1 John 2:15-17

As I’ve been writing these reflections in late 2020, I’ve been thinking about the Christmas dress I want to buy for my daughter, a red velvet pinafore embroidered with holly branches and woodland creatures. Throughout the day, I click away from my writing to look at the dress on the glossy website, modeled by an adorable baby who is sitting in front of twinkly Christmas lights. I’ve yet to justify the expense of a fancy dress for a little baby this year; there will be no Christmas parties with clucking cousins and aunties to ogle it. No in-person church services, where parishioners will admire and comment on my sweet baby in her Christmas dress. 

Mothering two children under three can be a lonely business, especially in a pandemic. On more than one occasion, I’ve pitied myself for not being able to dress up my baby girl to be admired and photographed, creating memories of her first year. I can give myself grace about grieving over the loss of the memories I can’t make this year with family and friends. And yet, this passage made me wonder what worldly things I’m mourning—like the pleasure of showing off my daughter in an expensive Christmas dress—instead of paying attention to the God-given gifts I already have. 

Lately, I’ve taken to video-calling my father in the evenings when my daughter is in the bath. It’s the calmest moment in the day, when my husband is usually handling our three-year-old, and my daughter and I are alone. She beams with happy smiles at seeing my father’s face on the screen. When I look back at this time, my memories will not be of Christmas dresses, or her first birthday, or temporary desires that pass away. They will be of my daughter’s baths—moments that in a more normal time, I might otherwise have forgotten.


What memories are you making that will not pass away?


God, in the hours I have each day, help me recognize the moments that will live forever. Amen.

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