According to the dictionary, to be present is to be with one or others in a specified or understood place at a specified or understood time.
During our nation’s current pandemic, I am what is considered an “essential worker.” As such, while many consider us “heroes,” no school, no playdates, no dinner at their favorite restaurants, the cancelled summer camps, and postponed piano recitals make my trips to work feel more like another cruel unwelcomed reality my young daughters have to deal with.
They wish Mommy was present more often.
Their exponentially increased time at home has led to some desires for us all to be at some specified or understood place at a specified or understood time—and I keep not showing up.
I do consider this time a season drenched with teachable moments. As parents, we can glean and share age-appropriate life-lessons pertaining to what it means to be a full-time essential worker during a pandemic, resilience, boundaries, God’s sovereignty, helping and praying for others, faith over fear,… and the list goes on.
And there still remains the hard stuff.
The hard stuff is not to be dwelt upon but nor is it to be ignored. The heightened impulsivity of one child and the uncharacteristic irritability of the other is what our hard stuff is looking like over here.
Perhaps you can relate.
While we can’t change or control certain aspects of this pandemic, it’s the hard stuff that can compel us to get creative and intentional as we do our best to help ourselves and those we care about get through it.
I can’t make this COVID-19 go away. I can’t heal all of those afflicted with the illness. I can’t make it safe to go back to socializing the way we used to. I can’t quit my job and be home to play 4-square in the driveway at noon. But when I get creative and intentional, when I pray about ways to help my family get through this, I realize one thing I can do: I can offer more of me to them when I am home.
Well, for me, it’s woven into the time I spend writing and posting… yeah… kinda like the hours I’ve spent writing this piece about how I spend so much time writing (ha!).
I’ve asked myself, “Why can’t my presence with them and my blog posts coexist? Time management is a thing, right? Work smarter, right? Many people juggle full-time jobs, spouses, kids, hobbies, and a social media or online presence, why can’t you, Christy?”
Well, I am choosing to do otherwise. I could continue to do all of the above. Or I can choose to do one less thing. Both options are ok. Both options have something to offer. But one more clearly and more immediately gives me more time with my family who is indeed requesting more of my presence.
For just a season, I’m muting my daily internal debate over how to spend my time at home— gaming or typing? playing or posting? cuddling or scrolling?
I’ll be doing the former of each of these.
I see that my time spent on posts is indeed a chunk of my presence I can offer my girls as they welcome some happy stuff and wrestle through some hard stuff.
Before you know it, I’ll be sharing the details of this journey of posting less to be present more.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . .”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)