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I leaned against the wall of the clothing store changing area and worked to stay upright and attentive. My older daughters had an “urgent” need for new jeans, so I had promised a quick shopping trip after an already long school day and several hours of ball practice.
The week had been a flurry of practices, out-of-town ballgames, and church youth activities—the typical whirlwind of (dis)organized chaos.
So I sighed. And I leaned.
The changing area was empty (other moms fortunate enough to be home starting dinner) so the girls grabbed adjacent rooms. I closed my eyes and waited for the fashion show.
Until I heard a giggle. I looked, and there they were—just beneath the changing room curtains—three beautiful pairs of feet.
Three pairs. Three dressing room stalls. Three places in life.
Tiny baby feet—well, not so tiny. Six years old, mesmerized by her own reflection. Dancing to piped-in music. Thrilled to be a part of what her big sisters were doing. Bright-eyed and eager to follow bigger footsteps.
Middle-sized feet—stretching, yearning to slip into jeans perhaps “too old” or “too big.” Coming into her own. A girlish beauty with one foot in the teen years, one in childhood. A pair of feet on the threshold of possibility.
Almost-grown feet—stylish and trendy. Lovely, feminine, approaching womanhood, but still so much a girl. Feet that “must have” this or that. Always longing for something new, only to discard it a moment later.
Three pairs of feet. Different, but the same. A three-dimensional picture of the glorious spectrum of childhood. Innocent, hopeful, budding. Dreaming of possibilities, of a future.
Imagining life in the next dressing room.
As I waited for my daughters to model their favorite finds, I paused to take in the now gold-hued moment. My heart reached out to God: Please, Lord, let me remember this day. May this image be engraved on my heart and mind, a reminder to be thankful, and to pray for the girls individually and often. May I never be impatient with their life-seasons or push them into the next dressing room. Help me to nurture them where they are, in this time. Thank you, Father, for slowing my frantic pace and opening my eyes.
In the blur of the everyday, we need to stop and simply be. To open our physical and spiritual eyes and see what is before us. To gather priceless snapshots in time and tuck them away for another—quieter—day.
To be still, breathe, and be thankful. To live Psalm 90:12—Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
This day, this moment is a rare treasure. How will we breathe it in?
(Originally published on Just18Summers.com)
“In the blur of the everyday, we need to stop and simply be. To be still, breathe, and be thankful.” #IntentionalParenting wisdom–even on a quick shopping trip–from @LThomasWrites, via @Carole_Sparks. (click to tweet)
Have you had one of those “I have to remember this!” moments in parenting? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Leigh Ann Thomas is a wife, mother, grammy, writer, and chocolate enthusiast. She has penned four books, including Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (SonRise Devotionals) and Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone—Inspiration for Women in the Middle (Elk Lake Publishing, 2019 release). A regular contributor to Just18Summers.com and InTheQuiver.com, she has also published with Southern Writers Magazine, Power for Living, Southern Writers Best Short Fiction, and other magazines and compilations. You can find Leigh Ann on her front porch daydreaming story plots or blogging at LeighAThomas.com. Connect on Twitter at @LThomasWrites.