I just gave Maddie her early morning feeding and after rocking her soft warm body on my shoulder to burp her, she fell asleep. Both of her arms spread out across my shoulders and her head nestled softly into my neck, and she was so peaceful that I found myself sad to lay her back down in her crib. I would have paid a lot of money to have been given the chance to keep holding her for hours, until she was ready to wake up for the day. Instead I swaddled her back up, laid her down, and rested my palms gently on her chest and shoulders, as I do each time I put her down, so that she settles calmly into sleep. I stood over her trying to memorize how little she still is. A minute later she smiled in her sleep and I know everything is right in her little world.
As I crept out of her room, I shot the pretty little clock on her wall a dirty look. I am cursing the clock these days.
I have an acute awareness of how bound by time I am, and I loathe it. I have a hard time living in each moment because of the reminder of when it's going to end, or what is coming next and how soon that will be. I know it's part of living and it's very necessary in order to function, but a part of me wants to pack my family up and run off to a country that lives more for the moment than for it's end and what's coming next.
I remember when I was on a missions trip in Panama City, Panama. We would say that the people there were on 'Panama time' whenever they were late, or something ran long, or if a service was supposed to start at 9am and at 9:05 (or even 9:30!) the room was still empty. They just didn't 'respect' time like we did. Or that's how I viewed it, since it was sort of putting me out. Certainly there were complications that arose from the different emphasis we all placed on our individual punctuality and approach to having things scheduled and sticking to a timeframe. But at this point in my life, more than ever, I can appreciate that way of life.
My husband's parents as well as his sister and her family just spent 4 days with us. They traveled from New Jersey and had to go home yesterday. The whole time they were here there was this countdown to their departure looming in my mind - a clock that was ticking, reminding me that the time was passing a lot faster than I wanted it to be.
And the more I loathe the heavy burden of time and its passage, the more I find myself dreaming about heaven to soothe the ache.
I wonder if part of heaven is never having to put your baby down when she falls asleep on your shoulder. Because that would be pretty close to paradise for me. Not placing her in her bed to sleep because you know you only have another hour to shower before the other children wake up and the day takes on a momentum of its own that very often careens out of your control, so you'd better be as ready as you can be before it starts! No more hurrying or rushing about.
I know that heaven promises endless amounts of time with not only the Lord, but with those we love who have also confessed Him as Lord, too. I'm really looking forward to the end of goodbyes and see-you-soons. To having as much time as we want, to sit around a table in paradise and just be together.
It's so hard to fathom what it will be like to 'live' forever without being bound by time. It's actually impossible because we are so finite. But for as much as I'm loathing this boundary on earth, I'm loving the moments I have to dwell on what it's going to be like to have that chain broken.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.