Dear Ones –
My family has been moving into a new house for the last month. Between the old house and the new house there is a road with a stop sign that could be easy to miss. It’s one of those very low traffic roads. I have been in the car with another family member who missed it and drove through the intersection without stopping. Another admitted to me that they have also missed that particular sign. To be truthful, I can see how one could miss this sign and I don’t really know why it is at the spot it is. There is a street right after it that seems the same and has no stop sign. So far, even with my driving distractions (kids), I have not missed it, but if I don’t stay slow…it could happen.
I am 36 weeks pregnant this week. This pregnancy has flown by. Part of it I’m sure is that we didn’t tell many for so long and in the not telling some of the realness of the pregnancy didn’t hit us for quite some time. Yesterday we had our 36th week appointment and a tour of a possible hospital we could have the baby at. On the drive home Jordan said to me, “It just hit me that in 4 weeks I am going to be a father of three boys.” Talk about a stop and take notice sign.
We have been trying to sell our old house and in fact close on the 23rd of this month. YAY! Thank you God for getting this done for us before this baby comes. (My prayer of hopefulness.) Which has meant moving into the new location and out of the old during this pregnancy, not to mention all the construction going on. It has been exhausting things have been speeding along. Lately it seems I can barely keep my eyes open longer than the kids at night. There is so much to do, but time is ticking away. When the piles add up and we have so much to do, how do we stop working our way through them to stop when we see those little red signs in life?
I wish I was better at slowing down and appreciating life. Seems like when I slow down I get stuck. Have you ever read the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr, Seuss? Seriously, one of my favorite books. Part of it talks about “the waiting place”. This is that place that it is easy to get stuck in. You start waiting around for something and then you just wait and wait and wait, becoming stagnant. No thank you. I really want to work on my stops becoming intentional times. As in, I intentionally stop to notice things, to become more aware, to appreciate and value things. I think you get stuck waiting and get lazy when you aren’t intentional about the stopping.
Sometimes, it is really hard to live life intentionally. Jordan and I were talking the other day about the beautiful scenery we were noticing as we were driving. I said to him that there was a job I used to have that had around 30 minutes of beautiful scenery driving everyday, but some days I would get to work and I did not even remember driving at all. Scary, huh? When routine, mundane or the busy-ness of life makes things disappear we miss opportunities to really live. It’s funny how a simple stop sign can make you wake up and notice. I’ll tell you what though, if you’re the one driving the opposite way and somebody else misses one it can be a real wake-up call to you. Suddenly you can find yourself swerving, honking or worse. Your blood starts pumping and for the rest your drive you notice everything. Wouldn’t it be great if life was lived more that way…intentionally stopping and taking notice? Really feeling alive and not from fear, but with intention.
For me I really want to see my kids. I don’t want their childhood to be the background noise to everything else I have going on. I was watching Michelle Duggar this week talk about how she stays calm with her kids and why. She said she wants her children’s hearts. Those simple words impacted me so much…because that’s what I want too. I want my children’s hearts to be turned to the Father. I want them to know love…real love. The love their Creator and their family has for them as well as how to give love. I don’t see how they can know this without being a priority. If we are driving through life like maniacs and never slow down and stop to listen to their voices, their needs, their hearts how can we ever expect them to stop living at a break neck speed and experience the wonder life has to offer? How can we ever expect to capture their hearts? I contend we can’t. So for me, once again, I am stopping at the stop sign I see on my horizon and re-prioritizing. Everything about the house will be done at some point. This baby is going to come when he is ready to come and no amount of preparation will ever change that. If my heart is full of love and my tank is full of gas (to get me to the hospital) nothing else HAS to be done.
May I ask that you take a look and see if there are any stop signs in your life you’ve been speeding through. If there are, be encouraged that stopping is a good option. Make the most of your slow down and be intentional in seeing life around you. If this is something you are already good at, I would love it if you would lift me up in your prayers that I wouldn’t lose sight of what is most important.