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Michelle Warner

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Being Present

Posted on February 27th, 2013

How I wish I had more time to write about what I am learning about being present in my season of life. I started writing a blog post about two weeks ago but with traveling to Chicago and daily life with Olivia, I have not made much progress on it. And now as I sit to type, I hear Olivia waking up from her way-too-short nap, so I must end this before I ever really got started!

However, my main goal in writing was to pass along this blog post written by someone I don’t know but definitely respect. You may have seen it circulating on Facebook if you peruse there but I thought it was so good that I wanted to repost. It was written on the blog “4 Little Fergusons” by a mom. She also posted a blog before that entitled “Dear Dad on the Recliner.”

Dear Mom On the iPhone,

I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone.  It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it?  You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.

But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now…..

Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl.  She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair.  She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.

You aren’t.

Your little boy keeps shouting, “Mom, MOM watch this!”  I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way.

He sees that too.  His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.

Now you are pushing your baby in the swing.  She loves it!  Cooing and smiling with every push.  You don’t see her though, do you?  Your head is bent, your eyes on your phone as you absently push her swing.

Talk to her.  Tell her about the clouds, Mommy.  The Creator who made them. Tickle her tummy when she comes near you and enjoy that baby belly laugh that leaves far too quickly.

Put your eyes back on your prize…Your kids.

Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there.  I am not saying it’s not ok to check in on your phone, but it’s a time-sucker: User Beware!

Play time at the park will be over before you know it.

The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.

They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy.  They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish, they won’t always call out, “WATCH ME!”

There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your phone time.

Because they know…

You’ve shown them, all these moments, that the phone is more important than they are.  They see you looking at it at while waiting to pick up brother from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime…..

I know that’s not true, Mommy.

I know your heart says differently.

But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly.

May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all.”

***

One of the quotes that I keep stumbling upon is “Wherever you are, be all there” (Jim Elliot). God has been reminding me to “be all there” and be present in my daily life with Olivia. I definitely don’t get it right every day (or even every hour) but I am growing in the practice of being present in this season. Hopefully you will hear from me again soon in greater detail about these thoughts! Until then, I leave you with a simple, inspiring poem that I want to frame in my kitchen:

Let’s each choose to embrace the season God has given each of us and “be all there.”

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