Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life is a gift

I remember the first time I found a gray hair. It was a few years ago. It was a big surprise and I wasn't ready to admit I was you know...older. It made me panic.

Call it vanity but I fought with that hair. I wrestled with it. I was not ready to admit that I wouldn't always be young. I didn't accept it as beautiful. I was not ready to face the idea that I would one day grow old and face death. That gray hair was ugly because it was stealing time. Each day that passed was one less day I had to live.

I ended up chasing more days and seeking more time. My life became a rush. One constant blur of me trying to squeeze out whatever I could. I had to get the most out of life. What I had was not enough. I was fighting time. Any obstacles I would conquer no matter the cost. I wanted to do it all.

I’m late, I’m late for  A very important date. No time to say hello, good-bye,  I’m late, I’m late, I’m late I’m late and when I wave,  I lose the time I save. My fuzzy ears and whiskers  Took me too much time to shave. I run and then I hop, hop, hop,  I wish that I could fly. There’s danger if I dare to  Stop and here’s a reason why: I’m over-due, I’m in a rabbit stew.  Can’t even say good-bye, hello, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.
~ The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

Everywhere I went I was like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I was late. Rush rush rush. Always somewhere to be. Something to do. Never did I think to slow down.

This way of life started to pour into my relationships. Into my marriage. Into my parenting. My friendships. Our schedule was overloaded, I was tired. Trying to do it all. We would rush out the door, irritated with each other. Never really appreciating each other.

The thing about fighting time is you can't win. Chasing time makes it escape faster. Time slips away, you are older and you haven't learned anything. Nothing changes. You end up out of breath. Overwhelmed. Our society encourages this, tells us it is normal. All part of life. Being busy is encouraged. People would ask me how I was and what I had been up to. I would reply, "Busy, just been busy."

I was attempting to seize the day. Carpe Diem!

The thing is, living life so busy sometimes makes you forget the important things. In the rush for more time you lose time. You could say aging forced me to face the idea of death. This challenged me. What ended up happening was something I can't really explain.

Somewhere along the way my idea of life changed. Each day is a gift. Each wrinkle and each stray little gray hair is beautiful. Each stretch mark on my belly. They represent so much of my life. They represent so many blessings. The stretch marks are love scars of my three children. The wrinkles tell the seasons of my life. My changing hair mark the change in me.

"I watch the hands move grace on the clock face. I'm growing older. These children growing up. But time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there's the deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity."  --Ann Voskamp

Every day that I grow older is sacred. Aging marks the passing of time in my life. Days are blessings that count out all of my life. They sing out my life song. They are beauty. They are wisdom. They are understanding.

Every day is a gift waiting to be unwrapped. I unwrap it slowly and enjoy time. Every day is a step towards more time. Each day fills my life with joy. I am not chasing time. There is fullness in this moment, in the time that I have been blessed with.

“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.” --Alice Morse Earle

I don't fight time anymore. I embrace it. I cherish it. I don't feel the need to capture as much time as possible. Time is a gift. Time is a blessing when I am fully present. When I slow down I have more than enough time.

When I slow down life is different. Time almost stops. A conversation with a friend becomes life changing. Playtime with my kids becomes revolutionary. A sunset on fall leaves is awe inspiring. Joys big and small become priceless. Trials have perspective that make their burden lighter. My soul feels different. Full.

All is well. All is good.

It changes me. Transforms me.

Today I have a few more gray hairs. I have a few more wrinkles. When I look in the mirror they make me smile. They are beautiful. When I see my reflection I am reminded. I am reminded to slow down. To actually live life instead of chasing it. When I remember to live this way everything about life is different.

Life is a gift.


  1. Wonderfully said Jess :-) Miss you guys already, and so excited we get to see each other more often and enjoy growing old together and watching our kids grow up together.

    1. Thanks Rachel! Brent and I are excited to plan our next visit to Oklahoma. Maybe next time we will make the guys grill dinner for us. :-)