I Have To Go Back!

Always looking one step ahead.  Its both a blessing and a curse, you know, one of those things that in my best moments creates great work and in the worst moments makes my focus in the wrong places.

I can remember as far back as age 9 always…wanting…to…be…one…more…step…ahead.  “When I’m 10, then I will fully arrive!”  “When I am 13, that will be the again I am waiting for.” “When I am done with middle school, or on to high school, or finally graduated college and ready to get married and be a real grown up!”  Oh my oh my, all the time I wasted longing for whatever was coming next.

Its one of those things about myself that I recognized as I grew older and, especially when kids rolled around, I fought to subside the ever longing for next.   I pasted this verse on the inside of my eye lids and never let it go, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34  Today.  Today.  Full of joy untapped when tomorrow is dwelt on too fully.  And so at the ripe age of “old” I get all of that now.  But then…there is this…

And it rocked my boat big time.

Wait what?  Ummmm, hello video of my sweet baby girl that literally seems like the blink of an eye ago…ummmmm where did you go?  How did this happen?  My emotions spun violently up and down and I found myself yelling in my mind like my life favorite TV character Jack from LOST saying, “We have to go back!  We have to go back!”

We have to go back

A first time mom, a new home, a move down the east coast it sure felt like a deserted island.  With little adult time each day and a new life of being a mom, I sure looked forward to a time when my daughter would be my shopping and organizing buddy (both of which we now enjoy together regularly).  But crap!  Now that I am off the Island it really feels like I want to go back!  All those sweet precious baby memories and faces…they don’t last very long.  Actually, nothing really lasts very long  (even the things that seem like they will never end).

Even in the hard things.  I think if I could go back and do one thing over, it just simply would have been to allow my brain to be free.  Free from pressure from myself and others.  Free from worrying about following all the parenting rules just right and obsessing over when the next milestone should come.  Free from created stress.  Free from freaking out if one day passed off schedule.

I can’t go back, but I thank God for this reminder for my today.  A reminder to take a step back and check to make sure I am focusing on whats really important.  To ask myself daily, “Does this deserve my time?  Does this deserve my energy?”  Because before I know it this will be my “I have to go back…”


In all of this there was a huge temptation for me to feel really sad.  In fact, I’m sure I did wallow for a bit of the woes of never getting those baby giggles from my daughter ever again.  But I don’t want that for me and I don’t want that for you.  There is so much hope in what God has for our tomorrow over and beyond mourning the past that is already gone.   Take this Sunday for instance.  As I sat and had a few crying moments for my Gideon, the feeling arose in me that I had wasted it.  Similar to the feelings of watching baby Faith, I found myself dwelling on the question, “Did I waste that time?  Did I waste those days?”    Quickly I decided that dwelling on the question was a moot point, undeserving of my analysis.  But what I did decide is that there is still time for me to make a change.

I want to continue to do something with the life that Gideon lived, and my husband and I are talking about how we can better serve families who are about to go through what we went through.  There is hope in tomorrow.  I want to continue to love on my children in a way that focuses on all that they are, honing in on their unique needs from me as a parent.  Right now Faith likes reading books and shopping trips, we will do more of those.  David wants nothing more than to play basketball and have three point shooting contests, you got it buddy.  Aaron wants a million books read to him and would play a board game a minute, yes to making time for both.  There is hope in tomorrow.

For you too, may hope in whats to come far outweigh the temptation to dwell over what did or did not happen yesterday.

6 thoughts on “I Have To Go Back!

  1. Oh I so needed this today friend! Now I’m all a ball of waterworks over here, gee thanks 😉 I too can remember from an early age, constantly looking to what was next in life, and convincing myself it would always be better. Sadly, I still do so quite often. Yuck! Why do we have to be so human?

    And so it goes with the kids… I question myself every day after the car door shuts when they jump out for school and after saying “goodnight” most nights… “Have I given them the confidence they need?”, “Did I spend enough time with them today?”, “Do they truly feel loved by me?”, “Why didn’t I sit and listen to them read longer this afternoon?”, “What was it that Judd was telling me when I ‘spaced’ on him?”, and on and on.

    So, thank you for the unspoken challenge… This afternoon (bc I’m only concerned with TODAY), I’m going to play basketball with Judd longer than the average 11-13 minutes I give him not enough days of the week, and I’m going to sit on the porch swing with Annalee listening to her read longer than the required 20-25 minutes her teacher requests. And I’m going to SOAK IT IN, their laughter, their smiles, the way they use their hands, and truly LISTEN to them pour their hearts out to me, even if it is just about what Annalee’s girlfriends wore today and about the latest basketball shoes that LeBron James just designed!

    Thank you Maria!

    1. So so true. How much do we question ourselves? Day in and day out wondering, pondering if we did “good enough.” It is so tiring isn’t it?? Then when my brain calculates all that extra energy I put towards worrying…there equals that extra 40 min we need to just PLAY and/or be. Thanks for sharing Jenny, love you sister.

  2. Such a timely reminder, Maria! I was just going through pictures and videos this weekend as we were preparing a scrapbook for my Mother-in-Law’s upcoming birthday. As I watched a similar video of my 7-year old girl saying some of her first words at 1 yr old I had the same feeling you described. I wanted to sob over all of the time seemingly “lost” but more importantly it spurred me to focus on what I have today. So today…we are playing baseball in the yard after school rather rush to get the homework done (something they beg me to do and most days I have a million reasons why there is something else more pressing we need to do). And I will soak in every minute like a sponge.

    Thank you for sharing your life and meaningful insights with us!


    Jeannie Chenalloy


    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

  3. A timely reminder for me as the pain of losing Chance is still very fresh. But you are right that there is so much joy and hope in today. While I do need to grieve and let myself feel the pain and heal, I don’t need to dwell on my yesterday and “what could have been” if Chance had not passed away. Thanks for sharing your heart as always, Maria. 🙂

    1. Those thoughts are totally understandable, and they will always creep in. But in Christ He can help take those thoughts captive. When they pop in my mind I usually allow them to sit for like a second or two, and then I pray for the strength to focus on what IS instead of what could have been…Praying for you still Brittnie.

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