A call to my husband in the late afternoon. I’m thinking about dinner and wondering what time he’ll be home. He asks me, “How’s your day been?”
“Good,” I say. “Really, good!” I list off some of the things the kids and I have done. “But, you know, the best part about the day has been that I’ve actually only done one thing at a time. I feel like I’ve been more focused today, more present.”
One. Thing. At. A. Time.
How very different from a typical day where I attempt to earn the Mommy-Multitasking badge of honor!
That morning, I’d woken up late, sleepy, with a pretty sour attitude. And those are always, inevitably, the days my kids ask me to be the one to pray over breakfast. “Lord…thank You for this meal. And, please help me wake up and lose this bad attitude!” Yep, that was my eloquent breakfast prayer. And, you know, it worked! This God…He’s the Worker of miracles for sure!
Breakfast over, it was time for morning chores, time to bless the house. I made the bed, loaded the dishwasher. And then, I collapsed into a comfy chair, the kids contentedly playing in another room. Bible and devotional sitting in my lap, I opened the pages and began the day again. My dry, prickly attitude started to soften as I soaked in life-giving words. It was only a few minutes. I felt like it should be so much more. But then God said, “It’s okay…move on with your day…just take Me with you.”
Well, okay then.
Then, it was time to start our schoolwork. The Cohen Academy was due to open. But, I just couldn’t make myself direct the kiddos to their normal routine, starting with their math workbooks. Today, on this dreary, rainy, freezing cold day, we needed something different than just a regular routine. So, I popped in a CD, stories of American history geared towards children. I didn’t grow up in the days before television. But in those moments, while we practiced the lost art of intense listening (without looking at a screen), I imagined we were gathered around a radio, listening to a show together…transporting us 60 or so years into the past.
There I sat, snuggled under a blanket, sipping my coffee…just listening. My daughter laid in a blanket fort she’d built. My son wiggled and squirmed all over the room. But in our own ways, we all listened, we discussed, we learned.
Several times I had to bring my thoughts back to the moment. I’d start making a list in my head, thinking of some distant task to accomplish. Reeling it back in, though, I refocused and practiced my listening, just as I challenge my kids to do each day.
Still in a mood to snuggle, windows foggy with condensation, eaves dripping wet outside, I gathered my brood on the couch. And we simply read together. I love these moments. Entering into a story, focusing intently, listening for what’s there beneath the words printed, all the while snuggling with my loves in comfy blankets on the couch.
For us, this was our “school-time” yesterday. I’ve felt dry and weary in teaching lately. I desperately needed a day like that to just enjoy listening and learning.
Then, while the kids snacked and played for a while, I pulled out my guitar (after far too long an absence) and played. Just a few moments spent in that place, but I entered in fully. And something hard on my heart broke off. I was just being. Being me. Doing something I love. Being present.
The difference in yesterday was that sense of being present. Setting aside my usual agenda for walking with God in the moments. In an ordinary, non-spectacular day, I was amazed. I experienced abundance.
Jesus said he came that we might have life abundant. And we think that multitasking gives us greater abundance when, in reality, it’s a tactic of the enemy to steal our abundance, to steal our focus, to steal our very presence in the moments we live.
Living meets life when we see the moments for what they are. When we don’t cram them beyond capacity. Abundance in life enters in when we invite God in and banish the enemy’s tactics of distraction.
I’m absolutely amazed at how those days go when I stop multitasking…when I lean on God’s agenda moment-to-moment rather than on my never-ending to-do list. I get so much more done! And yet, getting more done isn’t the goal on those days. But it still happens that way. The rest of the day I had plenty of time to practice for a class I’m preparing to teach, learn a new song on my guitar, snatch moments to read a novel, watch an amazing movie I’ve been looking forward to for months, create a new card detailing my vision for 2015 that I can see each day, be patient with my kids, practice Bible verses with them, cook dinner, help my hubby rearrange furniture, and more I just can’t remember.
It was a day of abundance, not because of the things I crossed off my list, but because of the level to which I was actually present in my moments. This, my vision for 2015: Live. Today. Fully.