There's a Tear in My...

...last blog entry. It ended with me on the floor of a dressing room holding my 6 yr old niece, Karis, and my 2 yr old daughter, Emery, and we were all three crying. There was no tear in my beer because my hands were too full of crying babies to hold some "Mommy juice". All of this mayhem was caused by my prideful attitude that I could take these girls school shopping during nap time, and after a sleepover and a morning playdate at McDonalds. Brilliant. Just brilliant. 

We all three sat on the floor of the Justice dressing room crying. Out of sheer exhaustion we wept and rocked. And then it happened. I saw us - our reflection in the floor-to-ceiling mirror hanging on the dressing room wall. There we were. My two girls clinging to me and me clinging back to them. I had what author Connie Sokol calls a "Keeper Moment". Connie says that a keeper moment is, "that moment when you just want to freeze time - bottle it up to savor and enjoy." 

I wanted to freeze this horrible, awful, embarrassing, sweaty moment. A moment when both of these sweet little babies needed me. They needed my full attention. They needed my arms to console them, my body to rock and calm them. They needed my love and selflessness to rise to the top and rescue them. I began to cry harder, but now my tears were out of appreciation for what I was holding in my arms. The greatest gift ever is getting to invest in and shape the lives of these two girls. To teach them who Jesus is. And isn't He the one who holds us when we're selfish, tired, worn out, undeserving, bratty and loud? Yes, yes He is. 

Psalms 55:16-17 
16  As for me, I call to God,
         and the Lord saves me.

17  Evening, morning and noon
         I cry out in distress,
         and he hears my voice.

I cry out in my distress. All. Day. Long. Some days are like that, aren't they? Whether you're 2 or 6 or 34 (gulp), we all have those moments don't we? Moments when we need God to cradle us in His arms and rock us back to peace. I have a lot of those moments. God is faithful - He always sweeps in and gives me just what I need. And in that awful, loud, crying moment on the dressing room floor, God gave Karis and Emery what they And He gave me what I needed, a "keeper moment." I wanted to bottle it up, keep it and hold it in my heart forever. Because they won't always need me or want me or choose me. But I hope and pray that they always want Him, need Him and choose Him. 

So how did it all end? I began giggling. And then my giggles turned into laughter. And my laughter turned into howling, cackling, snorting laughter. Karis lifted her head from my left shoulder and Emery lifted her head from my right shoulder and they traded their crying for confusion. 

Emery said, in her broken 2 yr old vernacular, "Mama, why you laugh for?" 

And I replied, "Because this is the best moment ever!" 

To which Karis responded, "Juju, you are so weird!" 

And I laughed even harder. And then they began laughing. And then I did what I should have done from the beginning, I bought them candy and bribed them for the next thirty minutes until my Mom showed up to rescue me. 

Look for "Keeper Moments." You might have one with your aging parent, or during lunch with your best friends, or on a date night with your husband...or on the floor of a dressing room with your two favorite children in the whole universe while you're all crying your tired eyes out. 

I think a "Keeper Moment" is like a kiss from Heaven. It gives you the sweet momentum to KEEP GOING!

Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.