Minutes adding up to beautiful

Nathaniel and I had a good long talk on Sunday, sitting on the porch swing in the unseasonable January sunshine.

Something that we started a few years ago that has made a big difference in our marriage is the Sunday check-up. We put the kids down for their nap and then we take a break. We go over what is on the schedule for that week, who needs to do what and who needs to go where, and once that is done, we just talk.

Our talk this Sunday centered around what we want the ideal of our life to be and what it actually is. My morning ideal (ideal, mind you) is everyone waking up happily, and then we traipse (yes, we traipse) into the kitchen to make pancakes from scratch. Breakfast is calm and orderly. Then, Nathaniel and I sip our hot coffee while the children run along and happily play together. We have wonderful adult conversation and laugh at each other's jokes. It's all very nice. The actuality of our mornings is cranky children that wake up very, very early with sheets that need to be changed because a diaper leaked, breakfast is cold cereal (with whatever is at the bottom of the boxes because I need to go grocery shopping) that then gets spilled on the floor. Cups of coffee have to be microwaved and then re-microwaved because there's no time to drink them in between cleaning up whatever the shrieking children spill. Attitudes are poor, all-around. The dog is licking the bottom of the high chair. Conversation consists mainly of questions to each other such as, "Why do we have two shrieking children?" No one is laughing at any jokes.

What I love about this quote from Mitch Albom is that life is made up of beautiful minutes. The hours and the days are often messy, or dreary, or just simply hard. But those beautiful minutes are what makes a life full and rich. The stage of life that Nathaniel and I are living is hard. Toddlers and babies take up so much energy. Teaching takes up energy. It never feels like we have enough minutes for anything.

Yet, in the middle of that not-so-ideal breakfast, we looked out the window at the bird feeder that Nathaniel had filled weeks ago. There at the feeder was a cardinal, with his partner waiting her turn on the fence.

A beautiful minute.

As we were getting ready for church, Zoe so sweetly helped get Eric's blanket and bottle ready for the car without asking.

A beautiful minute.

Everything in the sermon at church seemed to speak directly to what we were going through. Every song had a line that meant something.

A beautiful minute.

Mitch Albom gets it. Life isn't perfect, our marriage isn't perfect, but minutes can be. And those beautiful minutes are what makes life beautiful.


  1. Heard something on the radio this afternoon that was quite similar. Our culture trains women and men to expect marriage to be 'happily ever after' when really the Bible tells us it is going to be hard, it is going to take work, and there will be conflict. Happy moments, happy minutes...even hours sometimes are possible but it is the expectation of the everyday perfect ideal that has to be let go of. Thanks for this, Carrie. Good thoughts. And for the record, our little guy screams at the table too. Usually it is 'oranges, oranges, oranges' and I say something like eggs first, then oranges. He usually ends up with a bit of crib time before he complies to the fact eggs come first. Ah, if one cannot live by fruit alone but that is what my toddler thinks.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Marriage is hard work and often my expectation is perfection, even though my mind knows it's not possible. I get bent out of shape by things that can't be changed and lose sight of all the beautiful minutes God graces me with.

  2. A great reminder! Thanks sis!


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