Before Today Ends

before today ends handsfreemama.com

Today I hear …

Whining about her sister having a bigger scoop.
Slamming doors.
The relentless buzz of the dryer–a load needs folded … again.

But I also hear …

“This dinner ‘tasteses’ good, Mama.”
The C-chord sounding a bit like heaven on a tiny ukulele.
Tender, loving words in her sleepy bedtime voice.

This is what my life sounds like today.
And if I close my eyes and listen very carefully, that which sounds heavenly can overpower the noise.

Today I see …

Wet towels carelessly abandoned upon the bathroom floor.
Toothpaste blobs inhabiting the sink.
Weeds where flowers used to be.

But I also see …

Gentle hands putting dolls tenderly in their place.
A hole where a tooth used to be—her last baby tooth to go.
A love note written in kid penmanship resting on my pillow.

This is what my life looks like today.
And if I open my eyes and look very carefully, that which appears divinely perfect can outshine the mess.

Today I feel …

Saggy skin and tired eyes.
Tight shoulders in need of strong hands.
The pressure of too many deadlines and not enough time.

But I also feel …

Soft little lips planting a kiss on my cheek.
Sunshine warming my face as I wait for swim team practice to end.
A small hand fitting perfectly in mine.

This is what my life feels like today.
And if I stretch my arms as wide as they will go, that which lifts me up can outweigh that which brings me down.

Today I smell …

Burnt pizza—again.
Chlorine seeping from crunchy, uncombed hair.
Curdled yogurt in the cup holder of the backseat of the car.

But I also smell …

A Downy-fresh nightgown when she wraps herself around me.
Freshly cut grass while little feet do cartwheels.
Hot popcorn prepared by small hands for my late night book editing session.

This is what my life smells like today.
And if I breathe deeply, that which brings me comfort can overwhelm that which stifles me.

This is my life today.

It is not magazine cover worthy. It can make me want to plug my ears and hold my head in my hands. It can feel exhausting at times. But when I open my eyes, my hands, and my heart fully, what truly matters hits me so hard that my weary eyes are filled with tears.

And in that moment, I gladly give up a picture-perfect life with fragrant aromas, textures so rich, and everything in its proper place.

Because despite the mess, the noise, and the blatant imperfections, I have all that I could ever want: my loves, my life, my faith, my family.

Thank you, Today, for not leaving before I could hear, see, smell, and feel all that was good in you.

 

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One of my favorite weeks of the summer is the week I take my daughters to visit their beloved cousins. I find myself wanting to soak up every sight, sound, taste, and feeling during these special times with my family. Therefore, the blog and The Hands Free Revolution community page will be quiet as I step away from the online world and step fully into my life. I know you understand why these breaks from technology are necessary because you share this life changing journey with me.

My hope is that today and in the days ahead, you too can live with open hands, open eyes, and an open heart and see all that is good in your life.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey to let go of distraction to live more and love more in the precious time we are given. I am truly grateful for each one of you.

-Rachel

 

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Comments

  1. 2

    Lindsay says

    Thank you! I read often but never post. Today this really spoke to me because I’ve started work again (those summers are never long enough!) and am back to juggling all the balls. This morning I huffed and puffed through getting the kids out the door. But so much good happened too. The way you worded this reminded me to look for that. Thank you! Also this seems like an exercise I could benefit from daily!

  2. 3

    says

    Every day as a mother, even the most trying among them, is so packed with beauty and small miracles. They give us so many chances to let go, to step back, to laugh at ourselves, and to try again. Each moment is a lesson, indeed. Thank you!

  3. 4

    Jennifer says

    Rachel,
    Love this…I felt like I caught a few of these moments this weekend…..we were at the last summer concert in our park last night and just watching my kids run free and play so happy it made my heart melt. I did not have my phone, stayed “disconnected” and feel like it helped me really “feel” a few of these special moments…ones that come only once at ages 5 and 7! I hope you get rested and renewed and enjoy every minute of your vacation!!!

  4. 5

    Sheridan says

    This was a needed message today. I am trying so hard not to let the things that bring me down overwhelm the good. Today I am lamenting a short vacation in which everyone seemed slightly bored, but we were together.

  5. 6

    Valerie G says

    Rachel,
    You have such an amazing way to capture what so many of us feel, but do not now how to express. I thank you for your unbelievable gifted talent. To be able to touch so many people, and in turn allow us to do the same. Your blog came to me while I was away on a 5 day Yoga teaching in May and it could not have come to me at a more perfect time since then I anxiously wait for your words of wisdom each week. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting the time into writing. Have a wonderful Hands Free week with your Family!!

  6. 7

    says

    A wonderful post and immediately I thought of one of my favorite blogger ladies, Beckie, from Infarrantly Creative. In her post about making a meaningful home she shared the jewelry case cover and it’s words that greet her every morning. It is Psalm 118:24 and it says: “This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” I thought of this as I read your words. Have a wonderful time with your loved ones:)

  7. 8

    E says

    Have a beautiful well deserved holiday!!!I love your every single post,so beautifully written and so full of wisdom.You are a beautiful person.

  8. 9

    Ann says

    As a Grandma I can attest to those precious miracle moments and those not so good “crummy mummy award” ones too! We had time shared with our youngest 2 year old granddaughter who lives many, many states away this past Sunday. Like the song, I wish I could capture time in a bottle, it flees so quickly. Lovely moments lived and now in memory…”I gots the hickups!”…indeed you do little one!

