being fully present in the beginnings, endings, joy and sorrow of May

The month of May is a blessing and a curse.  I’m guessing you have the same love hate relationship with it as me.  On one hand there is so much to celebrate: graduations, birthdays, end of school, beginnings of bright new futures.  But there’s so much to do!  With all the events, tasks and occasions it’s hard to focus on being present to truly cherish and celebrate.  This is a perpetual struggle for me.  You can be sure, I’m applying all my skills in that department amidst the chaos of this month.

May is like a full court press at the Beckman house. It started with an 8-day trip to California for me to speak and coach, followed in short order by my daughter’s Sweet 16th Birthday surprise party.  Then we led a team for our church’s city wide serving day.  However, none of this can overshadow the small matter of my 18 y/o graduating TOMORROW.  Out-of-town family arrive today for the celebration, commencing days of endless meals, entertaining and celebrating. (all good!)

We close off the month of May-hem by taking a team of 16 people to Haiti for a week long mission trip.  Oh, and did I mention that my hubby is ending his 5-year stint with his current company at the end of this month? That’s just a small adjustment to add to the list…

As you can see, we need every player on our team doing their part just to get through.

But a Momma wants to savor these moments, to remember every last detail.  Even if she’s struggling to keep the tears at bay, she’s trying her hardest to be present.

To make the foods they love. To drive to kingdom come and back just to spend time with them.  To make tea or sit in the hammock by her oldest who’s home from college for a few—too short—weeks.  To pull together a last minute dinner for extra or unexpected guests.  To make their favorite desserts even when there’s lots of other things to do.  To shop ad nauseam to keep the refrigerator stocked. To attend to every last detail to make the graduation party all the girl would want.  To put the extra touches in guest rooms to make family feel welcome.

I’m doing a lot of doing. It can’t be helped.

But I promise you, at every turn, I’m doing a lot of savoring too.

I realize the gravity of these days.  I’ve been told they won’t last—and I know it to be true.

I cherish every single teenager who eats whatever I put in front of them.  I look at my kids together—playing cards, riding in the car, picking each other up from the airport, heading to lunch or errands—and capture each vision in the photo reel of my mind so as not to forget the preciousness of it all.

I love these people.  I cannot imagine when they won’t be under my roof, eating my food or bringing their friends to do the same.  So I am putting off the work lists, I’m bypassing showers, I’m changing course when needed. I’m slowing down.  I’m letting things slide of the to-do list.

Because even in the May-hem, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, the gift of these days.  The need to cherish each and every ending and beginning.  To be present today, not worried about the future or the past.

And I’m thankful for every single moment.  Every single child.  Every single blessing.

Mayhem and all.

Celebrating Sweet 16!


Picking up big brother after year #2 of College!


The last day of High School… commence TEARS!

Question: How are you savoring this month of May, in all its Mayhem? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

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