I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions that I take very seriously. Last year I swore I would quit buying clothes for myself at Wal-Mart and make an effort to purchase clothes that didn’t look like I had either just rolled out of bed or was headed to the gym. And I did it. I made a conscious effort to get dressed every day. After having three babies in four years, I felt like I was really accomplishing something by wearing real clothes.
This year, my goal was more serious. After the chaos that ruled my life in 2010, I was ready to be more focused. I wanted this year to be a year of purpose, direction and thoughtfulness in every area of my life. Instead of life spinning me around like a blindfolded kid at a birthday party, playing Pin The Tail on The Donkey, I wanted to be focused and present in every moment of my life. I wanted to stop multitasking so much and pay full attention to each task that needed to be accomplished.
For example, instead of writing on my laptop outside while my kids are playing in the yard, I wanted to write while my kids were at school or sleeping and be PRESENT while they were playing outside so I could interact with them. Instead of volunteering for any service project that came along at church, I wanted to prayerfully consider my options and choose the “God thing” not just a “good thing.” I wanted to shut my laptop when my husband was home, to engage with him and talk to him instead of busily trying to network with other writers and moms through social media.
I wanted to apply this attitude of thoughtfulness and purpose to every area of my life, including my exercise and eating habits. I began reading “Made to Crave” by Lisa Terkeurst with a few of my friends and meeting once a week to discuss our health related goals. I began a daily food journal and exercise program and I am experiencing great success there.
But I still struggle with the busyness of being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, writer, blogger, church member, volunteer, servant, and child of God. I’ve signed up for committees that I had to later back out of and I’ve wondered time and again, “Have I taken on too much? Where do I stop? When do I say ‘No’? LORD, am I even supposed to be doing this?”
Last night right I was drifting off to sleep my two-year-old cried out from her bed. I sighed as I sat up and the covers fell off of me. I was exhausted and reluctant to even step foot in her room. Sadie loves when I put her to bed. She loves for me to rock her, sing the ABCs, read her a book and to nestle against me while her eyes grow heavy. Every night I will say to her, “Sadie, it’s time to get in your bed now. You go to sleep like a big girl and don’t cry, okay?”
And every night she says, “O’tay Momma. I not cwy.”
I stand up from the rocking chair and lay her in her crib, tuck her blankets and favorite stuffed animals around her face. Her eyes are no longer open and it seems that she is already fast asleep. I’ll stand there for a few minutes, marveling at her sweet little face and the blessings of having three vibrant and healthy little girls then I’ll tiptoe out of her room.
And every single night, without fail, as soon as I cross the threshold from her bedroom into the hall, her eyes pop open and she cries out, “MOMMA!”
I’ve tried every sleep tactic I know, and after successfully sleep training two other babies, I know what to do. But it never fails. Every time I put Sadie to sleep she cries when I leave her room. It’s odd to me, because she can be sound asleep in her crib but as long as I’m standing in her room, she is at perfect peace. As soon as I take one step away from her she awakens.
Last night I walked into her room and picked her up. I changed her diaper, got her something to drink and sat in the rocking chair to soothe her. I realized, as she snuggled against me, that I want to be just like her.
I want to be so focused on the Lord that I even take ONE step away from His presence that my spirit will cry out, “FATHER!” I want to be so sensitive to His love and His peace that I will immediately recognize when it is missing. I want His presence and His peace to be my guide to keep me focused on only the things He has called me to and I want everything else to fall away.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Copyright © Robin O’ Bryant, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
Love this illustration of being in the presence of God!