Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Simple Things...

When was the last time you enjoyed the simple things? When was the last time you stopped trying to "save the world" or get ahead? When was the last time you slowed down enough to enjoy the people around you?

I am guilty of being too task oriented at times and losing sight of the bigger picture. I get caught up in keeping house, educating the kids, and entertaining friends and family for dinner. Sometimes I pack my schedule too full and go non stop from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed at night. I do this until I crash from exhaustion, I become too cranky with the people I love, or God steps in and gets my attention some other way. Someday I hope to be better at not doing this so that I don't need these wake up calls!

This week God used the electricity going out for a couple of days to grab my attention. I wish I could say that I graciously received this wake up call... but that would be lying. I was very upset. It went out as I was about to start the over stuffed dish washer! The kids were sticky and dirty from outside and I was about to bathe them as well. And did I mention it was 9:30pm? No amount of prayer got the electricity back on. No matter how many times I reminded God that I had a busy weekend ahead, dirty children, lots of dishes, and lots of laundry!

This changed the focus of the next few days. When the electricity was off our focus was to keep the food cold. Once it came back on the focus was catching up on the dishes and the laundry. Because of all of this and the lack of sleep on the hot and sticky nights without electricity, I was too tired to plan my usual Memorial Day cook out. This forced me to find some other fun for our family. Because I was tired and only planning something for my family I was able to keep things simple.

We took the kids to the park and had a picnic lunch. We ate some ice cream, had a water gun fight, watched a movie, and made smores. It was the water gun fight that made me think about the simple things...

When I am too busy doing I miss the most important things, the simple things. Because I was forced to slow down I had a blast strategically hiding in the yard waiting to ambush my children and my husband by soaking them with water! I was able to enjoy my youngest daughter's giggles as she tried so hard to be quiet and not give away our hiding spot when we were a team.

And I saw who exactly it is that I miss when I am too busy. I miss enjoying the people I love. Sure I still take care of them in my busyness and have conversations with them. But do I enjoy their laughter? Their smile? Do I really listen to them when they talk to me? And if I miss all of this, than how am I loving them well at all?

Will you join me this week in remembering that there will always be a world to save, a desire to get ahead, and a list of things to do? And will you also remember that the chance to love others well and enjoy them especially those closest to us, is gone when they are gone? We only have the moments we are given to enjoy the simple things with the people we love and those moments go by way too fast! Slow down this week and love and live well.

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