The farmer’s wife standing in my living room snapped her fingers.
“That fast,” she said, and she snapped her fingers again. “It goes by that fast.”
She was staring at the framed portrait of my girls, years younger and dressed in white. They had posed in the doorway of our little barn out back.
That’s why the farmer’s wife, my neighbor, snapped her fingers. Because she knew it: Life moves fast.
And that’s why I swallowed down the lump rising up in my throat.
In two weeks, that snapping woman’s firstborn will graduate high school. She has earned rights to snap fingers.
It’s cliche, I suppose, for one mother to tell another mother how fast it all goes. For that mother to tell you to pay attention and hold tight to the moments. And she’ll tell you they’ll be “all grown up before you can blink.”
Or before you can snap.
You’ve heard the warning since your kids were babies, back when some blue-haired lady leaned over your kid’s stroller in aisle five next to the Campbell’s soup cans. You might have wanted to roll your eyes.
But here’s the thing about cliches. They’ve got roots sunk deep down into truth.
So I reckon I ought to pay attention to the snap moments.
You know, I might be tempted to look right over the shoulders of my girls, to chase after something else, in the name of cultural relevance. The world is a hot mess of making you think you need to plan ahead, get noticed, climb a ladder, make a name for yourself, earn some cred. Even in Christian circles, folks compete over who can talk loudest, argue longest, prove a point, make a case. Neighbors are getting good at building fences.
I do know this: One day, we’ll get to Heaven, and it won’t take long before we realize, “Huh…. We got all hot and bothered about a bunch of stuff that was never going to last anyway.”
Eternity has a way of righting things. Because there’s this one table where we’ll all sit, you know? And snap, we’ll all be there, all these feet under one table. And no one will argue anymore.
I”m thinking about that table when that farmer’s wife in my living room snaps her fingers at me. And I know it right then: I want to stop to take a good, long look at what matters in my life.
I want to be about the “now.” I don’t want to be about making a case or making a point. I want to be about making a big deal about the main thing.
The main thing in my house has a spelling test tomorrow. The main thing likes to play in a yard where green pops up in April. I see another main thing across my husband’s farmfield– it’s my church, where we aren’t perfect, but by golly, we’re loved. Yeah. That’s a main thing, all right.
I want to be about all my main things: my husband, my children, my Jesus, my morning devos. My morning coffee.
And a stack of good books on my nightstand.
My main thing, go figure, is even this: sweeping PopTart crumbs from wood floors.
My main thing remembers that life is a study in brokenness.
(Print from Annie Barnett’s Etsy shop)
My main thing is also this: two girls sitting in the glow of an iPad, playing Minecraft. (don’t judge). 🙂
My main thing has me watching from across the room, watching how one little girl believes it for herself: that she really is special.
And the main thing is a soft bed where I fall every night next to my main thing, my main man.
Seventeen years ago, my mom insisted on playing a song at our wedding reception: “The Sweetest Days.”
You know what? I think the song is really about the Main Thing. It’s about the sweetest things, in the sweetest days, a prelude for the Mainest Main Thing.
“All the while,” the song goes, “life is rushing by us. Hold it now and don’t let go. These are the days …. the sweetest days we’ll know.”
So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
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Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me!
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