Ever had a nightmare that changed the course of your day or actions? I have. The wicked dream came about 8 years ago and I can recall it vividly. The scene was this: the sky was gray and cloudy as I stood by the busy four-lane highway near my hometown. I knew the road, could see the familiar intersection about 100 yards away from where I stood. And there, beside the cold hard road were my small children, at 3 and 7 years old. They were hand in hand, with their backs to me, walking slowly away, on the shoulder of that busy roadway. I was fear-stricken, screaming at them to come to me! But they never turned around, never gave any indication that they could hear me at all. I felt panicked because I couldn't move to shield them from harm... it was awful, just watching them go. I woke from that awful scene with a start, breathing heavy and feeling my heart race.
|Photo found on flickr, by TTVo|
It was a nightmare with purpose. I know this because it brought an awakening to me, making me realize that I was not being fully present for my children. Disengaging from them in favor of 'me time'.
I was spending too much time and energy online, having discovered what I thought was an antidote for being a lonely stay-at-home mom, seeking intellectual stimulation via Christian message/debate forums. It was easy to justify this because, after all, I was studying God's Word and meeting new christian friends. But it wasn't balanced and I know I made mistakes during those early years with my eyes fixed upon a screen while my children needed my attention. Reading this post today, How to Miss A Childhood, brought me round immediately to sharing this with you.
Please take heed. If any of you out there know more about your friends' facebook status than what your child discovered or accomplished today, unplug. You'll never get these years back. Examine, too, what your justifications are. Is x really more important than nurturing your gift from God? Our children are treasures that come with an awesome responsibility. They're looking to you for guidance, for companionship, protection and love. Don't sacrifice that.... for anything.