Taking it All In


I’m taking it all in.  The sand in my toes, the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and, most of all….the fun that my kids are having just doing their thing on the beach. It’s Christmas day, and the gifts have been opened, and there’s still lots of time until the evening meal, so we took a little venture to the beach.  I took off my boots, and sat in the sand and watched the fun unfold. The older I get, the more I just love to watch and see and be thankful for the little moments in a day.

I remember years and years ago, how my grandfather, “Papa Les”, would sit back and just watch during family celebrations.  He’d sit on the couch and smile, and shake his head, and just observe, not in a detached way, but in a very engaged way. He was a wise man with a twinkle in his eye who would entertain and laugh in a heartbeat, but who often just enjoyed taking it all in by watching.   And more and more, I get that.

Center stage for me shifted a long time ago.  And maybe that’s a big part of growing up.  Being a wife and mom has taught me so very much about having someone else in Center Stage. But more than seeing the needs of those around me, or the having the desire to be involved in it all, is the awareness that Center Stage doesn’t truly belong to any of us. For me, there’s that Unseen Presence who is so at the Center of it all.  And knowing that God is so very present and working in the lives of those around me, in my life?  That’s the focal point that changes EVERYthing I see. It changes the whole perspective and sets an ordinary stage for potential of so much happening that I cannot see. It gives me hope. It adds a whole new dimension to what is seen.

Feeling the tiny grains of sand under my feet as I stare at the vastness of the ocean is a reminder that I’m just one in a million, trillion, bazillion…  We are but a small part of the vastness of God’s creation, and the moments we live are but a drop in the ocean of eternal time. But these moments matter.  There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians that puts so much in perspective.  It says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” As I stood on the beach and watched my kids, it felt like I was seeing the temporary and eternal all wrapped up in one. I see with my eyes their uniqueness and fun and enjoyment of the moment.  I see with my heart that they are gifts in my life and that God is doing a work in their lives to draw them nearer…whether through joys or struggles.  God is the Unseen Presence in Center Stage.  Because of that eternal Truth, I can Hope, and enjoy sitting back and watching as things unfold.

And to those who read this post? I guess I share this because I want us to have Hope. My family has had a tough year that will bleed on into the year to come.  And I could lose hope in an instant if I let go of certain truths. Hope is unseen, and so is the One who gives it. He is the Unseen Hand who guides us if we would ask Him.  When we’re at Center Stage, life can be pretty crazy.  But when He is the backdrop of all that we see? There’s hope.  There’s clarity. There’s joy.  There’s perspective that looks beyond the moment and see not the tiny grains of sand, but the big picture. No matter what the scene of the play.  And we can take it all in knowing that God is in control, and we all know the end of the story.  May we all passionately play the roles that we have to play in a world that so needs hope. May we take the time to sit back and take it all in as we see the wonder of how God moves and uses things to draw others to Him. He has a way of showing up in unexpected ways when we have the eyes to see it and the heart to hope for it. And I can’t wait to watch and see what He does…

With Hope ~


 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

P.S.  Oh, and a little post script.  My daughter is usually at “center stage” in photos…and will be the first to tell you we have a million and one photos of her.  But, guess who took this photo of me and some of her brothers?  She did.  Guess we’re all learning to not be Center stage!

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