Fleeting Moments of Perfection

Spring is in the air in my Carolina hills and, in between sneezes because all the things are coated in butter yellow dust, I am enjoying life budding all around. My husband has spent two full weeks trying to build a raised bed to perfection and I am reminded of the blessing and curse it is to be married to an engineer—it’s definitely mostly blessing.

I don’t know where you’re reading from. You Southern hemisphere gals are bracing for cooler days while those of us above the equator are airing out our houses and praying that another cold snap doesn’t cloud the sky. This winter has felt cold and hard in the hidden places for me. Without realizing it I’ve longed for grass tickling my toes, blinding sunshine and days when I let the kids stay up later than they should just because. The winter makes me hunker down, the days can drag by and a late bedtime for the kids sounds like a punishment to me- early bedtimes for all in the middle of January, can I get an “Amen”?

Spring is here and I’ve sipped sweet iced tea on my deck and we’ve already been to the park more times in the past two weeks than we did all winter. I lie flat on my back and I squint at the blue sky and the possibilities that once seemed bleak now are limitless like the canopy of clouds above. Right now is a moment of perfection on this spinning journey around the sun.

The problem is it is a moment. I’ll blink and three weeks will have gone by. The temperature will creep high and the humidity will creep up until sleeveless shirts, sprinklers and a thick slathering of sunscreen are a necessity for a trip outside. Perfection lasts but a moment.

I can feel my soul deflate at the thought.

I want these fresh, easy days of Spring to stay much like I long for those temperate honey-light filled moments of Autumn to linger. I look at my babies. My four year old daughter is looking more like a real life little girl than a stuttering toddler. My baby boy is on the brink of being a year old and I’m crawling around chasing him as much as he is crawling around exploring. Where did my snuggly newborn go?

I think I’ve been misinformed about beauty in this life. I somehow believed things can only truly be perfect if they last. Babies don’t stay babies. Spring budding blooms full and succumbs to the cool Autumn air and dormancy. We age and crows feet creep around once youthful eyes. All the things that brim my heart with joy seem to slip past me like a bullet train. I long for a stationary life.

We are a sisterhood in motion. We are moving to other continents. We are motoring forward with projects. Serving overseas find us spinning plates and balancing callings in every direction. Nothing about our work is permanent save our investment in eternity. We are not good at sitting still.

I think if we’re honest what we crave in our deepest selves is rest. Our heart’s cry is for all of what we do to be good enough. We long to catch our breath and for what is right in front of us to be enough for more than one second. We desire to transcend science and deny the inertia known as time.

The longing we feel is holy. It’s the stuff of heaven.

Sister, today might be a day you think you can’t put another foot in front of the other, but I know you will. You’ll keep filling the time between those vanishing places of perfection so string the moments of beauty together like pearls in reminder of the Grace that is ours. Speak the gratitude you feel in your heart and embody the permanence that will be an eternity in heaven praising the One who is all Light, good and perfection. He is the One never changing. The steady perfection in our imperfect lives. Jesus is your soul’s greatest longing.

Do you struggle with change? How do you embrace the beautiful things in your life even if they are fleeting?

10 Comments

  1. Joanna May April 4, 2016

    You write so beautifully Jessica. This stirred me and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. This is a wonderful reminder just to rest and allow Jesus to be the greatest longing of my heart in the midst of everything else.

    1. Michele Womble April 5, 2016

      ” …to rest and allow Jesus to be the greatest longing of my heart in the midst of everything else.”
      Amen!

  2. Hadassah April 4, 2016

    You put into words what I have been slowly discovering over the last couple of months.  Rather than floating from one “crisis” to another, I long for peace and stillness.  But, I feel guilty making time for such things, because something has to give and I won’t be able to do it all.  Now I understand that what I have really been in need of (craving, even !!!) has been that sweet relationship/connection with my Lord, that balances the rest of the busy-ness (or busy-mess) that is life.  Thank you for the reminder today!!!  And, I absolutely LOVE the picture you created of stringing pearls of beautiful moments as a reminder of God’s grace.  I’m gathering up as many as I can, especially with my girls who won’t stay 4 and 6 forever:)

    1. Michele Womble April 5, 2016

      I loved the picture of the string of pearls, too, Hadassah!  Beautiful thought!

  3. Jenilee April 5, 2016

    A sisterhood in motion… so true. The moments are fleeting and special. You wrote this beautifully!

    1. Michele Womble April 5, 2016

      I really liked the phrase sisterhood in motion – moving, serving, callings in all directions – it painted a very vivid picture, I think of this sisterhood.

  4. Michele Womble April 5, 2016

    Beautiful thoughts, Jessica.

    There’s a post on Velvet Ashes about pre or post grieving, and I learned that I’m a pre-griever.  I like to hang on to things, each moment, and I grieve their passing not when they are gone, but when I know they are going. (Maybe a little when they’re already gone, but not so much).  And so I try to hang on – make that moment last a little longer, linger in that favorite spot just one more minute – turn around for one last look at the airport – I would cling to these beautiful things and moments that are passing….but they slip away for all my clinging.

    “Nothing about our work is permanent save our investment in eternity.”  So true, and true not only of our work but our lives.

    I love the picture you painted of the string of pearls – stringing those moments of beauty, of grace, of love, together like a string of pearls – one that I cannot hold – but that HE holds for me and will hand back to me One Day – each moment, each beautiful thing – all there in His hands still – waiting for me.

  5. Ellie April 6, 2016

    Jessica, that last paragraph made me cry! And I needed to hear it (and cry!) today. So thanks (sort of! 😉 – have started again whilst writing this comment and re-reading that paragraph – maybe need to watch a weepy film this evening and get it all out?! )

  6. Ashley Felder April 6, 2016

    Simply beautiful. Every Spring, I’m reminded to be thankful in the moment, because, as you said, it’ll be gone before I know it.

  7. Monica F April 19, 2016

    Beautiful… spoke to my heart today.

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