Time Well Spent

Kim shares from her life something we can all relate to:

Ever find that your “to-do” list is never ending? That when you cross something off, life throws three more things back at you, that “have” to be done. Especially with the holidays here it seems that my to-do list has acquired another page; decorate the tree, gifts to get, people to see, things to fix, bills to pay, bathrooms to clean, laundry to do, dishes to do, kids to drive, la da da da da.

My husband made the comment to me a couple weeks ago, “If you don’t slow down, your life is going to pass you by.” I took a moment, looked at my husband and beautiful kids playing on the floor and realized, how blessed am I. My husbands’ words stung, yet touched a part of my heart. How could I be making the other busy stuff, more important than my time with them? I felt like Martha when Jesus came to visit her home and she was so busy getting ready she was missing the most important part.

It says in Luke 10: 38-42, “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “’you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

That’s how I feel sometimes, “Lord, tell my husband to help me!” You see my husband is very good at playing with our children, when I want him to help me with the dishes. For the past week, even in my crazy, chaotic, can’t-help-it-but-that’s-the-way-God-wants-to-test-me kind of life, I’ve been making a conscious effort to slow down and teach our kids a different meaning of Christmas, about relationships and love, like Jesus offered.

All four of us decorated the tree as a family, and I took the time to share stories about my life and the different Christmas ornaments that were given to me each year as I was a child growing up, and to show our kids the ornaments they have received. I took the time (and patience) to set up our nativity scene with our two small children, even though I was sort of freaking out not wanting them to break any of the pieces that had been so carefully painted and built by my grandparents, to teach them about the manger and answer my daughter’s question of why baby Jesus had to sleep in the barn with the cows. And talk to my son about the three kings giving gifts, and their camels and the shepherds, and showed them that all they owned was carried on their backs (that they didn’t have a house full of toys and things.)

I took the time to see my husband’s shed and how organized he had made it after working all day on it, because it meant something to him and he was proud. I took the time to pretend with our daughter and push babies around and let her be a mommy and I the daughter, no matter how silly it felt riding around in the back of her pretend van, listening to “now buckle your seatbelt sissy.” I took the time for that extra snuggle on the couch with my son, because he wanted “a few more minutes mom” before bed. I still had things on my to-do list and it was hard to just sit there at first, but it ended up being good for him and me. Besides, was cleaning up the kitchen more important than that? I took some time out from the things I thought I had “to do,” to spend some time with my family.

I once heard “people and relationships are always more important than schedules, agendas and things.” Or that, “We fill up our lives with so much activity that it’s no wonder the day is over before we realize it. What you do is important, but we are human beings not human doings.” I love that one.

My daughter keeps singing a country song (revised from her three year old words) “take a little walk, say a little prayer, take a deep breath of mountain air, put on my glove, play some catch, it’s time that I make time for that.” It makes me think about what’s top priority on my to-do list in this busy life. It is time that I make time for that…to slow down and enjoy life and add some new things to my to-do list.

I am so thankful for my family and what we share. Although we are not perfect and whether my children get the lesson I was trying to teach about the manger scene or not, I’m still happy I took the time with them to share about Jesus. I thank God everyday for my family, and for helping me to slow down and see them through His eyes. In my sometimes crazy, stressed out life, it’s much easier and more rewarding

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