Parenting with Tyler has taught me many lessons over the years. About how daddies seem to be able to hold their ground with a little less (ok, a lot less!) emotion involved. I've noticed (with some longing, I might add) how they can often times be more efficient, because clingy two year olds don't hang on their legs like they do ours. Fact. He also gets kids to fall asleep on his lap sometimes, because he actually sits down with them and enjoys them, instead of always trying to get every last thing on the to-do list accomplished. And for the record, he doesn't video our kids. We do have some sweet footage that we'll be able to look back on and embarrass them with when they're about to graduate from high school, but many times we pass up the urge, because as Tyler says, "If my eyes are behind a lens, I'm not engaging in the moment."
This past month has been a lot like that. Sometimes the social technology, the urge to document it all takes over the living for me. And this past month, I happen to have had a lot of living to do.
It was one of those reevaluation times for us. The start of baseball season always seems to do that. Heh. Tyler and I had late night conversations about how we spend our time, and how that is affecting our children. We talked about goals, and what we wanted our kids to remember about their days at home with us. We asked hard questions about our commitments, and how those reflect our priorities. And we walked away a bit discouraged that we might regret the craziness that we found ourselves in.
That being said, it's not all about the schedule, is it? Tyler and I make very deliberate choices, realizing our limits with four young children. Sometimes it's more about the attitude I wake up with in the morning. Sometimes it's the discontentment in my heart when I take my focus off of others and onto myself, or when I try to move onto another season in my life, instead of embracing the one I'm in. Sadly, it happens when I put my to-do list before my family and my time with God.
So we went to the Bible for answers. I tell myself it wasn't a last resort effort after all of our logic and hard work didn't pay off. God pointed me to verses that confirmed my need to live in the moment - daily with my children - taking every opportunity to teach them about Him. I was reminded to love God with my whole heart - not just my leftovers - and then to love and serve people well. I needed to hear again that this world is not my home, and to stop acting like it. That God's purpose and plan in my life often goes far beyond my limited view.
We're making some changes in this house. That doesn't mean that life will ever be simple, or even that it will slow down all that much with four busy, needy kids. But it means that my perspective is beginning to take that needed shift.
Up earlier, less facebook, more relationships, less wasting time...
I don't think it's any coincidence that God placed some significant people with some pretty significant circumstances in my life over the past month to remind me of the shift that needed to happen in my life - and to do it much sooner than later:
A precious mommy friend whose world has been blessed and turned upside down by a sweet boy who happens to have Williams Syndrome. Megan, you've taught me a lot about embracing and finding joy in the life God chooses for us.
My Grandpa Fincher, whose life we will celebrate this coming weekend. Just weeks after being diagnosed, he lost his short fight with lung cancer. Thank you, God, for reminding me that life is short - and precious - and can be over when we least expect it.
My dear friend Tammy, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Our late night talks have reminded both of us that God is up to something, and that His promises never fail. Tammy, your courage and faith have inspired me, and so many others. I am privileged to walk alongside you on your journey, and to call you friend.
My dad, who retired last week, and is embarking on his new carefree adventure across the country! You have not only taught me much about hard work and sacrifice, you've taught me to enjoy every minute of every day... as if it were my last.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Sometimes instead of just blogging about it, you have to simply live it.