• Rhonda Layton

Be in the Moment, They Said...

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

It's a bit difficult to enjoy the moment, when you're constantly worrying about the future.

I made a promise to myself before my youngest son, Jackson started his senior year of high school. I was going to inhale each and every moment. I didn't want to miss a thing. With the looming thought of my husband and I being "empty nesters", I knew that one day I'd look back on this year and long to have these days back. I am pretty sure mothers of toddlers and babies get annoyed with me. I'm constantly either reminding them to savor the moments or telling them how much I miss those sweet years. It "goes by in a flash", I tell them. "Enjoy each day. You will crave to have this time back." I'm totally that mom.

Except, I'm really horrible at taking my own advice. While I'm equally mystified how my child went from a sweet little three-year-old to a charismatic young man, I can't say I have taken in each moment. I have spent FAR too much time thinking about the year or years ahead to embrace where he is now.

I guess I could blame culture, society, and comparison for the unlimited amounts of pressure we put on ourselves to ensure our kids have all the opportunities and are prepared for the future.

But the truth is, I'm responsible for projecting my own fears, for wanting everything to be lined up perfectly, for feeding my insatiable desire to try to control his (my) future.

I realized that this year of transition for our family, although so exciting in many ways, has heavily weighed on my emotions. There is just so much uncertainty about everything, from where we will live, where Jackson will be, how it will all work. I crave answers. I want to know. I don't want to wait. I want it all done. I replay this scenario and that scenario. I cry over the simplest things. I have a hard time engaging at times, because I'm stuck in a cycle of worry over all the things I simply cannot control.

I eventually had a big breakdown. It was on a LONG, LONG walk through miles of tears, that I have the simplest epiphany.

Open up your hands and surrender it all. For every moment of worry, I miss out on a smile, or a laugh, a hug, a "Hey, Mom, can you pour me glass of chocolate milk?' I started to think about the way I pray. I reminded myself of the simple truth that God did not bring us this far, to bring us far. In other words, trust His plan. It's so much better than mine. Instead of holding so tightly to what I think is best or what I want for the future, I'm reminding myself that it's all going to work out exactly as it should. Release the grip and open up my eyes to the beautiful and awe and wonder that is right in front of me. I started praying that God places us where He needs us. Instead of pleading for the future I see for my son, I started writing in my journal daily that he is in an environment where he thrives, he uses his gifts to his fullest potential and puts goodness into this world. Where and when and how and what...I'm going to let that happen. I trust we'll know when and how and where to take the necessary steps in order for the what to happen as it should.

It's not easy for me, but I know when I look back on my life, nothing I feel anxious about today will be relevant any longer. If there is one gift I can give you, it's my promise to do my best to honor this.

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