The kids were still in their swimsuits sucking down popsicles when I blinked. I opened my eyes to the warmth of Autumn in the trees and its chill prickling my shoulders. The clerk mentioned he was staying late to unpack Christmas inventory and by the time I lifted my head to comment Already?, the twinkle lights were wrapped around the display tree.
The pool towels hadn't even made it through the wash before the kids were hooded in fleece. I'm never ready for the already.
The notebook pages curl as I carry over the list of unchecked items to next month. Vacuum the van. Mend the hole in my overworn shirt. Send congratulatory wedding card to my friend who married last Spring.
I pray through each moment, asking that the leaves keep their glorious shades of orange and that Greta's chubby foot is forever nestled below my shoulder as I nurse. All while fantasizing about the day when the kids use the bathroom unassisted and my wardrobe isn't limited to nursing tops and elastic. I want to co-sleep yet sleep through the night. I want a substantial payday yet not another long day away from my husband. I want to be home with my children yet have more time for myself. I want that pair of pre-baby jeans yet another of Grandma Abby's pumpkin cookies.
I want the already but I don't. I'm a mess and it's no wonder Paul preaches about the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
And when I think I've arrived, when I am full and surrounded abundantly, emptiness and discomfort come and plop down on my lap. My present focus flees as they squelch my contentment. The next stage and season bring more to be desired. And it all flies past, the days only a blur leaving nothing in focus.
There is always more space for me to be filled by Him . . . through Him who gives me strength.
*A sprinkling of the moments I want to savor from the last month as I pray to be present and content in the already.