The Wedding Gift That Changed How I Look at My Kids Thursday, June 9th, 2016
“Be sure to take pictures in your heart,” a friend had told me before my wedding day. “On your wedding day, it will go by so quickly. All of the hard work and planning will all be over in a matter of minutes. If you don’t make a point to remember it, you will look back, and it will seem like a blur. So, stop. Look around. Take in the sounds, the lights, the way you feel in that moment. Capture it. Process it. And store it forever.”
I replayed those words as I stood in the children’s church room surrounded by colorful walls and tiny tables with little chairs that weren’t big enough to hold my giant wedding dress. This is the room where I prepared to marry my husband. There was a small bathroom attached, and the room was tucked upstairs away from guests and the groom. It was a miserably hot Oklahoma summer day in August, and storms had knocked out the power once already. I wondered if we would be having a service by candlelight (and where we would find enough candles to light the sanctuary where our rain soaked guests sat waiting for our ceremony to begin).
*Click* Like an old Polaroid, I pulled the image from the moment and tucked it deep into my heart.
I did this again and again throughout the evening.
Walking down the blue carpeted steps into the foyer with my bridesmaids in their neon coral dresses behind me – the crooked gold-framed photo hanging on the wall next to me.
My dad squeezing my hand before the door opened, feeling the firmness of his arm wrapped around mine with a different type of strength than I had ever noticed before – The type of strength it takes for a daddy to give his daughter away.
My soon-to-be husband winking at me as we stood before our family and friends… whispering that I looked “really really beautiful.”
Over and over, I processed the moments, pulling them out and tucking them away. And while I might not have a physical photo to remember them by, I have the framed images hanging on the gallery walls of my heart.
I was rocking my nearly two year old little boy the other night at bedtime. His body is too big to comfortably fit in my lap anymore. I think we both know that he would be much happier in his bed, but still we rock. I leaned my nose into his hair and thought of my friend’s words again. They were such a precious gift – one that has lasted a lifetime.
*Click* I never want to forget that moment.
Sometimes, it feels like it is passing by too quickly – childhood I mean. I am only six years into my parenting journey, and I know the truth behind these words. Yet, sometimes, I feel guilty that I’m not enjoying the moments more, that I’m too busy, that I’m not as happy of a mommy as I could be, or I’m not as fun of a mommy as I could be, or I’m too rushed going from one thing to the next taking care of my kids that I don’t really have a chance to enjoy them right there in that space of time.
I wonder how. How am I supposed to be fully in the moment when there are so many full moments that require all of me? Practically, how I keep these moments from passing me by?
I use that old present. I pull out my friend’s words, and replay them over and over again. “It will go by so quickly. All of the hard work and planning will all be over in a matter of minutes. If you don’t make a point to remember it, you will look back, and it will seem like a blur. So, stop. Look around. Take in the sounds, the lights, the way you feel in that moment. Capture it. Process it. And store it forever.”
Because childhood feels like an eternity, and somehow like just a day.
Hi! I’m Becky, and I am the author of the book Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart! Find out more about it by clicking the image! I’m also the founder of an online community called Scissortail SILK where 100,000 of us meet on social media to encounter Jesus and encourage one another. Won’t you Join us?