Many times with the heavy load of our day-to-day activities, we often lose sight of what is truly most important in life; our relationships with our family. It is strange how we may live under the same roof, even share a bathroom, but we fail to really see and consciously connect with these people God has placed in our lives.
How long has it really been since we sat with our spouse and looked into their eyes, noticing the color and light reflecting back at us? How about the movement of their lips as they form words, their facial expressions, the way their nose wrinkles as they speak? Do we really hear the inflection and tone in their voice, can we understand and relate with what they are really saying, what is it that speaks from their heart? Are we fully present without our mind wandering onto something or someone else? Can we sit, holding their hand, listening to them breathe, intent on just them, uninterrupted for even 15 minutes? These soul to soul connections, where we are one with our love is what all of us crave and question the most; Are we seen, are we heard, are we noticed, does our life matter?
How about the children; whether tots, Tweens, teens or twenty-something’s….. They still need to know they are important, they are seen and they have a voice and what they think and say does matter. It is important that they are around, it is crucial to the family dynamic that they are present. They need encouragement, they need to hear that their dreams, desires and goals are attainable and they are needed in the family relationship.
How about mom and dad; how long since we visited, a meal shared or a simple phone call? They need to know we need them and value them in our lives for more than just a baby-sitter or errand runner. The time will come too quickly when we won’t have them around; physically or mentally. I have several friends dealing with this dilemma now.
How long since we called that one special friend, making the time to have lunch or a latte or ice cream? These friendships grow old and stale, eventually dying if not cared for.
How long has it been since we cracked open our bibles other than in church, read a psalm or passage that speaks to our heart about our struggles at hand? How long since we knelt beside our bed and prayed, not only because we need God to “do” something for us, but to simply spend some time in His Presence, reconnecting spiritually? How long since we whispered “Thank-You Lord for this day, this moment, this life You have given me!”? It is all a gift!
We all are guilty of pushing our treasured relationships aside, moving them to the back burner with the good intention of tending to them when we get “this one last thing done” off our to-do list. Why do we do this? Our family needs us, we need to take time to reconnect, acquaint and have some much needed fun and just be with our loved ones. They need us now, we need them now!
So often is the case, when we aren’t there, meeting our families needs, someone and something else is! Just look at the marriages falling apart due to infidelity; the one feeling neglected, unnoticed and they are seeking attention, recognition and affirmation. The divorce rate is higher than ever because of affairs. When we aren’t paying attention, being fully conscious of the moment…… horrific things can happen. Example being: parents forgetting their babies in locked cars where the temps can rise to over 100 degrees easily, all because their minds are on something else…… Really? What can be more important than the precious baby in the car seat? When we aren’t present in our teenagers lives, they may become rebellious while looking for something and someone to tell them they are valuable and special just the way they are. These kids are trying to fit in, to belong and feel wanted and special, but then get into trouble with the law and in school by belonging to the wrong crowd. Statistics say teen pregnancies are still rampant and the teen moms are getting younger and younger every year; these girls are so often craving a fathers love and attention, trying to fill the “big daddy-sized” hole in their hearts. There are the misbehaving little ones throwing severe temper tantrums and acting out because they are frustrated and tired and exhausted, they may feel they have no say, they often just need some down time, some rest and our undivided, unshared attention from their parents; but we think the way to deal with them and make them the perfect child is to medicate them. Have you ever known of a society that has so many toddlers and school age kids on pharmaceuticals? Someone’s making billions because of it!!!!!! Drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise; hurting people attempting to escape for awhile and fill the void in their souls by erasing the memories of their painful past. We have fallen short and it is time to come to attention!
Come on people, if we aren’t available, if we continue to neglect our family, if we aren’t fully present in their lives meeting their needs, answering their questions, spending time with them, getting involved in their business, filling in the gaps emotionally and physically……. Someone and something else is presenting itself for them, and it ain’t good! It is time to wake up, get a backbone and stand up straight, take up the slack, tighten our belt and get back involved with our family. No one else has that right or responsibility but us!
There are things we have to let go of, we may have to let some things slide and actually eliminate from our to do list, re prioritize, putting our family at the tip-top of the “to-do” list so we can concentrate on the person and persons right in front of us. Our family needs us, they crave our attention and need our help. They don’t need another friend, our kids need a parent and our spouse needs a partner.
At the end of our life, when our last breath is drawn and we transition to our eternal home, who and what is it that will be a comfort to us? Who and what will be holding our hand encircling us? Who and what will crawl up on the bed next to us, stroke our hair and sing “Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound”? I promise it won’t be our home, our job, our car, our degrees, our awards and plaques and trophies, our bank accounts, most likely not our boss or colleagues standing around, nor any other stuff we have collected through the years…… But who and what will be present are the people, the love and miracles we have given, the ones we have loved and that loved us in our life and the ones that we have touched, given, invested and spent time with. The love and peace felt will be because we cared and sowed into relationships today. It is never too late to start investing now. Those are the ones most important!
Your life matters, the day to start fulfilling your destiny starts today and touching your own families lives and connecting in an intimate, deep way is part of what we are called to do. Be a blessing, listen and see them right before your eyes….they do matter, this is important. Have a great day and let this day count!