Last week a book arrived in my mailbox, a book I had pre-ordered some time ago. A book I knew I needed but was thankful that there would be a season between when I ordered it and when it arrived.
Was I ready?
I dove right into the pages the same day the book arrived. I had my pen in hand, underlining line after line that spoke to my heart. The words shook me up and spoke truth.
Reading the book felt like a splash of cold water to the face, the first mug of hot tea on a fall night, and a needle's sting. Simultaneous refreshment, comfort, and pain.
It felt like conviction. It felt like hope. It felt like fear.
Chapter one talks about filling the spaces: taking short spurts of time and filling those with living rather than distraction. Noticing rather than ignoring. Relishing rather than rushing.
So I did just that. That evening, my kids were rather rowdy, but we couldn't go outside since it was pouring rain and lightening. I pulled out two huge tubs of Lego Duplos and started building. My oldest daughter and I built a zoo and a shopping center, my middle daughter sat nearby looking at family photo albums, and my son built and played with a train. We put some jazz music on.
It was magical. It was relaxing.
This is doable, I thought.
The next morning, I walked my oldest daughter down to the bus stop. We held hands. It was picture day, so we practiced all the smiles that one shouldn't express when a photo is taken. It was silly and glorious.
Suddenly my daughter said, "Wow! Look mommy!"
Behind us, in the midst of a large overgrown area, was a single flower peaking out. It was beautiful in a quiet, non-demanding way. Just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.
It was something I never would have seen if I hadn't been listening and engaging. It would have been another thing that went undiscovered.
Later that day, I was carting my younger two kids around town, running errands. We were flipping through radio stations when an old favorite grabbed my attention. Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney.
Or maybe it's just the fact that I'm intentionally listening and living.
This isn't an easy battle for me. I have a disease that requires control. I have a type A personality. I'm an oldest child, so I may be a bit, er, bossy. I'm organized, punctual, and driven. Not exactly things that help me ease up and enjoy the moment.
But I'm trying. And that counts for something, just as Rachel Stafford shares in her book.
Sugars, I cannot express enough how important it is to be in this moment. Whether you are considering adoption, are waiting to adopt, or have already adopted. No matter where you are in your life journey, being present is the best give you can give yourself. And if you are like me, you don't know HOW to do that. That's why I'm so thankful that Stafford wrote her book, and I had the courage to buy it (and trust me, it takes courage)...and then pick it up and read it.
Today, I want to encourage you to buy (or borrow) Stafford's book. Consider her humble, direct, and heart-centered messages that teach us to re-embrace the beauty that surrounds us. To look people in their eyes, to listen to their words, to hold hands.
Choosing to live in the present doesn't drain you like distraction does.
To get a taste of the fabulousness Stafford's book contains, check out her recent Huff Post article called The Single Most Important Parenting Action We Can Take Today.
And to learn more about how your child might feel as you spend more time with your IPhone than the people right in front of you, check out this Huff Post article.
Also, Elite Daily featured a fabulous article called How Sex Isn't the Only Form of Infidelity.