If there’s anything that I’ve learned living in the United Kingdom for over ten years, it’s that getting outside is an essential priority when the weather is dry and especially, if the heavens are radiant with golden sunshine. This was one of those promising spring days, with the sun brightly shining and crystal blue skies!
Our weekend schedule is generally busy with all the family at home, catching up on errands I’ve not completed in the week, and chores around the house. On this Saturday, the overflowing laundry basket seemed to be creeping towards me, as well as the teeter tottering array of dishes just waiting for a wash! The neat-and-tidy side of me could barely stand it, yet the weather was so gorgeous, and my daughter and son kept begging us to come out to play with them.
After a quick mental wrestling match of guilt over my housekeeping mess, I turned my glance away from the routine tasks and ignoring it all, I instead joined my kids outside. And I’m so glad I did! For an uninterrupted hour, my husband, two kids, and I enjoyed the simplicity of being in our garden together. Charlie read his book, Luke was contently making car shapes in the sandbox, while Anna and I took turns planting summer flower bulbs. How lovely it was to simply just be present in the moment! There I was laughing and sharing good conversation as well as appreciating my family members without the distraction of phones, tablets, or television and in my case, housework too!
The sunshine not only warmed my physical body, but it penetrated deep into my heart as I sensed the Holy Spirit say, “Embrace today. Be present. Don’t miss out on precious moments with your family!”
How often I can get distracted with the everyday duties of life. Wearing my many hats, I flitter-flutter from task to task and often think I’ll just relax after I finish my to-do list. Yet the problem is that my schedule seems to always be full! So, I am especially grateful when the Holy Spirit’s nudge prompts me to stop what I’m doing and just be still for a while. When the motions of busyness cease, my perspective changes so that I can more easily see the wonderful faces right in front of me.
I am continually amazed how God speaks to me through simplistic, little acts like being in the backyard with my family. His message was a gentle reminder to stop missing moments that help shape my kids’ lives. Though it can feel challenging to step away from it all in the moment, the stacked dishes and mounds of laundry will still be there when I come back. However, my growing beans on the other hand, are sprouting up so fast and I don’t want to miss sharing their childhood moments, because I was too busy striving to keep our house always looking nice.
Likewise, with God I don’t want to just slot him into my regimented calendar, give Him my leftover time, or even miss Him altogether! I want to purposefully feel able to drop everything and spend focused time with Him. Being present in this moment is how relationships grow. And if there’s anything lasting in this world, our relationships with God and the people around us are of great value.
Just like an amazingly clear sky can prompt us to get outside, let’s be eagerly observant towards the Holy Spirit trying to grab our attention and helping us to prioritize our time, so that we can grow our roots deeper with God and our families.
Choose to be present. Appreciate this moment in time and see what beauty comes from the intentional minutes and hours you stop what you’re doing, in order to spend time with God, friends and your loved ones.
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NKJV