About the Author

Sara Frankl entered into the arms of Jesus on September 24, 2011, but her legacy of choosing joy lives on. Her blog, Gitzen Girl, is about her commitment to embracing the story God had for her. Her illness stripped her of the potential for a job and family and status,...

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  1. walking to Christmas on the square when I was 4 or 5 and looking up at the twinkling lights, the stars, and holding on to my parents hands for dear life. I was enthralled by all the cheer and the feeling of safety and knowing I was right where I belonged 🙂

  2. When I was in that awkward in-between age, not yet grown but old enough I couldn’t be the little girl any longer, my Dad took me hunting. He had issues relating to the emotional (girl) side of me and so our relationship has always been strained at best. I got a sticker bush caught in my hunters orange sock cap… my Dad held back the pokey bush and put the hat back on my head, wiping strands of hair out of my face. In that moment he smiled and love and pride literally oozed out of his eyes. I have always treasured that memory above all others. I recently got another similar memory out of a recent seemingly horrible situation. I recently wrote about both moments on my blog. { Insert shameless self-promoting link here… :0)
    http://heaven-boundsinner.blogspot.com/2010/09/not-your-every-day-memorial-box-story.html }

    • I LOVE this. I just lost my dad a few months ago, and every memory that really resides in me are the ones like you just described. The simplest moments with the most subtle smiles or flicker of the eyes. It reminds me how much we all need to pay close attention to what is instead of what appears to be. Thanks for sharing.

  3. … thanks for such a timely reminder to live in today’s moments … my bestie rang me at work today ( which she usually NEVER does ) to share her excitement at setting up her new Mac … she was over the moon about the brilliance of the screen for her photos and art work … i love that she wanted to share her joy with me … friendships are great

  4. My precious moments have been out of town with my mom after her surgery and my dad after his surgery these past few months. I almost became a nurse in college 30 years ago and so this has been where my heart is. I enjoyed learning all the terms for what was going on with them and I enjoyed being with them and helping out.

  5. As I read this I’m holding my fussy, not-feeling-well 3 1/2 month old baby girl…we’re up earlier than usual and I hate that she feels bad, but I’m treasuring an extra few minutes with her before I have to get ready to go to work 🙂

  6. I have not one…but many. This last week my girls at Sea World (catch the pictures my husband captured on my Multitude Monday Post yesterday). I was breathlessly aware of the moment never to be repeated.

    And Riley the blog dog. That is brilliant!

    Thanks Sara! Always a joy!

  7. I have this moment…..it makes me smile everytime I think of it.
    My family and our BFF’s family took a big trip to Canada (fishing).
    It was an amazing time in both our families. All of our kids were at
    great ages for outdoor adventure fun. And boy, did we have it!

    My son was the oldest in the group (he turned 16 on the trip).
    We encountered one “crazy” thing after another on our travels to our destination. Every little thing
    seemed as if there were a camera following us. (For comical reasons)
    No matter what came at us….my son had this witty sense of humor.
    Our friends, could NOT stop laughing at him. And he was pretty funny!
    At one point….he tells both families….that if something doesn’t go right, “HE’S BRINGING DOWN THE THUNDAH!!!”
    I have this tucked away…because of the sheer joy that was on every face. We had so much fun!
    In spite of some wacky setbacks! We were having a blast of a time.

    Sometimes when things aren’t going the way you planned…..find the funny in it and laugh! It makes it so much more bearable!

  8. Gitz I love this. I am watching a lot of friends turn 40 this year. Friends locally, friends on the blogosphere. The consistent comment I hear is “what have I accomplished with my life?”… there is this dull-thud of the heart as it lands on the floor in defeat because of “lack of accomplishments.”

    It breaks my heart. I turned 40 this year too… and in so many ways I feel like my life is just beginning… maybe its because I just had a career change a couple of years ago, maybe its because I just got married a couple of years ago… or maybe its because I feel like I can look back and see all the incredibly amazing things God has done already in my life. I am not known, I have not authored a book, or spoken to the masses, or done anything you-tube-fabulous… yet I am so grateful for the life God has given me… and in that gratefulness, I am learning to find contentment.

