I told her no today.
No, you can’t paint with your friend right now.
No, we can’t get a snack right now.
No, I’m not going to dig dirt for the fairy garden you’re making FOR ME.
I wanted to tell her no, we can’t paint today. The dishes need to be washed. The laundry needs to be done. The garden needs to be weeded.
Then, I shook my head to quietly tell her no, she couldn’t hold the baby that she wanted so much to hold.
Then, I saw the look in her eyes.
The look that told me her excitement had just been stolen.
I said no to my husband today, when I really had no reason to say no.
I said no to getting my daughter a snack when I could have easily have said yes.
Oh, momma, why is it so easy to get caught up in life and forget to live? Why is what I think others may or may not think more important than what my baby’s feelings? About how I respond to them and keep them from the joys of the moment? How is it, that I’ve let myself become so focused on the to do list that I don’t consider who I’m doing it for?
I have learned something. Something that unfortunately has taken too many times to learn. I’ve learned that when my heart becomes unfocused on Jesus, when I neglect my time with Him, neglect my time in prayer and devotion, my heart turns inward. It becomes stagnant. With stagnancy comes death. Others don’t matter quite so much to my closed up heart. The words that come out of my mouth, or at the very least, but maybe even worse are silently spoken only to myself, are less than nice.
When my focus changes from Jesus to me I become me centered.
My needs, my wants, my time schedule, my desires, my opinions.
I don’t love well.
I don’t give easily.
I don’t graciously accept others.
I want credit for myself.
Credit for my accomplishments.
I demand respect.
Jesus told Martha she was focused on the wrong thing.
Her attitude had turned inward. Her choice to prepare a meal wasn’t wrong-she was using her gifts to serve those attending a dinner with Jesus. But her choice and expectations weren’t best for the moment.
Mary was right, Jesus said. Mary chose what was best for the moment.
She chose to spend time with her Teacher, with the one who mattered at the moment.
Jesus let the young woman poor perfume on his feet because “the poor will always be among you.”
The young woman was right. She chose to give what she could to her Teacher.
Today I was wrong.
The dishes will always need to be washed. The laundry will be there later.
Today I needed a reminder that while doing dishes isn’t wrong it wasn’t the best choice for the moment. Doing the laundry wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t the best choice for the moment.
Choosing to say yes to watching a movie and painting with Kaitlyn today was right, despite the list of things that I could have come up with to do.
Becoming me-centered is a spiritual issue. There is no other way to describe it.
While it hurts, hurts to write this, hurts to admit this, hurts to be called on this, I needed to be shown that my heart and my habits are out of line with my relationship with Jesus, and it’s time to take drop back and punt. To admit my failure, my sin and ask Jesus if I can rejoin Him in the dance.
My babies are growing before my eyes. Their little tiny bodies aren’t so little and tiny anymore. Their fingers don’t curiously wrap around mine like they once did.
My husband and I are growing grey together. We have known each other more years than we haven’t. The photos on our bedroom wall reminds us that our family has grown over the last 17 years.
Life is happening at a rate of speed I could only dream of during the days of diapers and baby food. Of bottles and late nights. Some days I feel entirely unprepared for this.
God gives us these precious moments in which dwell with others. to love and receive love. to know someone in a way that no one else does. to cherish the look in someone’s eyes.
Jesus forgive us, me, if I have ever made my babies feel that dirty dishes are more important then they are.
I painted a rooster.:)