Thursday, July 30

Be Present

Before you can 'show up' in your kids' lives, you first have to 'be present'.

When our first born, Ryan was about 4 years old, he developed into a very talkative little guy. He could win the hearts of everyone because he had something to say to everyone. His bright smile and large vocabulary encouraged everyone to stop and hear him out. At the bank, the grocery store, church and family gatherings, Ryan was a hit!

At home, however, he was like a broken, talk, talk! It didn't take me long to figure out that I could 'pretend' to listen to him while I actually was planning my week's menu, mentally reorganized my closet or rehearsed a request I wanted to ask my husband that evening.

That was fine with Ryan. As long as I smiled occasionally, nodded my head or gave a grunt, he assumed his words were heard.

I developed some bad habits by doing that. I began tuning out my husband. I began fakng it with my young daughter. I was creating a whole world within my head in order to get through the day without all the chattering and interruptions knocking me off track.

Thankfully, the error of this 'perfect plan' was revealed to me when questions starting coming from my young son. Questions that needed answers. He wasn't going to let me grunt or nod. He wanted my presence...all of it.

I think God designed my first born to be such a talker to teach me this lesson. I was home with my kids, but often not present. Thankfully, God nudged me to change my ways.

I thought about that this weekend as I pondered the impact of 'showing up' at Dan's graduation. I wondered if 'showing up' as a mom would really mean anything if I hadn't learned to be present along the way. To listen. To pay attention. To know what was important to my child. To notice what I was learning in the process.

Be present today in the lives of your loved ones. Only then will it matter if you 'show up'.

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