Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/growing-forward-together/id1510373513

Learning to “stay in the moment” is one of the hardest things I have had to learn in my life.  As an Eight on the Enneagram, an extreme extrovert, and a creative and self-proclaimed “big ideas” girl, my brain is always on the go with my feet close behind.

Unlike many others in my life, I love and embrace change. So, staying in the “the moment” has been an art I have had to learn.  It hasn’t always been easy, but it has definitely been rewarding.  For me, staying in the moment requires something…naming the emotions (good or bad) and finding connections that will propel me forward.  Like I said earlier, I have a very active brain!! 🙂

What do you need to do to “stay in the moment”? How do you stay emotionally healthy?

Today I want to share a personal story with you that spans a few decades through which I learned to make my moments count since many of them are but a memory for my recollection.

Time: written a week before we moved out of our home of 23 years.


It was 1996. We were the proud parents of our first son.  We were content in our apartment where we had lived since getting married two years earlier. Then, we found out that an elderly family member was moving to a nursing home and wanted her home to stay in the family if possible.  So, my husband’s parents asked if we would be interested.  We were interested, but we had a lot of questions (and no down payment), so we decided to stop by one Fall day to take a look.  After touring the home, only one word remained…potential.  The next thing we knew, we were in the throes of buying our first home.   Not only that, but our first born would turn 1, we would move into the home and leave on a 2-week mission trip – all within weeks of each other.  It was a whirlwind for sure!!

Fast forward 23 years…

All three sons and adopted daughter grew up and out into their own stories, and we were rendered “empty-nesters”.  In the past year, we decided to sell this house that became our home and move into the next assignment and chapter of our story.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because I felt strongly that I needed to!  And, because it is heavy on my heart that the many moments of living here have now become important memories as we enter the last days of living here.  It makes me wonder if you can relate?  Do you have moments that have turned into memories that seem out of your reach?

If the freshly painted walls of our home had ears, they would have heard the following…

…countless cries of the children and us parents on occasion…many occasions.

…instructions to children that weren’t always handled with grace and compassion.

…heartfelt conversations with our children when they were at different stages in their own lives.

…the intimate conversations we had as we invested in our marriage of 26 years as of this past May.

…the incredible passionate voices of teenagers we hosted here as my husband was a Youth Pastor for the first 10 years and their voices as young adults when many came back to visit and reminisce about their teen years.

…the sounds of trauma as one of the children was searching for their identity.

…the numerous questions that were asked that didn’t always seemed to have any answers.

…countless conversations with young couples who were either headed towards marriage, in crisis, or just trying to figure out how to have a healthy dating / marriage relationship.

…what the babysitters said to the never-ending creative comments and questions from our precocious children.

…sounds of joy, sorrow, passion, fear, anxiety, trauma, happiness, fun, engagement, peace.

…hours and hours and hours of conversations with college students about race, culture, marriage, sin, spirituality, God, faith, health, dating, men, women, gender, finances, politics, religion, parents, parenting, social media, stories, food, mentoring, discipleship, childhood, upbringing, forgiveness, failure, success, etc.,

All precious moments that have become memories!

Did I know how things would turn out in those moments?  No

Did I hold on to them and savor them each time? Not always.

Did I try to rush past them so I could move forward? Sometimes.  Especially the painful ones.

The newly tiled and sanded floors have their stories too.  For all the guests who came and left as friends or new-found family.  We are thankful they stepped into our story and blessed us with their time, talents, and stories.

Each room has had moments that we are proud of and some we would like to forget.  I think our children would agree.

All in all, just like the new roof will cover this home for another few decades, we have felt covered by the many relationships we have been blessed with and by God as He has been writing our story all these years.

As I think about how the fresh paint on the siding wraps around the house, we sense the Holy Spirit wrapping us in His arms as we venture into the next chapter of our lives.

This house is full of love, peace, passion, forgiveness, compassion, intentional living, and culture.  The many moments we have had here have truly been a gift to us and have made us into better people.   So, we take our memories and leave behind the keys to your new home, and this new season of your story and the adventures you will experience here.

May you be blessed by your time here, be it 3 or 23 years…or more.  May you feel the peace we felt and the same compassion that filled our difficult days.  May you relish the moments you encounter and grow through them no matter how difficult.  Most of all, may you also experience great potential in this place you now call home!!  We hope you like it here!!


How have you learned to live in the moment?

How do you handle loss?

What have you learned by staying in the moment?

Here’s to Growing Forward Together as we practice staying in the moment!!