Monday, July 2, 2012

Hands off!!

The whole world is online.  The whole universe is accessible at the poke of a finger.  The children born in this decade, will never know a time when mommy and daddy did NOT carry a device on their hip, in their purse, in their pocket that rendered them "find-able" at any given moment.  My Nora recognizes when I do not have my phone with me, and promptly reunites me with the device, asking, of course, to play Angry Birds. :)

Everyday, we are given a certain amount of time to impact the little people God has given us. We are given precious fleeting moments to spend time with our children.  During these moments, we can love them, help them feel loved, teach them, influence them, talk to them, ask them questions, hear their answers, show them how to be influential, and show them God's love through our actions.  We have the ability and potential to do these things to create productive, secure, loved children.

We somehow, however, choose to spend this fleeting time much, much differently.  We spend the day on our phones, talking to friends and/or relatives for hours, while the little ones meander about, finding menial things to occupy their minds.  We spend this time snapping at them when they interrupt these conversations, putting them in front of TV sets,  pushing them out of the way so we can finish using the app on our phones, ignoring them when they are calling our name to show us something they are discovering for the first time, tell them "later" every time they ask us to read to them, or treat them like a burden to your ability to enjoy our day.

This realization hit me recently in the, not so pleasant, aptly named, "hard way".  I was in the yard with my two children; Nora was running around and Evan was on a blanket, happy as can be, eating grass.  I was sitting on the porch, phone in hand, reading e-mails and responding to the people who had my undivided attention, when I looked up to see Nora staring back at me.  She had the saddest eyes, and they were on me.  She had been calling to show me something...I was ignoring her....and the moment was gone.  I immediately felt something....shame.  My little girl was exploring the world, discovering the coolest things she has ever seen, and wanting me, her most favorite human, to share them with her, but I was....busy.  I immediately got up, engaged her, played games until we were breathless, came inside, prepared for bed, read, prayed, and sang her nightly songs, and said goodnight.

The moment stayed with me though.  I couldn't shake the fact that perhaps I have missed more moments like this one.  How many times hadn't I looked up?  How many things did she discover without me?  And more importantly, how many more will I allow to go unnoticed?

I want my children to feel important.  I want them to know that they are set apart by the God I serve (The God of heaven, not of Apple), for a purpose.  I have been given the incredible responsibility of preparing well-rounded, fully prepared disciples of Christ, who feel loved, respected and noticed.

These moments were given as a gift.  We can use them productively, filling the minutes with meaningful memories, teachable moments, and lessons that prepare them for the life God has set before them, or, we can spend the precious moments involved in stuff.  Stuff that steals their attention and hugs.  Stuff that steals their tickle fights and butterfly kisses, and stuff that is way less urgent than responding to the latest request on the e-mail account.

God has placed in our hands the tremendous responsibility of raising men and women that could impact the world.  I refuse to allow them to leave my hands ill-prepared because of my need to stay connected!  I will, with God as my leader, put down my phone and my laptop, and fill the fleeting moments with meaningful memories.  Memories that teach, grow and develop people who will change the world.    

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