"A Hug Worth Every Second" by Abby Brundage (CatholicMom.com)"A Hug Worth Every Second" by Abby Brundage (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2010 Stephen Acuna via Flickr. All rights reserved.

Every year we fall for it. January 1st rolls around and we feel this sense of newness, hope and motivation to make a change. The funny thing is, January 1st has the same 24 hours as May 14th, the same sunrise and sunset as August 26th . . . but we like January 1st, so by golly, we are going to set some goals!

This year, I was reading about goals for moms and found some simple ideas to work into a regular day. One was the 10-second hug. It’s exactly as it sounds. Hug for 10 seconds. There’s something about that amount of time that releases happy chemicals in our brains and does other feel-good things. So I told my boys about it and they embraced the idea (puns!)

My three-year-old especially likes it. He is in the stalling-at-bedtime stage right now, so “one more hug and one more kiss” is now “one more 10-second hug.” One night, at about 2:30am he woke up and needed help in the bathroom. When I walked him back to bed and gave him a kiss and a hug, he grabbed me around the neck with his chubby arms and whispered, “10-second hug.”

Before I go on, let me tell you my middle-of-the-night motto:

Let’s make this quick.

I try to open my eyes as little as possible, talk as little as possible and get right back into bed to get good sleep as quickly as possible.

So here he is, wanting not only to prolong the waking time, but to talk through it! I didn’t really have a choice though, he had me in a headlock and wasn’t letting go until we loved each other for 10 solid seconds.

I obliged and in the quiet, dark room, with Rock-a-Bye Baby streaming from the sound machine in the background, my baby boy slowly and purposefully whispered, “One, two, free, four…” in my ear and nearly brought me to tears. When the slow count was up, I gave him a kiss on the cheek, tucked the blankets around him and walked back to my room, grateful that he caught me for that moment.

I couldn’t help but be in awe that while I make things move so fast (even while I’m sleeping!), he made me slow down and receive his love. Nothing was more important - not sleep, not the next day’s plans - just that moment. It reminded me of a priest who would, at the consecration, tell the congregation that all the angels and saints gather around and time itself, “holds its breath.” What a beautiful image: that moment is so important and pivotal that time itself holds its breath.

[tweet "Do you rock the "let's make this quick" motto? @AbbySpirit urges you to slow down."]

Unfortunately, many Sundays, I’m rockin’ the “Let’s make this quick” motto. Even though I know in my heart it’s where I want to be, I am not really resting in the presence of Christ. But just like my little guy, God wants us to slow down, just be with Him and allow him to love us by remembering the sacrifice of His son and experiencing that breathtaking miracle that occurs on the altar.

Is this you too? Let’s do our best to allow God to whisper in our ears for those “10 seconds” this Sunday--no headlock required!

Copyright 2017 Abby Brundage