Sitting in my kitchen drinking my morning tea, I had my to-do list in hand. All those things I didn’t get done last week!!
If you are like me, sometimes I obsess over what hasn’t gotten accomplished. Life is good when things are being removed from my to-do list. It’s finished…time to celebrate by marking it off the list!! When nothing leaves the list…it obviously was a bad week…or is it?
As I started thinking about all the things that had gotten in the way of a successful week, I felt God’s gentle nudge. “Debbie, success in your eyes is getting THINGS done. Think back to what happened last week. Was it really a bad week? Would you want to trade the time you would have spent doing something on this list over what you did?”
In my mind, the replay of my week began.
My son had text me the night before he was to come home from college for fall break. “Mom, would you mind coming to get me? I don’t think I need to be driving home. I’m sore from getting hurt in a basketball game and don’t think it would be wise for me to be driving.” Luckily, I had looked at the situation as a sign of maturity rather than in light of my to-do list. My 19 year old had put enough forethought into the fact that he shouldn’t be driving because of his pain!! Of course I went to go get him! It cost me six hours of driving time over a four day period, but it was time that we spent together…talking and catching up on each other’s world. It eased us back into the “back to normal” relationship we had before he left for school. I wouldn’t have traded it for a moment!
So what else did I do? I took my son to a couple of doctors since he didn’t have his car home to drive himself. We talked, we spent time together laughing, joking, and talking about how walking into one of the doctor’s offices was like going to visit family! It wasn’t a burden…it was good!! We even had lunch at his favorite restaurant.
The joy I saw on his face while he was eating his favorite meals I had taken time to fix, made my time well spent. We laughed about how tired he was with the cafeteria food on campus and the only pizza place in the small college town wasn’t a national chain. It was good to watch how he was learning to appreciate the small things in life…even my cooking!
Then there was worship together on Sunday morning and the discussion of the sermon on the ride home of how he could implement it in his own life. We talked about churches he had visited near the college campus. Wow, he’s starting to think so much more deeply having been on his own for less than three months. One of life’s joys!
Yes, he asked if I would do his laundry…and I did (not grudgingly because I knew the pain he was in). As I pulled out what I thought would be a mountain of stinky stained college kid shirts that had probably shrunk from being in too hot of a dryer and sheets that had probably been on the bed since he left, I was amazed to see that it wasn’t at all what I expected! He had obviously learned the secret of washing clothes that would even make his grandmother proud. An opportunity to affirm his movement into self-sufficiency and give him kudos for a job well done!
Then I remembered the “cookie request”.
“Mom, it sure would be great if you could make another batch of cookies for the guys in the dorm.” How could I turn that down? His roommate had even jumped on Skype with us one night about a month ago thanking me for the best cookies ever. So with a heart of joy and contentment, I made a batch of cookies for him to take back to his new friends…my gift of love.
While the thought of the week made me smile, laughing that I had thought that my unaccomplished tasks on my to-do list were more important, a wave of sadness also surrounded me. Why had I not taken those opportunities with all my kids? What was so important that it couldn’t have waited? I rejoiced that I had finally learned to live in the moment rather than thinking about all those things not done…but how many opportunities had I squandered? How many times have I forfeited relationship with my kids for THINGS on my to-do list?
I had no idea what that text to go get my son from college would teach me. But I’m learning…
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
As our children get older there will be less time to connect. Seize every opportunity and be in the moment when they desire our time and service. Be still…listen to their desires and dreams…fill their cups to overflowing with your love…that way, they’ll want to come back for more. Respect the fact that they are becoming adults but sometimes still want to just enjoy having mom or dad be there for them.
DARE YOU to respond to a reasonable request of your time from your tween, teen, or twenty-something without listing all the things you won’t get done because you are being there for them.
DOUBLE DARE YOU to initiate some time to take your kid out for some one-on-one time at their favorite restaurant or ice cream place talking about their world.
Hoping to re-establish patterns to live in the moment!
“Let Go and Let God…”