Tonight in my small group, the Lord really opened my eyes to something I need to change in my daily life. I am always racing the clock. I set the timer on my stove for everything-- to do the dishes, to put on my makeup, to vacuum, to get the kids ready--everything. You name it-- if it is an everyday chore, you can bet I race the clock to get it done. For some reason, I get a kick out of finishing before I hear that awful timer go off. I am not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing (it is good to be timely and efficient isn't it?), but what the Lord showed me tonight is that I am always making my family hurry. I am continually pressuring my boys to move faster. Hurry up and get your shoes on, hurry up and get in the car, hurry up and get out of the car, hurry up and finish going to the bathroom, hurry up and wash your hands, hurry up and come here, hurry up and go to bed. Hurry, hurry, hurry --I say it all day long. I even set the timer for them while they pick up their toys and when they play the computer. We race every morning to see which boy can get dressed the fastest, and we race when we get in the car to see who can get buckled first. "You have to hurry or we are going to be late," is probably the most common phrase I say to my kids. Lately, Max keeps asking me, "Mommy, what happens when we are late?" with this intense curiosity like he is expecting me to say that our world is going to fall apart.
Chris used to(I say used to because I think he is either used to my racing obsession after 8 years of marriage or he just gave up on this battle!) always tell me that I have a special talent at making the smallest things in life stressful-- like doing the dishes, bathing the kids, and folding laundry. Who knew? You mean that everyone doesn't enjoy the fact that when you rush you get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time?
Well, tonight I got the point! Pastor Troy taught us this weekend that everyday is an opportunity for us to bring joy to someone else's life. I have been thinking about that statement all week, but I couldn't quite figure out what the Lord was trying to tell me until tonight. I realized tonight that not only am I creating stressed out, high strung, borderline spastic, and extremely competitive children, but I am robbing them of learning to enjoy the little things of everyday life. My kids live in this fear of being late-- like if we are late or slow, then something really bad is going to happen. In all reality, the only thing that will happen is you might actually enjoy some of the moments we have together when we are cleaning the toys, or getting in the car, or getting dressed. You might actually remember your childhood and the moments you spent at home with me instead of just remembering a fast forward blur of your preschool years. I have been totally missing the opportunity to bring joy to my family in the little things of life. I have been robbing the very people I love most from enjoying everyday life because I would rather enjoy the feeling of getting things accomplished. How selfish I have been.
Chris and my boys, I love you guys to pieces and I promise that with the Holy Spirit's help I am going to slow down and take every opportunity to bring joy to your lives. Whether we are doing the dishes, running errands, or getting dressed--- we are going to enjoy it and chill out. No more timer on the oven (except maybe when it is just me-- but I won't make you be a part if it!! Chris, I will even go for running errands together, even though you know I am thinking that we could get 2x as much done if we separated and we could race and see who makes it to Chik-fil-A first! Sorry, Babe, it took me 8 years to get it; thank you for being patient with me and playing along without complaining all these years. I love you.