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Slow Down and Breathe

Slow Down and Breathe

I leaned against the wall of the clothing store changing area and worked to stay upright and attentive. My older daughters had an “urgent” need for new jeans so I had promised a quick shopping trip after an already long school day and several hours of ball practice.

The week had been a flurry of practices, out-of-town ballgames, and church youth activities—the typical whirlwind of (dis)organized chaos.

So I sighed. And I leaned.

The changing area was empty (other moms fortunate enough to be home starting dinner) so the girls grabbed adjacent rooms. I closed my eyes and waited for the fashion show.

Until I heard a giggle.

I looked, and there they were—just beneath the changing room curtains—three beautiful pairs of feet.

Three pairs. Three dressing room stalls. Three places in life.

Tiny baby feet—well, not so tiny. Six years old, mesmerized by her own reflection. Dancing to piped-in music. Thrilled to be a part of what her big sisters were doing. Bright-eyed and eager to follow bigger footsteps.

Middle-sized feet—stretching, yearning to slip into jeans perhaps “too old” or “too big.” Coming into her own. A girlish beauty with one foot in the teen years, one in childhood. A pair of feet on the threshold of possibility.

Almost-grown feet—stylish and trendy. Lovely, feminine, approaching womanhood, but still so much a girl. Feet that “must have” this or that. Always longing for something new, only to discard it a moment later.

Three pairs of feet. Different, but the same. A three-dimensional picture of the glorious spectrum of childhood. Innocent, hopeful, budding. Dreaming of possibilities, of a future.

Imagining life in the next dressing room.

As I waited for my daughters to model their favorite finds, I paused to take in the now gold-hued moment. My heart reached out to God—please, Lord, let me remember this day. May this image be engraved on my heart and mind, a reminder to be thankful, and to pray for the girls individually and often. May I never be impatient with their life-seasons or push them into the next dressing room. Help me to nurture them where they are, in this time. Thank you, Father, for slowing my frantic pace and opening my eyes.

In the blur of the everyday, we need to stop and simply be. To open our physical and spiritual eyes and see what is before us. To gather priceless snapshots in time and tuck them away for another—quieter—day.

To be still, breathe, and be thankful. To live Psalm 90:12—Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. NIV

This day, this moment is a rare treasure. How will we breathe it in?

By: Leigh Ann Thomas is the author of Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (SonRise Devotionals). A columnist for AlmostAnAuthor.com, she has also written for The Write Conversation, Southern Writers Suite T, and Power for Living. Her short stories are included in three editions of Southern Writers Best Short Stories (2015-2017). You can find Leigh Ann on her front porch daydreaming story plots, or blogging at https://leighathomas.com/.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

2 Comments

  1. Leigh Ann, this is so beautiful. We can never be reminded enough to slow down and treasure the moments, especially the one we are in right now. Thank you for the lovely reminder. I felt I was leaning right with you.

    • Aw, thank you, Callie! I praise God for His reminders to pause and soak in the moments. They slip by so quickly!

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