Today I'm thankful for the here and now.
Contentment is something I've struggled with, on and off, for years. I doubt I'm the only one. =) We live in such a fast-paced, get to the next step, life will be better when culture and it sometimes gets the best of me. Mark has always been the one to ground me, especially early in our marriage when I really struggled with being okay with where life had me at that time, what "stuff" I did or didn't have, what I looked like, etc. Through the years, I've come a long way. That's not to say that I don't still struggle with contentment, it's just that now the spotlight illuminates other things that weren't there before.
Pregnancy and parenting have been great phases for me to learn contentment. When I was pregnant, my inbox was full of all those "what to expect next" emails, my nightstand stacked high with the same sort of books. Of course I devoured it all, since it was my first pregnancy, but I also tried to appreciate the experience every single step of the way. Even the 24 hour nausea I had in the beginning. Life's best reason for feeling sick. =) I reminded myself, and still do now, that I may not have the gift of being pregnant again (I hope that's not true!) and to not wish it all away just so I could be more comfortable/meet my baby/ look like myself again...well, that part still really hasn't happened yet. =)
Parenting, so far, is the same. People all around bombard you with "just wait til the next phase" mantras that are meant well, of course, and I'm sure I say those same things to my friends who have babes younger than mine. Think of all I'd miss if I was constantly waiting for the next phase to begin...her tiny fingers feeling the pasta pieces I put out for her, taking foooooorrrrreeeeevvvveeerrrrr to eat meals because she can now feed herself and she has to feel each thing on her tray, really explore it, before she even thinks about putting it in her mouth. Sure, I could feed her myself or I could wish that she was older and could eat even better on her own and not make such a mess, but think of all the little moments I'd miss...instead of wishing those moments away, we take pictures of them to try and capture the "right now" of Brynn.
In other areas of my life, I'm feeling more whole than I ever have. I'm understanding more every day about this new "full-time homemaker/mama" role of mine, and how to really embrace it. I'm okay with the sacrifices we choose to make in order to keep me in that role and be good stewards of what we have. My friendships are deep and meaningful. My marriage is not perfect, but it's strong, full of lots of fun and love. My body is...well...a bit different than it used to be, but every time I see the few faded stretch marks on my belly...
I feel joy.
Yesterday Mark said that as he was leaving work, he thought how nice it is to anticipate going home to a warm house, a wife that loves him and is happy he's home, and a little girl who crawls to the door and squeals with delight when he walks in...that everyone should have that. My heart is full knowing he feels that way.
It's easy to talk about contentment when I feel as though I'm in a season of "plenty" and not "want", but I truly hope I can get to a place of contentment even when life is hard. For now, I'm so grateful for where God has me in life- I could live in these moments forever. =)