Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Love The Ones You're With

Recently my daughter was searching for something n our attic, and came across a VHS video labeled "My First Year", which was a recording of the entire first year of her life.

My three children and I all stopped what we were doing, and for the next hour, laid on the bed watching this video, laughing until we cried.

It was a typical first-time-mom video. You know - the kind where the baby is videoed for ten solid minutes, while she was just laying there - doing absolutely nothing except looking adorable. Then we watched the baby coo. Then we watched the baby turn her head. Then we watched the baby as she lay helpless in her swaying baby swing with a wide eyed look of "what's happening to me?!" Then we watched the baby cry... and so on.

Every "first" was recorded, from baths, to swimming pools, to Easter outfits, to birthday parties. Every minute of her little life was too precious to miss, and definitely video worthy.

It brought back so many sweet memories of the beginning of my little family, and all the ways God has blessed us and transformed our hearts since that time.

But amid the laughter, my heart was also touched with bittersweet memories. Memories which had been misplaced somewhere in the recesses of my mind as the years had passed.

My eyes burned with tears as I saw my paternal grandmother celebrating Morgan's first Christmas, smiling as she watched her play on the little baby bed of which she had knitted little blankets and pillows for. The sound of her voice was such a sweet memory, like music to my ears. She had died of cancer when Morgan was only eighteen months old.

I watched my maternal grandparents hold my daughter, and ooh and awe over her, as I stood proudly in the background - with large bangs and bright blue eye shadow. But today, they are both walking with Jesus as well.

I watched as my husband's Grandfather, and his precious full-of-life Aunt, laughed and talked with the family over a Christmas holiday, both of whom passed away way too early due to unusual tragedies.

I watched my sweet sister, beautiful, healthy and vivacious - years before she was diagnosed with the debilitating disease of Multiple Sclerosis.

As I watched scenes from my past play out on the screen, I was reminded of people who were once in our lives, but are now no longer a part. I saw how some people once were, but how their lives have drastically changed. 

Yet at that time, the thought of change occurring.... was not even a thought. We took the present, and the people in it, for granted, simply because we were just living our ordinary lives. Taking for granted that those people would always be around, and that life would go on as 'normal'.

Although many of the memories were fun to revisit, and it was hilarious getting a glimpse of the strange choices of hairstyles and clothes that we all had back then, it also was a reminder of how quickly life changes, and how short and priceless it truly is.

When all those experiences were recorded eighteen years ago, things were so different. People were so... there. Lives were so in tact. But life would soon change, we just had no idea what those changes would be.

As I watched the video, my heart flooded with sweet and painful memories, I felt a compelling desire to treasure the people in my life, and not take them for granted, as I so often do. I certainly do not mean to take them for granted, but when doing normal life, we just don't expect the present to change.

 I also felt a sense of urgency to call and tell all my loved ones that I loved them, just because. To forgive someone who I had been holding a grudge against. To overlook the little idiosyncrasies of other people instead of letting them get on my nerves. To have patience and adoration for the important people in my life, and not be passive in my relationships.

To love the ones in my life with my whole heart, while I still have them to hold.

Every minute of our lives is not video worthy, but every moment with the people we love is a priceless gift. Dare we take those moments for granted for one more day?

Is there someone who needs to feel your love today? Is there someone who you need to tell them you love them... just because?

There is no better time like the present.

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Katie said...

Thank you for this touching reminder today. I too came across some pictures last night of my children...and memories came rushing back. As I kissed them one last time last night before bed...I had to thank God for such a blessing...God has blessed my husband and I, the love I have for my children runs so deep...and the funny thing is...who would have ever guessed....I feel so honored to be their mother.
Thank you Jesus for my family...I pray I please you in raising them.

Raspberrymama said...

Thank you for this powerfully true reminder!!!

Pam said...

Such truth in your words from your devotion and post today, Tracie. Truth I know but don't always follow. I've spent many an hour in front of a TV screen watching old VHS tapes of my boys when they were younger. Boy, how time flies by and it is a reminder to make the most of every, single moment. Every one. Thank you for your encouragement and nudge to love the ones I'm with today because tomorrow comes all too soon : )

slcisco said...

My daughter ran across my old wedding video last weekend and took it home to watch. She told me she had watched it and cried, which I thought was odd, until she told me why. Seeing three of her grandparents who recently passed away, plus my grandmother who is in a nursing home with advanced Alzheimer's and my grandfather who passed away several years ago. She said my husband and I looked like kids (which we were). So sad to see so much lost, but thankful for the memories.

Kelly said...

Tracie, you always amaze me with your writing and your timing! Thank you so much for reminding me to slow down and enjoy life. I am 58 years young and life seems to be passing me by! I pray God will show me how to enjoy my family more and take time to grow closer to Him. Seems like my Bible studying always gets pushed aside due to other obligations! It is Spring and a time to renew, especially for me! ~Hugs~

Danna said...

Thank you so much for these encouraging words! This is something that will be on my heart as I try to put work aside and spend more quality time with my babies! :)
God please help me to make a drastic change in my everyday schedule, to put my family ahead of work and keep up with serving them as I know I should.