I read about it on my friend’s Facebook feed. A father was grieving the loss of his three sons and pregnant wife who were tragically killed in a car accident on the way to a Bible class. I haven’t been able to shake it. Instead, every time I think about him, I pray for his unimaginable pain and for God's supernatural peace and love to flood his broken heart.
James 4:13-15, says:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—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. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
So often, I take my days for granted, don’t you? I get caught up in the routines and the rigors of cooking, cleaning, writing, and business calls. These are happy distractions, mostly. But then there are times I begin to resent motherhood or become impatient with my children. I speak too sternly. Forget to listen. Renege on a promise. Or maybe I just come across disinterested in the things that interest them. I don’t take joy in their small accomplishments or notice they have grown another inch.
I’m not mean, I’m just not mindful.
And then, the family photo of five smiling faces appears on my feed along with the horrific heading about the car accident and everything comes sharply into focus. I don’t want to cherish my kids only when I imagine life without them. And I don’t. I love them with every fiber of my being. Like you, nearly everything I do, revolves around them. Still, too often I allow pride or impatience or the busyness of life to overshadow being connected to them. This happens to be a busy season for me as my co-author, Wendy Speake, and I, just wrapped up the final chapters of our next book, launching in November. My priorities shifted a bit to make room for the hours I needed over the last months to write and minister to parents. But the focus must shift again—back to my own ministry in my home.
Perhaps you are in a season where you have been distracted or busier than usual. That’s okay, but let’s not forget to readjust from time to time. Hang the macaroni artwork on the wall, instead of throwing it away. Hold your child’s hand while walking through a store instead of marching them through like soldiers. Take the extra 15 minutes to make their favorite dinner. Or ten minutes to do this Bible Study together.
We love our kids, I know. But, if like me, you need to be a little more present with them, decide to be intentional today. Sobering though it may be, our kids are ours only for a little while. Though we do not know what tomorrow may bring, we have today. We have today to notice the new freckles sprouting across their noses from the summer sun and the way they help their siblings learn new games. We can take today to affirm them and appreciate them, living in the moment and thanking God for another chance to show them we love them.
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