  9. 10

    Michael says

    A friend of mine posted this to her facebook wall a few minutes ago with just these words ” Wonderful post “. It’s funny how when you need to hear something that some way, some how, it finds its way to you. I live in Northern Illinois and my mother in Arkansas. We were facebook messaging back and forth until midnight last night.Our topic of discussion? How recently I have been reevaluating what’s important in our lives. I joked about how this growing up thing is hard. I am 40, happily married we 3 children. She laughed at me and we casually spoke a little more on the subject. Thank you Rachel for saying it so eloquently :-)

  10. 13

    Melissa says

    Thank you once again for your words. I started a gratitude journal and take a moment each day to write what I am grateful for, your blog is in one of those entries :) This past weekend I had the honor to intently watch my boys build a teepee while camping in the woods. Totally disconnected for two days and my journal was filled with those moments. ENJOY your time away and keep up your beautiful work!

  11. 15

    Stacie says

    Beautiful post today Rach! And yaaayyyy!!!! We cannot wait for you guys to get in town tomorrow!!! Sam and Evan can hardly wait. See you tomorrow for lunch. Safe travels. Love you.

  12. 18

    Mary Kay says

    Once again you have brought tears to my eyes. Your words and your philosophy are so true and authentic and I love you and I don’t even know you :) thanks again for your beautiful blog.

  13. 19

    Allison says

    Rachel,

    Your words came to me when I felt something was missing from my life. It is amazing how inspiration can come from someone one doesn’t even know. I saw one of your posts that someone had referenced on Facebook a few weeks ago. I followed it to your blog. I can’t wrap my mind around how every single time I read your posts, they have a direct correlation to something going on in my own life as a mother. Thank you for your thoughtful words. They mean volumes and continue to help me balance my life as a full time mother, wife and teacher. :)

  14. 21

    Elissa says

    I always read, I always cry but I never post. :)
    I am touched deeply by your writing and look forward to each one. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

  15. 22

    Holly says

    Made me cry. I love your beautiful reminders that bring me back to a sane place. I want to make a list every day that begins with the topics listed “today I hear… today I see…” etc. Every day- to see that the amazing will always outweigh the unimportant crap that stifles us!

  16. 24

    Barb Solano says

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident and stayed…!!! I am always moved by the magic of your words. I feel transported by your wisdom and I usually share your post with my daughter-in-love. If you ever wrote a compilation of your blogs and published it would be a best seller…!!!! Have a wonderful break and I look forward to your next missive…

  17. 26

    Chitra says

    A Big Thank You. Your blog opened up my otherwised closed blocked mind. I have been having lot of inhibitions about myself, and oflately have been stressed. Due to this i was missing on the small such miracles happening around. It has made me aware of looking forward to spending good quality time with my girls. Thanks Rachel, God bless you.

  18. 27

    Melanie says

    Beautiful. Very happy to have seen this before today was over, and very hopeful that I will remember to hear, see, smell, and feel a little more fully tomorrow.

  19. 28

    Annie says

    Those words are nectar to me today – after leaving my sleeping family so I can go to work – As i left i heard a little voice saying “love you mummy, see you later”. Words like those stay with me all day xxx

  20. 30

    says

    If this isn’t magazine cover worthy, that’s because magazine covers are dishonest; they airbrush out the imperfections that make a beautiful person, a beautiful day, a beautiful life.

    If I ran the magazines, this would be the cover.

  21. 31

    Kim M says

    I am so there, Rachel! Thanks for helping me to see what I am missing each day with my children. Life is too short to miss all the wonderful, yummy, smelly and delicious moments that you so wonderfully wrote about, thank you! xoxox

  22. 32

    says

    Just wanted to say that this is my favorite post of yours yet. I absolutely love it, and I might even print it and frame it as a daily reminder to see the good in each day.

  23. 33

    Nova says

    Thank you for this post! Just off to bed feeling a little beaten and this post has just reminded me yet again how lucky I am with my beautiful little ones. Thank you x

  24. 35

    Liz Hampton-Derivan says

    I’d much rather this be a magazine cover or newspaper headline. So much better than most of what we get. You have a wonderful gift for being in touch with what really is most important and putting it into words.

  25. 37

    says

    It is a gift to have found your blog! This post really emphasized how to take it all in through our senses; thank you for the beautifully written reminder.

  26. 40

    Debby G says

    I just discovered you through an article on
    MSN. Your words speak to my heart and bring a tear to my eye. Thank you!

  27. 42

    says

    Diseño de doble cremallera, chaqueta de doble cuello es muy cálido. Rebeca del diseño de la cremallera oblicua, muy creativo. Además del diseño de la correa le permite fácilmente no hinchado. Sombrero de la decoración de la felpa, felpa se ha extendido en el pecho, haciendo que la gente se siente caliente! Rosa super cálida chaqueta de cuello de piel de lujo

  28. 43

    Erin says

    I just felt compelled to comment…being a mother is SO stressful and yet so beautiful. I have a lot of days where it is hard to see the beauty when the whining, fighting, and demands of a six and three year old become overwhelming. With this said…. when I feel I am failing as a mother I read your posts and they remind me that I am not alone and I am NOT failing. Thank you!!

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