Before Logan entered the world of one year olds and beyond, I was a dedicated baby book filler-outer. Written in those pastel animal filled pages are dates marking first baths, first teeth and first steps, along with all their favorites at different months that seemed to change right after I wrote them down. The only stat that never seemed to move was the one connected to the dreaded "How long do they sleep at night?" question which never failed to make me examine my mothering skills. But I can happily say that at ages 9, 7 and 4, it is no longer an issue...so remember when you are in the trenches, it is only temporary.
The best of days we are sad to see as temporary. We want to hang on to them forever, wishing and wishing they will never end, but knowing that to go on to the next thing they must. But with the good comes the bad (and vice versa) so the worst is only temporary as well. The days we have and the places we feel cemented into are just as fleeting. Life is always going on, the world around is always on the move. At times, our place in it whirls right alongside with happiness and action, and at others we watch it go past in a blur as we sit and work through and wait for a season before we can jump back in the mix.
I have a combination of both just like the next person. Days of happiness and sorrow that intermingle together, weaving in and out of my consciousness, teaching me new lessons and reminding me of past mistakes but working in unison to grow my heart, my compassion, my wisdom, my life.
If you have not picked up on it yet, and if I have not alluded to it enough, I am a believer in the writing down of things. A memory-keeping enthusiast and to repeat an already repeated reason, it is so that I can remember. Remembering can be a beautiful thing when you let God take your memories and show you Hope and Truth throughout them. It can take time. Yes, oh god yes, it can take lots of time, but His promise is true and though you might not be able to say the wisdom learned was worth the pain, because for some the pain came through horrific circumstances, you will be able to say that the wisdom learned is the good He promised He would provide. (Romans 8:28)
As Forrest says when sharing his beloved stories, he likes to know where he's going and where he's been. As promised, here follows a few of my bests and worsts, the days I circle in red and the days I once wanted to hide from but now welcome because I see my promised Good within them. I love seeing where I have gone and where I am going even if the latter is more than a little hazy if not completely pitch black at times.
The day I was born results in a day of celebration once a year. It is one of my favorite days. Now in life I share that day with my youngest son. I pout a bit at first but love usually wins out.
I met my husband on Halloween in 2001. Because of this night my happiest days came on June 5, 2004 when we were wed, February 15, 2007 with the birth of our first son, May 8, 2009 with the birth of our second son, and November 15, 2011 with the birth of our third. At our wedding I gifted him a journal I had written throughout our dating years with dates and memories, some big and some very small, but all part of our journey.
My first heartbreak came in 6th grade, many more followed with the biggest one in December of 2000 that I am not proud to say dragged on and on until it finally came to an end in September of 2001. That day is also one of my proudest moments one that holds a place in my favorite kind of days of all. I had a car accident on November 13, 2000 that still gives me flashbacks and makes the Georgia/Auburn game played on November 11, 2000 one of my best days as well...odd but true. The worst day of my life was September 8, 2013 when a marital betrayal of the worst kind was admitted (I even mistyped it the first time and wrote 9 because that is favorite my 12:01 am day to look forward to). It is the uncontested winner and I pray it holds first for the rest of my days, because what it would take to beat it i
s not something I would ever look forward to experiencing!
Just as I do, you have days of happiness, days of sorrow, but most importantly you have my favorite days of all: days where you are given the gift to see something new about yourself. The day something in your heart changes, whether the circumstances you are living through do or not, and you can see things that God has been revealing culminate into a beautiful picture that sets a milestone in your soul and in your story. These days make all the days worth living!
Milestones are well named. A marker telling a distance traveled. A point reached that results in only going forward from now on or one that reminds you that you have been that far before so it is more than possible to do it again.
A friend recommended a movie to me a couple years ago that I did not just love but absolutely loved and has stayed with me since. While I can not begin to describe About Time because you will most assuredly grow bored with the length that this will become, I can say put it on your to-watch list and then think about this one tidbit out of the many hundreds I could share: In the movie, the men in the family have the gift of traveling in time to any place in their past until one thing happens - their wife has a baby.
Once a child has entered their world, that milestone keeps them from traveling to a time before it was part of their lives. There are scenes in the movie that portray this fact in somewhat sad ways, as it might cause you to lose connection with a person who has passed before the milestone, but for me it is a distinct reminder that there are times God gives us where forward is the only direction we can go. Where the past must remain the past and while it is there in memory, it is just that - a memory.
The best days we have, whether they include a marriage and children, or whether those are milestones coming in the future, are wonderful memories, but they can not be our only references to move forward. My wedding day was a mess of beautiful and nerve wracking emotions but if I relate to my husband with the same feelings I did on that day, we would be sunk for sure.
The worst of days will come with heartache. Even though they will produce wisdom, if we function day to day with the emotions they invoke, our decisions will be questionable coming from the roller-coaster of feelings that can change by the minute.
God, in his ultimate wisdom, gives us these critical milestones, or turning points in our walks and in our lives that most often come out of nowhere. They creep in and surprise you at first until you stop and realize there have been pieces coming together you just did not notice, and what a bigger picture they were going to make. In my experience, these milestones do not come in the best of times or the worst of times when emotions are high or dragging dangerously low...they come in the middle when you are least expecting it but fully able to notice it.
In those moments a light bulb goes off...a ding is heard inside your soul, and you grow. Your heart grows because it feels more loved, and feels more of a love for yourself or another. Your faith grows because you are reminded yet again of Hope, Faithfulness, and the promise of One that never fails. Your wisdom grows because answered prayer and truths combine with knowledge changing how you relate, how you decide, and how you share from then on.
These days are precious gifts and they are the perfect kind because they are a gift you didn't know you needed but now can't live without.
I have one monumental such day that planted a large marker in my story, brought clarity and healing, and yet another reminder of how much God loves that I will share with you soon.
Until then, I hope just as you pondered your days of joys and sorrows, that you will look back on now and excitedly anticipate later the milestone days for your heart and how they carefully show you a specific lesson, an intentional love, and a reminder of whose you are and the comfort that brings.
I'm praying for you, pray for me.