  9. Sweet Sara, you are so good at drawing us all back to what matters most, reminding us how precious life is, and how blessed we are to share with with each other. Thank you–this post of yours was one of those amazing MOMENTS for me. XOXO

  10. Sidestepping your Q, just want to say what an important truth this is, how much we need reminding, how much we need to help each other remember this…..in our “oh no, I’m falling behind in my tweets and haven’t updated my status in 10 minutes” world, it IS about pudding in fancy stemware waiting for tired kids and a smile at someone when they come through the door. Thank you.

  11. Hi Gitz, Thanks for this post. I came across the link on Twitter via @HolleyGerth. I remember spending a day with my mom and brother picking strawberries. I remember laughing and running from bees and just being really present to the love and the togetherness. It’s one of my favorite moments.

    Again, thanks for the reminder! Look forward to reading more here.

  12. The most recent one that comes to mind is sitting in the recliner with my old dog watching football. She is a medium sized dog but thinks she is a lap dog, so she was draped across my lap, snoring. I was rubbing her soft as velvet ears and loving her so much for all the years of companionship and pleasure she has brought to me and my family. I don’t know how much longer she will be with us. Her hearing is gone, her sight failing. I have to lift her onto the bed at night now. (Yes, she sleeps with me…and takes up the whole bed by the middle of the night.) I’m going to be so sad when she is gone, so sitting in the chair with her, foregoing the snack I want because I don’t want to get up and disturb her, remembering all the good times with her, and treasuring that moment of just being with her–that was a special moment.

  13. Beautiful reminder of what’s truly important in life. Taking my queue from you talking about thinking back on your parents’ life, my moment would be walking through the forest with my parents one snowy winter day in search of the perfect Christmas tree. For some reason, my mother’s mittens would just not stay on her hands, and every time she pointed to a tree, asking, “How about that one?” her mitten would flop this way and that looking quite a bit like a flop-earred bunny shaking his head. It gave my dad, my mom and me the giggles and then it became the joke of the day. That day wasn’t about picking out the perfect tree, but about spending some perfect moments with my family that I’ll treasure forever.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share & the chance to relive that precious moment once again.
    Laura

  14. Had one recently! When we were waiting for news on my Dad who was in surgery (which turned out to NOT be cancer – hooray!) I was sitting around a table with my mom and my two brothers. No spouses, no kids, just us. Which was weird because I can’t remember how many years it has been since that has happened (my oldest brother has been married for 14 years!) . It felt really weird that my dad was not there, felt like maybe we were preparing for that to be permanent because of what we thought was cancer. We were very subdued. Then the surgeon came and talked to us giving us fabulous news! The table after that? So joyous. We got to go see my Dad after the surgery and tell him how it was all going to be okay now. We got to spend time together laughing and thankful, loving each other and celebrating. I wouldn’t have missed that time with my family for anything. It will always be a precious memory in my heart.

  15. I find myself dreaming of living in “cool” places with tons of outdoor activites at my fingertips, but then, I think about being too far away from my family (which is a bit silly since my sisters live from Seattle to Switzerland and other places inbetween) and friends and it is not as appealing. However, at the end of each day, as I fall asleep wrapped in my husband’s arms, I am always thankful that this is “my favorite place to be,” no matter where we are on the planet.

  16. What a brilliant post. I’ve been wrestling with this issue and feeling like my life has been pretty much a waste because of mistakes and things I did in the past. I find myself going through the day asking what’s the point of any of it if it’s not really all for God. Then I get those little moments with the kids (for example) and I realize the moments matter as much as the big picture.

  17. Huge lump in my throat…tears in my eyes…oh Sara you are so right.
    On Saturday I drove by the Steak and Shake near my parents house, one look at that place and I was taken back to the last “fun” time I had with my mom…we went through the drive through and got large malted shakes, then we went across the street to JoAnn’s and planned a thousand projects, laughing at each other when we both dripped chocolate down our fronts…”like mother, like daughter” she grinned.
    Oh I miss her.

    You’re right, I don’t think about my mother’s career or my mother’s weight or my mother’s bank account. I think about our moments.

    I love you sweet girl…

  18. Oh Sara, I love this. Especially since so many of my happy moments include you. Laughing at Amie’s accent together in our group. Watching Hairspray in bed “together” over Skype. Getting a video message from you and seeing your lovely face and hearing your lovely voice, especially when I know you chose to use it for me that night because one shot is all you get. Those are moments for me that really matter.

