, it is where He is. A funny sort of in-between place it might be, with my future tangible in the very poking, stirring feelings of my baby moving around inside of me; but I know I am here for a reason, and if that reason is to bear the fruit God wills, I must live within His reality. (In fact, there is very little that has taught me as much about the operation of God's will in my life as grad school, from the very moment I chose to go. And I know He has so much more to show me if I rest in Him, in this present.)

1 comment:

  1. The present is where time touches eternity. I love you!

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