Too many of us don't enjoy today because we are so busy worrying about tomorrow or regretting yesterday. The present gets lost. That was the essence of my minister's sermon (Pastor Clifford Jones of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church) this past Sunday. I think it was a great message for Thanksgiving week, a reminder for me of how I want to live -- as someone who appreciates the present. I thought I'd share some wonderful moments from this past week.
First of all, I am a new aunt, again. Don't you love the excitement of a new baby? It's fascinating to watch adults rush to see a child on the day she's born even though we know she's going to be around for awhile! My sister Angie drove from Chapel Hill to Charlotte after working some pretty long hours just to gaze at our new little one for a few hours.
As I was holding little Evan recently I felt like time slowed down and at that moment nothing seemed to matter except her. She looked so marvelously perfect... little fingers, little nose and tiny little mouth. Of course it sent me back down memory lane about my two (now 12 and 9). It's a great thing to be part of a child's life. Right now we have no idea what my niece will do with her life, what her personality will be or what she will even look like, but in that present moment I knew she'd be OK because she's loved.
At 5:00 in the morning on Saturday I was on my way to West Virginia to watch my daughter and her synchronized ice skating team. I packed books, newspapers and magazines for the four hour drive there and ended up reading not a word the entire trip. I don't know if you've driven up I-77 to West Virginia lately but it truly is breathtaking. Recent snow covered the mountains and the sunrise was just spectacular. I love airplanes and flying but sometimes getting there quickly means you miss out on some fabulous sights and conversation. Eight hours in a car on a Saturday doesn't sound appealing but I'm grateful I did it.
And finally as parents we all love to see our kids happy. Grant enjoys soccer and he's not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve. But even he couldn't hold it in earlier this season when he scored the winning goal during a tight match. His look of pure joy was priceless. I saw it on Gabrielle's face this weekend. She was so happy to be on the ice with her teammates. Her smile was contagious and she couldn't stop talking about what a great time she had.
So much of our daily lives can feel routine and unremarkable but I really think my minister has it right. There is beauty in each day we just have to make sure we aren't so focused on what's ahead or what's behind that we miss it. Enjoy the moments and live gratefully. Happy Thanksgiving.