    Growing up, it was jumping onto my parents’ bed every night. My brother would run in and basically launch himself from the door and land between my parents. I would follow suit, and a lot of nights we would talk until we fell asleep, the four of us plus the dog. We did that all the way through high school and we still do it when my brother comes home to visit.

    Then there was Christmas Eve with my brother – we would stay up REALLY late in his room, and it was probably the only time we would sleep in the same room. Then we would wake up super-early on Christmas morning and get our stockings and open them together, then go show mom and dad what “Santa” brought us.

    And recently, it’s been the Fridays I have off work, the only day Jack and I get to really wake up together (he works Saturday mornings and Sundays there’s church). Last Friday we slept with the windows open, woke up at 10 with the cool breeze coming in, and called Maggie up onto the bed when we woke up (she isn’t usually allowed on the furniture so she was all wiggly and cuddly and excited). We played with her and talked to each other for a while, laughing and laughing. We took a super-blurry picture with my cell phone and it’s pretty awful, but I have it as my phone’s background because it’s such a nice memory. 🙂

  19. I have a very happy moment to share that just happened last night…the girls from our couples small group at church decided to have a night on the town. It was actually not so glamorous-we spent a couple hours getting lost in Ikea finds, then headed to Claim Jumper for dessert. It was on the ride home, sharing our lives, our stories, that the laughter just go so uncontrollable I almost had to pull over. And in that moment, I thought…this is community, sharing your secrets, understanding eachother so well, that all you can do is laugh, laugh so hard you can’t stop. It was priceless. I’m so blessed by my faith community that refreshes me in so many ways.

  20. Here’s one: That moment, in the middle of chaos (kids screaming in the background, phone ringing, pot boiling over) when my husband takes my head in his hands and kisses my forehead. It grounds me and reminds me that the chaos isn’t the big picture. What we’re building together is.

  21. A road trip from Michigan to Colorado. My mom opened the atlas (it was the olden days), closed her eyes, and pointed her finger and that’s how we chose Colorado. Low on money, we packed a cooler with deviled ham, vienna sausage, and saltine crackers. I was about twelve years old, and it remains my favorite family trip of all time!

  22. My husband and I lost our baby boy 4 months ago when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Our due date is in a week. Things have felt rough as we approach the due date. This is such a good reminder that even in rough times, there are memories to be made and opportunities to share God’s goodness. Thanks for that!

  23. Sara,

    Writing my vows to my husband for our wedding ceremony. and the experience of saying my vows to him and the look in his eyes and just how he made himself laugh because he didn’t want to cry. But I saw the tears in his eyes.

    Sis in Christ
    Tina

  24. As someone who started a blog post with a quote from Ghostbusters this morning, I was instantly hooked by this! And Julie/Julia? Please! I’m a middle-aged woman who wonders if she’s going to waste her life filling time taking hat-making lessons. Those little moments, goofy traditions, annual rituals–so priceless now that my kids have grown. I used to offer a nickel to the first one who could spot a snowflake during the first snowfall of the winter. I have no idea how this started. All I know is that my daughter, living eight hours away will call me to tell me she saw a snowflake and I will tape a nickel to a card and mail it to her. Lovely, lovely post.

  25. Sara, I love this! So what is constantly on my heart and what my blog is based on. I recetnly wrote about one of these small but meaningful moments (http://beckykeife.blogspot.com/2010/09/special-place.html)…the bedtime poems my mom would read. They helped quiet my heart before bed and instilled in me a love for poetry and literature. I now get to create these same special moments for my boys. Thanks for helping remind us all to live each moment to the fullest!

  26. I have so many of these small moments. I have learned through some hard lessons that life is not about waiting around for the BIG things to happen, because in doing so, you miss those small moments that mean so much!
    Like a road trip with my husband and time in the car for us to talk
    Listening to my 6 grandchildren all vying for my attention, “Nana, Nana, Nana!”
    Staying up late and chatting with my 17 year old daughter
    Watching my son just after the birth of his daughter, becoming a dad at the age of 19
    These are just a few, some ARE bigger than others!
    Bernice
    http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/trying-so-hard-to-be-myself/