Have you ever experienced a sleepless night because the Lord keeps you awake with a lesson He wants to get deep into your soul? Most times, I’d confess that I’d rather be asleep, but this one night, I’m grateful the Lord had something to say to me . . . and maybe also you.
As I was tossing and turning, it felt like my mind was racing through the photo albums of the last seventeen years, flipping from my daughter’s toddlers years to her senior graduation proofs. How is she nearly ready to launch into the rest of her life, just like that? What happened to all those years between in between?
My heavy heart had only one turn . . . to seek the Lord for His grace and mercy.
I couldn’t help but wonder, “Did I savor this motherhood journey or did it just slip through my fingers like sand?
As I lay there with weepy wet eyes, this other little girl’s face came to mind — a precious eighteen month old princess I had the chance to play with earlier that morning. For a moment, I could see in my mind’s eye my daughter’s face next to this little one’s, like their faces were in a two-sided picture frame.
Oh how I could see the reality of what happens in 16 years.
But it wasn’t only about time passing by and girls growing up. I was keenly aware of how much the world has changed in such a short time. See, I’ve been knee deep into studying generational differences and speaking on the topic with the release of Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified and the launch of a One2One Mentoring Program at my church. All this research and teaching has forged a mental image in my mind of the last 100 years, and I see it plainly . . .
Our world has changed. Our values have changed. Our parenting has changed.
When I was running around that playground with this little one, giving her precious momma a sweet time of focus at the Moms In Prayer brunch, I was phoneless, which is an unusual thing for me. I had no pockets in the dress I was wearing, and left in such a quickness, that I didn’t grab it before heading out the door with little miss. Honestly, it was a good thing, because I needed to be hands-free to really play with her and interact with all the preschoolers on the playground. I was so aware of how many times I wanted to snap a photo to share with her momma or simply to freeze time in my mind.
See, I’ve come to believe that I can’t remember a thing without a photomontage of the moment.
But in my restless night, God impressed that day’s playground delights on my heart in such a way that I know I’ll never forget that precious little smile and the tender love of those preschoolers, who now feel like my new best friends. Isn’t the pure and quick love of a four year old priceless?
I also know this afresh . . . with my phone in my hand, I would have been distracted.
I would have been checking email and Facebook messages. I would have been jotting down reminders of what to do later rather than simply being in the moment.
How much does that phone really over-crowd my mind and my life?
How much living am I missing while trying to keep up with everyone and everything else?
I know the answers to these questions. So do you, even though we both hate to admit it. Our phones are gifts, and they are also a curse of sorts. And right now, the curse part makes me want to toss my phone into the sea. It’s stolen time from me, because I’ve let it. And now I’m nearly ready to campaign for the removal screens from playgrounds nationwide. But even saying those words makes me shudder, because I sound more like a Baby Boomer than a Gen Xer.
I guess that’s what happens when you get older. You see life from a different angle, and you can’t help but want to share your life-in-the-trenches lessons with the next generation to keep them from making the mistakes you made.
It’s not judgement. It’s a desire to help.
Oh friend, if only you could see what I saw in the middle of the night—in my dream that wasn’t a dream at all. These these two girls, totally unrelated, decades apart in age, smiling beautifully at me, with this sweet reminder of the sacredness of life. But alas, I don’t have a picture of the moment. Only the memory, and a fresh reminder to be all-in in real life and less on my screen.
Is this a reminder you need too?
Sisters, may we together pursue God under the covering of His mercy and grace as we commit to being more present with our girls.
Savoring it All,