I have been on quite a journey as of late. Having my 4th hip surgery in 3 years has been depleting. Yet God has given me eyes to see things from a fresh perspective as He has “made me lie down in green pastures and has led me beside the still waters. He has restored my soul.” (Psalm 23) God was the one who encouraged me to begin this blog, which I initiated right before my 4th surgery. Writing has given me great joy as my purpose has been to encourage other parents on their journey in parenthood, and not only encourage, but give tangible “helps” that could be beneficial to them in their own walk.
Yet, what I have found is that in all of my preparation for my posts, in my own studying and searching, that I have been blessed to the overflowing. I have come across other parent’s writings, books, and blogs that have literally touched my heart. I will have to say that Rachel Macy Stafford’s writings have blown me away. Her words have literally grabbed my heart and warmed my soul. I have mentioned her works before on one of my posts. Today I am inviting all of you to visit her blog- handsfree mama.com. She has written 2 books- Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life . On her blog, September 25, she posted a 21 Day Challenge. It is to “Choose Love first in your day and last in your day”. I intend to take it. I wanted to offer you the challenge as well. This is what she is challenging us to do.
We choose loving(taking time to be with) our children or our spouse over:
- talking or texting or reading messages on our cell phones
- working on our computers
- doing housework
- doing our business work
- watching t.v
- being with friends
- sports events
It is not that the above items are not important or that we are being asked to give them up, but when we have a choice between spending moments during our day with our loved ones or focusing on the items above we make the conscious choice to “choose love”– choose our loved ones. We choose to take time to show up, put our phones down, when our child asks to be with us. We let the dishes wait when our husband wants to talk. We choose taking time to read the kids a story at bedtime because they love to have mommy read with them. We choose to stop talking with a friend when we see that one of our kids is struggling with her homework.
Rachel states that” sometimes she showed up to love without a smile. Sometimes she showed up to love and didn’t know what she was doing. Sometimes she showed up to love and it was the last thing she wanted to do. Sometimes she showed up to love and she had no love to give.”
Yet- she continued showing up because- “SHE NEVER LEFT THE SAME WAY SHE ARRIVED”.
Rachel states that she “always left feeling a little lighter, a little more at peace, a little more hopeful, and a little more joyful.” All because of her choice of choosing LOVE.
Now Rachel admits to being a type A personality who used to let her work and life consume her. Yet, one day she realized in all of her frantic rushing and planning that she was not happy. God enabled her to see her family and her life with a new vision. It is not that she let completely go of the things that a mother and a writer had to do. But, she began seeing time in a different way, as to how to use that time when she had available moments with the ones she cared for the most.
In her September 25th challenge she ends with:
Today I will choose love.
Tomorrow I will choose love.
And the day after that,
I will choose love.
If I mistakenly choose
I will not wallow in regret.
I will choose LOVE
until it becomes who I am.
Rachel Macy Stafford
You know in this world today we are consumed with all of our electronic devices. Kids as well as adults. As a teacher, I would see parents come and pick up their children at the end of a school day and hardly say a word to their child as they were talking on their cell phones. At restaurants you will see people sitting at a table and not conversing at all because they are each busy looking or texting on their cell phones. In the doctor’s offices everyone is busy looking at their phones. Some are even rude enough to use them so that you hear their entire conversation. We know of the deaths on the highway because of people texting. Technology is eating up our lives. We are becoming consumed with it; parents and children alike. You can hardly pull kids off of their electronic devices. They are glued to the screens. They want to play video games so much that they are foregoing going outside and playing with friends and playing outdoors, getting exercise, enjoying nature. As kids mature they want their own cell phones and before you know it everyone is at the dinner table with their own cellular device. No one is speaking to anyone because they are all reading or texting other people. This is no way to have a family dinner!
Families need to be connected. Families need to know how to communicate with each other. Families need to know how to show love to one another. Rachel is trying to make the point that one of the best ways that we can show love is through our “time”. The time that I take to be with my children speaks volumes to them. I have told you in past posts that my sons were not big talkers about their days at school. When they got home they wanted a quick snack and then they wanted to rush into the back yard to play. Bedtime was different. It was the most special time of the day for me with my boys. They took their showers and put on their pajamas and we read stories together. It was almost a sacred time that had been carved out of the day just for me by the Lord. For, this was the time when we had our closeness and intimacy as mother and sons. As I would tuck each son in and we would say our prayers, this was the time for sharing. My boys would share about their days, their hopes and fears, their questions all came flooding out at bedtime. Many nights I was bone-tired. Yet, it didn’t matter, I felt like a queen, my boys were sharing with me! I felt so honored, so blessed, so loved. I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything! Nevertheless, as they grew this tradition came to an end, but I learned to treasure other moments with them- driving my boys to all of their sports practices and games. Oh, my there were so many of them. We had so many wonderful opportunities for conversations during those drives. I treasure those times that we had together.
Well, you see I have been reminiscing about the opportunities that I had to “choose love” with my sons. As a grandmother I am looking back on life at the times when I chose love. Yet, there were so many other times when I could have chosen love that I didn’t, and I have regrets. Therefore I am making a conscious choice today to “choose love” with my children and grandchildren. I want to start anew, with no regrets. Choose Love. Will you join me?
I am sharing a lot of resources today. Hope that you enjoy them.
May the Lord keep you in the palm of His hand,