Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living In the Present

(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 20 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask, if you feel like it please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit.)

Stormie begins this chapter with the phrase “timing is everything”, then edits it to remind us how it really is: “His timing is everything” (p.165). She further explains this by reminding us: “When we come to a place where we trust that God’s timing is perfect, we can be content no matter where we are because we know that God will not leave us there forever.” (p. 165) This immediately made me think of this passage from Paul, in Philippians 4: 12-13:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

The secret is right there, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that last sentence to myself when I’m facing something that I don’t think I can do. Not only is this meant to empower us, but to help us accept and embrace the blessings of the present. Stormie reminds us that if we feel we’re in a bad place, we won’t stay there. Likewise, we shouldn’t get too comfortable if we feel we’re in a “good” place because God wants us to continue growing and moving. When we live fully in the present moment, we can see and appreciate the “little things” or “hidden blessings” that could so easily be overlooked. I know as a mom to a child with autism, every milestone big or small is a cause for celebration. Little moments can light up an entire day and fill my heart with happiness. These moments can seem fleeting and should never pass by without being noticed. In the same respect, it’s comforting to know that the difficult days and phases will also pass.

Stormie reminds us to not get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t notice other people. “Too often we are so into our own lives that we don’t see what is going on with someone who is right beside us. We become concerned with securing the future, and as a result, we overlook the wealth of the present.” (p. 167) I interpreted this to mean two different things. First, we need to make sure we don’t overlook the suffering or needs of others. Stormie shares on page 168 about how every time she has shared a piece of herself to bless someone else, she felt the blessing return to her. When we allow God’s light to shine through us, no matter how imperfectly we feel we do that, it not only shines on those around us but it illuminates our path as well. (Stormie Omartian, p. 168) This leads into the second insight I had from this quote, about not overlooking the wealth of the present. Sharing ourselves, our insights, our contacts and our resources and taking full advantage of the present will allow God to lead us to our next step. The next specialist, intervention, therapist, decision is often made more apparent when we are able to tap into the resources of the present. This is especially true for us autism moms, I am continually in awe of the incredible resources I’ve obtained simply by listening and paying attention to other people.

It is so easy to get weighed down by our feelings about the past or overwhelmed by our concerns or plans for the future of our children. Both of these drain us of our precious and valuable time and energy, making the task at hand seem even more difficult. I am praying for God to keep me in focus, so that I don’t miss what He wants to show me in the here and now.

Thank you for all of the blessings big and small that you give to all of us mothers in each and every moment. Help us to keep You in focus so that we are able to see whatever it is you want for us to see in each moment of our lives. Keep our hearts open and receptive to Your guiding light. Thank you for the ways that you bless us through one another and remind us to always take note of the people that you put in our path. Heal our hearts of the hurts of the past and free us from all worry about the future. May we always turn to You first in all of our needs and take comfort in knowing that you hold all of our lives in the palm of your hand.
In Your name we pray,


Chrissy said...

I got a lot out of this study. I really needed these reminders with all that we have going on right now. Thanks for a great post!

Nicole Collins said...

Thanks Jessica! (Not going to lie to you, I'm just now getting the chance to sit down in front of a computer and read this.) Great post!
I try to remind myself of this constantly. We know that there are many reasons for each storm we encounter in life. Our "autism storm" is a tough one. I know that one of the reasons is for us to reach out to other moms, siblings, children, the community, the list goes on and on. But it's hard because we just want our child healed. Now. We do get so consumed in what the future will be like that it's incredibly difficult for us to live in the present and do what He needs for us to do. What a great reminder of how powerful the present can be.