Since it was a beautiful fall day, Tom and I thought taking the kids to the zoo was a good idea. It was a great day! Almost four-year old Mary was enjoying seeing the animals, and infant James seemed content in his stroller. Soon enough it was feeding time at the zoo and for sweet baby James. The two of us took a pit stop on a sunny bench while Mary and Tom took a leisurely stroll through the polar bear section. Every detail of the moment is as clear as if it happened yesterday instead of over 30 years ago.
James had finished his bottle and I'd put him on my shoulder for one last burp, when I turned my head to see Tom and Mary, walking hand and hand, past the last of the polar enclosures. They were in such earnest conversation they didn't seem to see anything else around them.
And that was the moment: the moment I knew that I knew that I knew that I could spend the rest of my life thanking God for my life and all the ways He had blessed me and it would never be enough. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest, and I'm sure I had the dorkiest grin ever on my face. My ah-ha moment.
A few weeks ago was another one of those moments. Tom and I took Annalyn to the circus for the first time. Last year Mary read an article about giving our children gift experiences more than the ones that come in boxes and are forgotten in less time than it took to purchase it. Great! We're all about that. So, we were off to the circus.
Not sure if it was Mary's sales job, or Tom and I trying to make everything fun, but Annalyn was excited when we picked her up and she didn't even know where we were going! I could try to use feeble words to paint a picture or capture her voice, but they would pale in comparison.
Have you been in that moment? In a moment when it doesn't matter what came before, or what comes after, no matter the cost, in a moment when you say to yourself, "This is the best! THIS is what life is all about!"
In that moment, and all the moments between the zoo and the circus, I want to reach out and hold them in my hands, hold onto them with all my heart. I want to bathe in and soak up and yell about the amazing glory of being alive, having someones to love and God to praise. And as I lift my face to breathe in the wonder of it all, I wish that every person in the world could have moments like these.
What's your best moment? When has your heart nearly exploded out of your chest and your face been draped with a dorky grin?
The pictures I love the most are the elusive ones, the ones too big for the camera lens. The picture doesn't do justice to Annalyn's cute face, but no camera could grab and contain her face, her voice as she watched the circus for the first time. And I didn't want to miss the moment by focusing the lens and checking the light. Sometimes the best pictures are the ones we store in our hearts, not on a card.
I will bless the Lord at all times;His praise shall continually be in my mouth.2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;The humble will hear it and rejoice.3 O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.