Life is so, so full, isn't it? And it just keeps barreling ahead, never slowing so a girl can catch her breath.
I look at these children, and this husband, and these white hairs. Where did it come from, all of this?
(Yes, this last is quite blurry. But the photographer is only eight, and it's so hard to take a clear picture inside. And somehow this photo is quite apropos - life is traveling so quickly one can't quite focus on anything, I'm in Ethan's shirt after mine was violently spit up on, I'm in my [old prescription] glasses as one of my contacts broke four weeks ago and I've only just finally gone in for a new prescription, and the vacuum is occupying its usual place smack dab in the way.)
But sometimes - too rarely, really - I remember to grab the camera and snap a picture. It's not because I'm any kind of photographer (obviously) or because I want to create an heirloom album.
I just want things to slow down enough for me to see them.
I want to remember how these offspring say "forhours" instead of "forever."
I want to study these faces, these cheeks, these ever-fluid pieces of art.
I can't slow time. The closest I can get is a doctor's appointment, and who wants that to take forever?
I can't still these children. Nine children ago, we were delighted to discover the baby's toes were webbed like his father's. Now those toes drape over the edge of the couch, traipse outside to exercise the dog and let the chickens into their run, and slide into my shoes when he can't find his. There's a new set of baby toes, but even those won't be little (or odorless!) for long. "Savor today," everyone advises. "Hold on to this."
Hold on to it? I can't even catch it, let alone hold on to it!
And I'm not meant to.
A voice says, "Cry!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Is. 40:6-8).
These white hairs, these laugh lines, these wrinkles and stretch marks and eyes that cannot see, they will wither and fade and be no more.
And this is good.
They were not meant to last forever.
And if my white hairs and laugh lines and wrinkles and stretch marks and weak eyes are blurry memories to my children?
It's OK. (And so be it!)
But this, THIS, do not forget: the Word of our God will stand forever. The Word of our God will stand forever. The Word of our God will stand forever.
Even if you forget, it will stand forever. (But remembering this will give you much comfort and also save you from much self-inflicted sorrow!)
And when times are hard and fast and overwhelming and burdensome and you can hardly stand, remember: "The Word of our God will stand forever."
When time crawls and the examinations stretch on ad nauseum and nothing good this way comes, remember: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
Forhours and forever.