Every morning, I make a list. It's a list of all the things that need to get done that day. At the end of the day, I look at that list and wonder why so few things are crossed off. It seems there are too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. Some days, the list is longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning.
It seems the number of hats I wear is bigger than the size of my head, from chief cook and bottle washer to teacher to mom to wife to chauffeur to 7th-grade small group leader. It's easy to spend my day swapping out hats and checking things off my to-do list. It's easy to miss being present with my kids and my husband because I'm so busy trying to get through my list and thinking about the time when getting through that list will be a little easier.
As I sat before God during my quiet time yesterday, He spoke to my heart. He whispered, "Be present in this season." And I sat humbled and convicted before Him. For weeks, I have been distracted and easily flustered. When the day hasn't measured up to my plans, when the to-do list kept growing, I became more focused on the things that needed to be done than I was on the people around me.
It's easy to get caught up in the stuff that needs to be done each day. It's easy to get caught in the trap of looking beyond the season we're in to the day when we don't have to wear quite so many hats. It's easy to think, "When ___________ happens, then I'll be able to spend more time focused on my family."
The truth is, though, that the next season will bring it's own challenges, it's own drains on our time. We need to make the effort to be present, to be in the moment with our kids and our spouses despite the busyness of our lives. Our kids need to know that we're listening. They need to know that we're paying attention. They need to know that we're interested in what's going on right now. Because if we're not engaged in the moment, we will miss the teachable moment. When we get so focused on the next season, we miss the wonder and awe of this moment.
Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." When we look beyond the moment, beyond the grace and love and joy that God has provided for today and try to borrow from the grace and love and joy that God will provide tomorrow, we lose out on all that God has for us today. We become focused on what we might have in the future instead of enjoying what we have today.
Our kids need us to be present today. They need us to be able to offer wisdom, create laughter, and surround them with love today. They need us to focus on the moment. They need us to set aside our desire for a different tomorrow and live in the reality of today. Because when we focus on tomorrow, we miss the blessings of today.