Three years ago, as a family, we chose to depart from our busy life in the city to discover a quieter, more rural life. We looked for a few months and soon found what we were searching for; a small village approximately 25 min. from the city. It was close enough to our business that the commute was enjoyable, the housing costs were ideal and the population was filled with young families like our own.
We found an incredible farmhouse from the 1920’s with a double lot for a yard (with two boys at the time, I knew we would love having space to run outside), and a ton of potential to be a dream home inside! We have loved the last three years here ( although it didn’t come without trial), and have grown to love the scenic drive from here to the city. I have witnessed majestic sunsets, encountered snowy owls and watched the lands change with the seasons. There is so much going on outside the city that I had only heard about until we took the chance to see it for ourselves.
Tonight I drove home alone from a great evening in the city. I chose to turn on the am radio (you remember how the radio works right?) and I found a voice. It was a women’s voice pouring out her heart. She was speaking about her book Beautiful Battlefields.
The peace in her voice as she spoke about her ailing husband astounded me. How she found such an understanding of the work of God through her husbands trials was beautiful. Her husband had been diagnosed with ALS in his 40’s.
During the program she spoke about her husband taking the time to explain to their oldest child and her spouse that this diagnosis was their ticket to the mission field. There would be no other way to go into the ALS mission field without the illness. You couldn’t go in healthy, you’d have no credibility, but with the disease, you could impact many.
Wow…such wisdom. She began speaking about the last years with her husband and accomplishing an entire year of trips before ALS took over. You can imagine the tears I began to cry.
Side note: Multitasking was never my thing so the sight of me attempting to drive, cry, wipe away tears, and stay on the road was scary. Needless to say, if a cop drove by, he’d have pulled me over for reckless driving.
I began thinking about my kids…about how quickly they were growing.
About my day and how little I had poured into them. I have battled a distracted mind most of my parenting life. I find a million things to think about, do, and waste time on.
My kids are in the background, trying to gain my attention but to no avail. These are the times when I feel annoyed by their “interruptions” and although I can hear the voice in the back of my mind saying, “Put down the phone and focus on that little one!” I think to myself, “But if I do that, am I not just teaching them they are the centre of everything!”. Awful, I know! How petty of me, and selfish, yet real. That is the battle I have day in and day out. My time vs. the kids. And many times, I want to win. But I am learning that this is not the battle I should be fighting.
My battle is the spiritual one that is telling me to waste my time, to be so distracted by the pointless that I miss the important stuff. Tonight I was reminded how to refocus.
James 4:14 ESV
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Psalm 90:12 ESV
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Tonight God delivered a message about death, finality and the short time we have with our families.
We truly never know when that time will end and I certainly don’t want to think back to conversations with my kids only to visualize the phone screen I was staring at or the recipe I was trying to complete.
No, I want to remember the scrunched up nose on their little faces, or the twinkle in their green eyes. I have had frames of time where my focus truly was on my children and they were the most guiltless and satisfying moments of my parenting career.
I want to have those moments more often.
Therefore, tomorrow, I pledge to look in the direction of my children each time they call.
I pledge to notice the look on their faces, the hesitation in their eyes and the passion in their smile.
Tomorrow I will look, tomorrow I will see, tomorrow I will notice. Tomorrow will be my new today!
In this together,