Anticipate the trades


If this picture is any indication, the boys had a great weekend.  In fact, they had a great summer.  Almost every day was filled with bikes on the lawn, the pounding of giant feet on the steps, and shrills of laughter echoing through the house.  It was loud and rambunctious.

My house will never be the same.  

Neither will my boys.   They grew up a lot this summer.  They heard a lot of words, I’m pretty sure they’ve never heard before.  They learned how to resolve new kinds of friendship conflicts.  They tried all kinds of new foods and gained all kinds of new confidence.

They’re going back to school quite a bit more grown up than they were when they came home in May.

Come tomorrow, they’ll be walking into the school all gussied up with their book bags.  They’ll be whisked off, all strong and confident, but there will be a little pain in my heart.  Sure, I’ll be glad to have a little piece and quiet, and a regular work schedule again.  But I will miss the noise, the bikes in the yard and the sweaty socks on the porch.   I’ll miss the Nerf bullets whizzing past my head and the trail of popcorn leading from the kitchen. . . to everywhere.

That’s the way life goes.

You trade one season, with all its struggles and joys, for a different one.  It’s easy to fantasize that the next season, just around the bend, will be easier.  Once the kids go back to school, . . once you get that next promotion. . . once the car is paid off or the vacation arrives.

And it’s true.

That part might get easier.  But everything will be different.  It’s always a trade.

Life is ever a game of trading this-for-that.  

You’re trading, this kind of work, this kind of crazy or this kind of busy – for that kind.  This season, with its insanely high energy, loud noises and dirty laundry all around, for the next one with quiet rooms, crisp air, and falling leaves.  There’ll be sports practice, late night homework, and hardly a moment to really connect.

Contentment requires you to anticipate the trades.

Because when you anticipate the trades, you can take in the moment and hold it with care, even while you’re looking forward to the next one.  It allows them both to be valuable and precious in different ways.  It eliminates the tricks, your mind tries to play on you.   The tricks that cause you miss the gifts of these precious moments while you’re longing for what’s next.

This.  This is the moment.

Whether it’s sweaty socks, book bags, or your laptop. . . this is the moment you’ll have to trade for that one you’re longing for.  So take it all in.  There are parts of this moment you will miss.  And you’ll surely never get them back.

I know it’s easier said than done.  

Becoming more content by intentionally taking it in, and anticipating the trades, is not easy at all.  In fact, it’s really hard.

But you can do hard things.

One moment at a time.

to more love,


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