“Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 (NIV)
One night my family was all snuggled on the couch eating popcorn and watching a movie. We were spending quality time together but then I got distracted. I was still there physically but I started returning phone calls and emails mentally. I glanced at the clock to see how many hours before the kids went to bed and noticed the silhouette of my son Joshua’s face. He looked so grown up. He was ten years old then, but it felt like he should still be a toddler.
I knew it wouldn’t be long before he’d be counting down the hours until I go to bed, so he could instant message his friends. Suddenly, I recognized the gift of being with the ones I love while they’re still with me. Now he's almost 15 and, oh my it's gone by so fast!
I hate to admit it, but there are many times when I’m with my family yet I'm not really there... because my mind is somewhere else getting something done.
Jesus knew His stay here on earth was limited. I love how intentional He was about loving people with his time and attention. I never get the sense that He saw people's requests as interruptions but instead, He welcomed them as invitations.
Unlike Jesus, I am a type A, get-it-done, kind of girl. Just “being” can be hard for me.
Over the years, I've learned to take my struggle to God and ask for balance. He wired me this way, so He’s the only One who can make me more like Him. When I spend time with Jesus, He challenges me to slow down and helps me cherish the gift of my husband and children. He knows how important they are to me, but He also knows how I can get tangled up in my to-do list. He’s helped me see my family as my greatest treasure and my time with them as my most important investment.
Although the years have mellowed me and I'm so much better than I used to be, it still doesn’t always come naturally. So when I am with my family and I get distracted, I do a few things to help me stay focused.
- First, I look into one of my kids' faces and remember what they used to look like. That helps me grasp how quickly time passes.
- Second, I think back to what life was like without them. That jolts my memory; making me thankful God gave them to me.
- Third, I imagine the day they won’t be with me - the day they may live in another state with their own family. Then I remind myself that “to do lists” will always be here, but the ones I love won’t.
Jesus, thank You so much for the people You have given me to love. Help me slow down and savor every moment as I see them through Your eyes and love them the way you love me! Remind me daily that only two things will last for eternity - my relationship with You and my relationship with others. In Your powerful Name I pray, Amen.
Is it hard for you to be fully present with the ones you love…no agendas, no errands, no planning…just being? I'd love to hear your thoughts? I'll be drawing a name from today's comments and GIVING AWAY a copy of "Living the Love Dare" ~ a year of daily reminders in a table-top format.
This post is part of my friend Rachel's carnival of LOVE devotions. Tomorrow P31 is hosting a Carnival of Give-aways where over 15 of us are giving away something on our blogs, so be sure to come back tomorrow to find out how you can win!