Sometimes “being present” is not enough. We work hard to make time for family dinners, go out of our way to make family activities fun and inspirational, and purpose to be home together soaking up the quality time.
Yet, in the end, we feel as if something is still missing.
I wonder… if we took all of the fluff out of our schedules and the intentionality away from our activity planning, would we find buried treasure in the simplicity of just playing and being together?
The day I stepped into my home full of togetherness, but heard whining, wishing, and boredom wisping through the walls instead, I knew I had been taking swings at what the world deemed “quality time,” and it was falling on souls made for more.
When we fill up our family time with “wish-filled” thinking and idealized thoughts of fun, we often find our family dinners to be drudgery from the kitchen prep to the clean-up. And devotional times? We simply endure them… because it is the “right thing to do.” Unwittingly, we have created an environment of “to-do” lists forgoing the living of “to-DAYS.”
The day I hit my first HOME run, I knew that I had knocked the ball out of the park. Before this day, I had never really truly embraced my home as a haven. I hadn’t realized that we, as parents, have the privilege to create the atmosphere for living, loving and enjoying life together.
I threw out all preconceived ideas; critical spirits weren’t allowed, and we re-booted our home into an environment of living each day together in a spirit of wanting to be together, and not just striving to get to the next pinnable, expectation-filled thing we “should” be doing.
I threw out the to-do lists and waited for each day to present itself with God-chosen moments for us to be together with Him as the Center. We worked through hard moments – together. Our meals changed from “this is what we do” to a rush of excitement and joy as we ate, shared our days and our struggles, and listened to the heart at the head of our table, as he also embraced the gifts gathered around.
I wondered for a while… were we the only family who had allowed routine to take over the very heart of our home?
When you find yourself sitting in the middle of your home, with your family all around you, and you cannot remember the conversations; if there is bickering and arguing and you feel like all of your work seems fruitless… perhaps you have missed something, too?
Moments are gifts, not lists.
When you gather, give. When you give, love. And when you love, listen to those around you.
Your swing will come full circle as you see the light in family members stirred to excitement, realizing that they are more than the recipients of “intentional” gatherings, more than passive receivers scheduled to participate in a planned exercise.
Bring back your heart for your family. Where the glory and celebration is worth the embrace.
Are you on propel mode? Trying to get to the next family outing or activity, leaving behind your heart and spirit FOR your family?
Be present with the Lord, asking Him to restore your heart FOR your family, and He will surely give you the desires of your heart.