Last month, the birth of our firstborn marked one of the largest life changes I’ve ever navigated…and am still navigating! This month, I followed it up by cleaning out my office at church, exiting the workforce to stay home with Phin. Being a parent is something I dreamed of for a long time and the ability to stay home to raise our son in the early years of his life is wonderful. All this change comes with so much joy…and with the joy comes a lot of reflection.
Mount Hope‘s been my church – my home – since childhood. When I joined the staff seven years ago, my mind was blown by the opportunity to work full time using creativity to honor God and minister to His people. I finally felt like my time was being invested instead of just spent. It is truly the very best place I’ve ever worked. This is not to say there weren’t unpleasant moments; there were very difficult situations, challenging projects, fascinating people, and times when I seriously considered thinking up an escape plan. But the highs, the excitement, the warmth vastly outweighed the rest! I am by far a better person for my years spent on staff and am so grateful for the pastors and co-workers and volunteers who poured so much into me.
525,600 moments make up each year. Seven years is a lot of moments! There are snapshots from my season on staff that are forever engrained in my mind, but I know my memory lost more than it retained. While it saddens me a bit that I couldn’t hold all those experiences in my heart, their impact on my life is not diminished. It is the same with this new season. As I cuddle and rock and chat with Phin between feedings and naps, I consider our moments. I want to capture it all in my memory; his expressions, the sounds he makes, how he smells, the way I feel when he looks at me and shows me his gummy smile…I want to keep it all. But I know that, just like so many of my church staff memories, with time a lot will fade. And again, I feel sad.
God did not create us with perfect photographic memories, but He did give us the ability to be present in each moment, experience it fully, and be impacted. This transition is a reminder to me to be fully present in each moment, so even if I can’t hold every single one in my heart, I can soak in the overall experience and allow it to make its imprint on my life.
Phin’s already causing change in me, taking over where my time on staff left off, fine tuning me to be closer to the Amanda that God intended. I pray in this season that with the Father’s help I can do the same for him.