November 14, 2011

Are You Really Here?

Last month, Colin got himself into a little bit of trouble. I won't go into the details other than to say he learned that you always need to tell you mother where you're going before you go there. Ahem.

This mis-step on Colin's part ended up in him being grounded for 4 days.  No TV, no iPod, no video games, no friends... for 4. whole. days.  His imprisonment grounding would have been long enough on its own but then add in the fact that he had 2 days off of school that week because of ND Teacher's Convention.  So because of one poor choice, Colin was grounded for all 4 days of his coveted and rare 4-day weekend.


I wasn't sure who this was going to be harder on: Colin...or Mom.

And then an interesting thing happened.  On day two of his grounding, Colin came up to me and gave me a big hug and then said the strangest thing.  He said, "Mom, it's not that I LIKE being grounded ... but it's actually been nice having an excuse to stay home and just chill."

His words hit me hard.  We are busy but, compared to many of the families we know, we are probably a little anti-social. Our boys are in Scouts and are active in church.  We have always had a rule that they are only allowed one other extra curricular activity per season and we try hard not to schedule too much for our family.

Yet my 8 year old son feels like he needs an "excuse" to stay home and "chill." And I completely understand.

I often feel, in our culture today, that your worth is measured by how many activities you are in, how many committees you belong to, how many jobs you work each week. When you do have a day off, everyone wants to know what you are going to "do" - and if you ask someone else what they are doing, they usually have a list of opportunities and events to fulfill on that day - and they often recite it to you with pride, as in, "I must be important because look at all the stuff I have to do today."

But what about, on your day off, if you just...stayed home. You know... relaxed, ... slept in, ... chilled - as Colin put it?

I have to admit that these days my head very rarely feels as if it is not swimming.  And that brings me to the actual point of this post.  On any given day, in my head, I am trying to juggle a bazillion things. Add to that the turmoil our country and economy seems to be in, worrying about whether or not I am doing a good enough job as a parent, and hoping that I am more of a spiritual influence on my kids than the world is - and we've just touched the tip of the iceberg.  If I have problems falling asleep at night, it's usually because the to-do list won't shut off.  As I've explained it to Keith (who can fall asleep anywhere, anytime), it's as if my body is ready for sleep but my brain is having a party! Ugh.

And how often do I attempt to have a conversation with one of my kids, knowing that I am only partly hearing what they are saying because my brain has already jumped ahead to what I am going to do as soon as they are done jabbering at talking to me?

I may be standing in front of them, but am I really there?

How many times have I passed by someone at church or at an event, someone I know needs my attention, because I am on my way to the next important event stupid activity? 

I may be present in body, but is my mind or my heart where it needs to be?

I know I am not alone in this - I talk to other moms, parents, teenagers...and they all say the same thing:  The busy-ness and the worries of the world consumes them more and more everyday.

So when do we find time to just be still?  How do we do this?  How do we get the noise in our brains to just shut shut we can focus?  Or just rest? Or breathe?

Because even though my body is here
my heart and mind are over there...and over there...and over there...

I was thinking that this morning.  I was trying to have some quiet time devotions just sit still and read my bible - but I couldn't.  My brain was already racing ahead to all the emails, phone calls and errands I needed to run today.  In frustration, I just shut my bible and went to start on my list.  I began by checking my emails and in the process I came across a blog post by Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like that I had not read yet.  I clicked over to check it out and found out it was a video by a visual artist named, Blaine Hogan.  He did not say a word, yet what he conveyed spoke directly to my restless, busy heart. 

So I could go on, but instead I will let Blaine Hogan explain what our hearts so badly need to hear.

Do you have troubles shutting out the worries of the world?  What is it that consumes your thoughts the most?  How do you teach your kids to focus on God and not on a to-do list?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear your comments - they encourage me so much!