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May 16, 2016

Take the Time

I don't know it's because I'm getting older? It's definitely not because my nest is getting empty. But the last little while I have been made more aware of time. How time is spent. How you can never get time back. How time goes by so quickly. How time is here today and gone tomorrow.

Today as I sat on the deck eating my lunch I was reminded of time. Moments with the ones that I love. I sat there eating, no device in my hand, no book to be read. Just sitting and eating. As I sat there I was visited by all ages and sizes of some of my favourite people. They shared their dreams, their fears, their goals, their accomplishments, their passions, their joys...the deep down things that mattered to them.

I don't know about you, but around here there is ALWAYS something to busy myself with. I am the kind of person that has a real hard time just sitting and relaxing. Usually as I sit I can't stop thinking of all the things that I could/should be doing. But after being a mom for 26+ years I realize that the work is NEVER done. It just isn't. There is always another floor to be swept, another dish to be washed, another toilet to clean.....and so on. But lately I have had the revelation that those things will wait, but my children will not be around me forever. Time is precious. And time spent with my family is invaluable.

One thing I have kept reminding myself over the years in my motherhood journey is that I don't want to wake up someday, have our children all grown and our nest empty, and regret the things I did or didn't do with them. I don't want to feel that the years were wasted.

I have had many wonderful conversations with those who are "wise" in their years tell me, "Cherish the moments. They go by so fast." When our first four children were little, I felt lost somedays. Lost in the pile of laundry, lost in the never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning and caring for our children. And somedays I remember thinking, "When will they grow up and be able to do these things on their own?" I realize now that I probably missed many precious moments with my children because I was looking ahead rather than then redeeming the time that I was actually living in.

And now with the wonderful life we live, having adult children, young adult children, young children, toddlers and grandbabies our perspective has changed. Why? Because we are no longer just hearing the words "they grow up so quickly", we are living it and seeing it with our own eyes! How many times have we said, "It seems like just yesterday!"

Today as I sat on the deck I was reminded that these kind of moments will not last forever. And I cherished them deep in my heart. I thanked God for every child that He has placed into our family. And I asked Him to help me remember daily that I can always take the time. Even if it's just 5 or 10 minutes. I just have to be available and willing to listen. And they will come, they will share their heart and time will be well spent.

January 27, 2016

It's a Matter of Your Heart (Marriage Series)

I'm not sure what has happened around here except that I have really fallen off the bandwagon with this blogging stuff!!! I am not actually sure if I even have any readers left?!?!

Well this again is a post that was stuck in my drafts and I decided to dust it off and actually publish it! And I also realize that I said I was going to give you 25 marriage posts since we were celebrating our 25th anniversary. Well that milestone has come and gone and we actually celebrated 27 years a few months
ago. And no...I am not going to even try to write 27 marriage posts...but I will try my best to write more of them:) So here is the long lost marriage series post!

Let's face it. If you have a spouse, no matter how much you love him/her, there are going to be things that they do that give you a slight (maybe more than a slight) feeling of annoyance. It may be a habit they have or maybe just it's something they do in their daily routine. But when they do it you get that slight feeling (or maybe more than slight:) of annoyance! And perhaps when that "something" happens yet again....you feel like you might like to say or do something nasty!!!!

Let me tell you something that I have learned (and am still learning) over the past 26 years of marriage. It's something that can be used in your marriage every day, all day long. It's something that once you make it part of your thinking and your life....will change you and most likely your relationship with your spouse. In fact it may even change your relationship with other people. If you are a husband, wife, sister, brother, grandchild, friend...this is something you can use in any relationship. Am I starting to sound like one of those "Too good to be true" ads that we see all around us???

It's about your heart! Simple....your heart. When your spouse does that thing for the umteenth time that just drives you up the wall.....I have one question for you....How's your heart???? Never mind how many times you have asked him/her not to do this particular thing, never mind the inconvenience it may cause you, how is your heart????

I remember a particular time when I was annoyed at something that Mark had done, it wasn't anything big, just a habit that he had that caused me a few seconds of inconvenience. But in my mind I had made it out to be such a big deal! And I had let it affect my heart. I remember the moment like it was yesterday, God spoke to my heart, "What if you would lose your husband today? What if you no longer had a husband to do this for? What if....." And at that moment I realized that I was letting something so insignificant, so silly, eat away at me and cause my heart to be discontented with my husband. And I realized I was sinning.

God doesn't ask us to make everybody else perfect around us, He only asks us to have a heart that is pleasing to Him. He asks us to reflect on our heart daily....in those moments of frustration or annoyance...and ask the question, "How is my heart?" Because I know that I can't change my husband or the people around me (even though I may try:) I can change one simple thing....my heart. And in changing my heart, in seeing that I don't have to fix anyone but myself, my attitude changes....every time!!!

My husband didn't change that day, but I did. And it is amazing that even though my circumstances didn't change my heart did, and I felt free. Free because it's never fun to be miserable and discontent! Free because I knew my calling wasn't to change my husband, I just had to concentrate on changing me! I went from a person who was easily annoyed at the little habits and inconveniences to a person who realized that I only needed to work on me.

Try it! When your spouse does something that bugs you, annoys you or causes you some inconvenience....check out your heart, and change what needs to be changed. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!