Embracing Today

Haiti, February 2009 {journal excerpt}

Today is one of those days. I feel so sad and homesick I think I could curl up and die. The children are in school. I can hear their endless chatter but I can’t understand any of it. Amos is gone working, and here I am, alone. I wish I could just call my mother.

I keep trying to pray. I keep thinking, “Lord, I know you didn’t just drop me off here and leave. I know you’re with me…” But I can’t seem to focus on Him. I just want to go home. And it’s only been six weeks! I don’t know how I am going to make it through the next 10 1/2 months. Even saying that makes me cringe. Ten months! I want to say that I can’t do it. But I know that we can and we will.

If I could do anything right now, I would just close my eyes and transport myself 9 months down the road. If I had just a month left right now, I think I could handle it.

What would I do if I just had today? I guess I would be trying to drink in the experiences. I would look out my window and marvel at the beauty of the Haitian sky. I would eat my morning grapefruit, savoring each sweet and sour bite. I would listen intently to the children’s voices, trying to memorize the sound of their chatter. I would wander around the hospital, talking to the patients and holding the babies. I would go cut lettuce from the garden and be delighted that in February I can eat a fresh picked salad for lunch.

I would watch for little Rosie to come this afternoon. I would invite her in and give her a piece of gum and let her play in the kitchen while I worked. I would take pictures that captured the beauty of her creamy chocolate skin.

If Kendra came by I would let her play with my hair all she wanted, no matter how many snarls she left.

If the older boys knocked on the door this evening, I would smile and invite them in and let them play my guitar.

If Toothless Tony came by I wouldn’t be irritated by his bad attitude. I would just smile and pray for him.

I would enjoy every minute of today, trying to hang onto the memories so that tomorrow, when the moments are gone, I would have them.

Oh, Jesus, thank you for this lesson. Help me treat every day as if it is my last. 

It has been years now since I lived in that rambling cement house next to the mission hospital in Lacolline, Haiti. I’ve been back to visit but the period of calling it home is over and gone. When I opened my journal and found this entry, I was immediately convicted.

I’ve mentioned how I hope to someday be a mother. Oh, how my heart longs for it. Yet, God has been showing me lately that if I continually reach for tomorrow, I’ll miss today. And today is beautiful. 

Are you wishing away the time that you have? Hopes and dreams are good things, but God did not create you to live in a place of always reaching forward. He created you to live. Today. Wherever you are.


  1. I’m guilty today of wishing for the past. I still miss my South Africa and Mozambique friends so much. I know that God wants me to live in the here and now but some days it is just not easy.

  2. Kristin S. says:

    Wow! Thank you, Natasha. I really needed this today. I don’t embrace every day like I need to and today IS beautiful. What encouraging words. 🙂

  3. Samantha R says:

    Loved this! Thank you for the reminder/conviction! I think it’s so important to be content in today and not always thinking about and desiring tomorrow. When I was in my mid to late teens, it seems like I was constantly thinking “When I get married” or “when I have children” and that carried over into a lot of discontentment at times. God wants us to be joyful today and be thankful for all He has given us now. It’s a lesson that I’m still learning but I can happily say that I’m more content now than I ever have been. (and I’m not married nor do I have kids! 😉 God is good 🙂

  4. That was beautiful, and exactly what I needed today. THank you!

  5. Natasha, thank you so much for the reminder! I can identify with your journal excerpt so well. I, too was once that person, amidst the daily life of Nicaragua, was challenged to embrace today for all that it is. I also needed that reminder today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *