Today started out as a rainy, cozy slow day in our household. Everyone around here has been passing around a sinusy/allergy/cold yuck for more than a week now, so we have been hibernating, and I don't hate it. I used to get so antsy when we were forced to stay inside and take it easy, but now I welcome it.
Up until recently, I have been pretty restless since we moved to Gadsden. I'm back in my hometown with no clear purpose for why exactly we moved here, other than to help out with our church campus growth. And I have just been itching to do BIG things in this little town. I want the fact that our house sold in a week to move us to the one place I swore I'd never call home again to mean something, you know?
Ah, but how I've been missing the forest for the trees! I had been chasing my calling so much that I missed the fact that my calling is whatever the Lord has put in front of me in that moment. Walking with God doesn't always mean leading thousands to call on His Name or making an international impact. More often than not, it means to simply show up in the task I've been given at that time. Right now, that's my family. The biggest thing I do for God may be someone instead of something. Or, three little someones. (And one big someone.) So for 2017, my goal is to be fully present when I am with them.
I have to not only look past the confetti of toys creating a mine field on the floor of our tiny little cabin of a rental home and instead welcome the mess as proof of life. I am extremely blessed to be able to stay home with my kids during the day full-time, and it's days like this that force me to focus solely on them. I give an abundance of hugs, smiles, and eye contact. I get down on the floor and play with Little People and Thomas the Train. I swaddle baby dolls with my doll baby and tickle hysterical little boys. We dance it out and sing silly songs and laugh until our sides hurt.
And then, the fever spikes. The baby is congested and grumpy. My oldest feels left out when I cuddle with my middle child, and then my middle child bites my oldest until he bleeds. And it's days like this where I realize how much they need me.
They really need me to show up for them. I can't be too distracted by duty and busy with playdates that I miss seeing them in their eyes—seeing their souls and their struggles—pouring myself out to meet their needs and comfort their longings. They need me to be emotionally healthy so that I can faithfully steward their little emotions and help them understand how to handle their BIG feelings. (ALL THE FEELINGS.) They need me to put them first, even before the single mom in the projects and the four-year-old watching his parents do drugs at the Motel 6. I can't afford distractions, lest I miss these small but impactful moments where I give them my all to help them become their all. That is, after all, the most noble calling I can hope for.