This afternoon, Jonathan was at loose ends again. I had about half an hour that I was looking forward to spending on this post. He has caught the school bug. And I'm really glad. So I gave a little sigh and put aside the post and pulled out a project to do together instead. We had a lot of fun, but I have to say, it wears me out! And that's only one kid.
Each of my kids seem to be at a "crossroads" this year. Janna is nearing the end of her junior year and praying about what is in store for her future. Matthew is turning 12 in a few weeks, right at the brink of the adolescent years. Anah is establishing roots in her new home. And Jonathan, as I mentioned above, is just starting his school career.
Every day, I have many opportunities to choose to live either for myself or for the things that matter for eternity. Will I take them? I must admit that I don't always pick what I know God wants me to do. I feel fully justified in splurging in a little "me time." Don't I give of myself enough already? Sometimes I simply don't feel like I have the strength, even if I wanted to.
And yet, the quality of my life is really defined by these little choices. In God's economy, it is the little cup of water that touches His heart the most, not the big things. And I have learned that this is true for people too. I remember being surprised when the college students we were working with expressed their gratitude for the meals, the time spent in our home, and for the opportunity to learn how to cook. It was not the Bible studies I slaved over that they remembered. Go figure.
Whether it is in your parenting or in your marriage, it is really the little choices that count. Walls of alienation are built one brick at a time, but so are open doors of communication. If I am constantly too busy for the ones I love, I am slowly but surely turning their hearts away from me. But on the flip side, if I am able to consistently make choices that make time for my loved ones, I am also paving the way for good fruit in the future.
This doesn't mean that I don't take time to refresh and refuel. I have had to learn to be creative in finding those times, even if it means getting up earlier than everyone else (and therefore going to bed earlier!).
It never is easy to make those choices. A sacrifice is involved one way or the other. I either sacrifice my relationships with my children in exchange for seeking my own good, or I need to sacrifice my rights in exchange for something far more valuable eternally. I don't like to sacrifice. I'd rather have it all. But it doesn't work that way.
Whatever choices we make will accrue into something good or something less than desirable. Like I mentioned earlier, we rarely find ourselves estranged from our spouses in one day. It is more often the work of days, months, and years of poor choices. On the other hand, neither is godly children or marriages a result of good luck. We enjoy these blessings as a result of making positive little choices whenever they come up.
There are times when I feel like I have let people down on this blog because I have not been keeping it up as I want to. But I also have peace that even if I don't write as often as I used to, I am making the choices He wants me to make. As important as this blog is to me, my family is far more important (sorry!). Besides, I don't think I could write with integrity if my family life was in shambles.
What about you? What choices do you have today? Are they choices that are going to build or tear down? Whatever the case, the choice is yours. May the Lord grant you the strength to choose His way.