January 16, 2010

Time Again

The Man got his orders this week, so we've really been thinking about/preparing for our upcoming move, and it's brought back the memories of when we were preparing for our move to here. All the same old feelings are back – excitement, sadness, happiness, sentimentality. This is how I put my feelings into words right before we left our last home before this one:
Every time we face a big change in our lives or have to say goodbye to our loved ones for a time, I have to face a personal struggle that is caused by the awareness of the passage of time. For some reason, this is one of my biggest challenges. It is one of the few things that has the potential to make me really teary for awhile. I guess there is something about knowing that years, months, weeks, days, and moments are constantly passing and we can never relive those moments once they pass. It's really not a bad thing. It's actually wonderful to see kids growing. It's great that as our parents grow older, their lives can be enriched by new little ones in the form of grandchildren, and that we all grow wiser as we grow older, and get to have new experiences. But thoughts of the passing time come with both happy and sad feelings, and the struggle for me is which feelings will be stronger. I always want the happy ones to come out on top, of course.
This week also marks two years since we came here. Last night, as I was peeling carrots for the chicken soup I was making for dinner, the Girl and the Boy were in the living room playing a game of Candyland together. The Aegi was in the Ergo carrier on my back (so he wouldn't mess up the kids' game), and it reminded me of the days when we first came here… For our first couple of months, almost every Saturday or holiday, the Man and I put the kids in the backpacks and went to see someplace new in the city. It was so fun for us to have so many new places to see. I thought about how our family has changed since then. When we came here, the Girl was just barely three, and the Boy was 16 months. The Man had returned from a long tour in Iraq just four months before we began our adventures here. And now, here we are with the Girl and the Boy old enough to be keeping busy playing a board game together while I make dinner, and here is the Aegi who we didn't even know yet just two short years ago… and who is even wearing hand-me-down pants that his brother was wearing when we came here.
I was reading one of my books from the library the other night and came across this passage. I like what the author says about time.
Often time seems like an enemy as the minutes squeeze your day tighter and tighter and you see that you have more to do than you have time to complete. Do you complain about not having enough time? Do you wish there were more hours in a day? If you have toddlers, you may wish for fewer hours in a day because bedtime seems much too far away for your exhausted body. As you witness your children growing up right before your eyes, do you wish that you could stop time before those precious moments slip away?
In those instances I have to remind myself that time is a gift from God. An Irish proverb says, "Time is so precious that it is dealt out to us only in the smallest possible fractions – a tiny moment at a time." Just as a beautiful, delicate flower unfolds slowly, one petal at a time, God protects us within the layers of His created time, unfolding each day lovingly and gently as He reveals, day by day, His perfect plans for our lives. When we are aware and when we remind ourselves that God is continually meeting our needs … we experience God's deep peace – the antidote to chaos.
-Marilyn Rocket, Homeschooling at the Speed of Life
Time is something I'm always trying to grasp. I feel like I'm always chasing it, but it's always faster. I try to catch it and hold it in place, but it always slips away just beyond my reach.
I've decided to try to think about time as a gift – not a gift that once I've got in my hands, I open, use up, wear out, and then have to leave behind. I will think about time as the gift that keeps on giving, and try to give to time as much as it gives to me.

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