This past weekend was an exciting weekend for our family. Our eight-year-old daughter choose to be baptized into our church. Both sets of grandparents came into town to support her as well as many others. It was an amazing weekend with answered prayers and spending time with people whom I love and I am grateful for. My in-laws stayed at our home for a few days and our children LOVED it. Then on Monday, Grandma and Grandpa had to leave and my husband left on a business trip. Our home went from a full home, to a home where it seemed too quiet.
One night I stayed up too late watching a re-run of Criminal Minds. Back in the day, I loved crime shows but I get too emotional about them now. Anyway, sometimes those crime shows suck me in and it did that night. I have no idea what the episode was called but at one point Penelope is going to visit a guy that is on death row and only has 24 hours left until he is executed. She goes because she wants to “clear the air” and understand why he did what he did. At first the guy doesn’t want to meet with her and then a little later in the date he abruptly changes his mind and they are able to talk. Penelope asked why the change of heart but the guy is testing the waters and as she continues to talk he says something to the effect that she only came for herself. In the short scene it becomes apparent that he is looking for someone to care about him and how scared he is and that he doesn’t want to die alone. He never has visitors, no human connection and he doesn’t want to go out of the world alone. He asks Penelope to come and witness the execution but she says she doesn’t think that she can. Anyway, as the show goes on she realizes that just as she needs someone to talk to and listen to her and be there for her, she needs to be there for the death row guy. So she goes to the execution for the death row guy.
I thought about how we are all hard wired for connection. Many people give into “internet”connections and that is why they are so powerful because it fulfills a huge need. With my husband gone I felt like half of me was missing, our connection felt far away and quiet. I am not saying that I need my husband attached to my hip, but I missed him. He means more to me than I could even express.
Anyway, with these two colliding thoughts in my head I just thought about how well am I nurturing my connections? Do the people I love know how much I love them, why I love them, and what makes them special to me? Now, get off your technology and go connect, really connect.
Last month I read an article in our local newspaper that has stuck with me. I want to link to it here. Before you read it, have an open mind and think about what you can do to be better.
Here is the article, “Catching Stones vs. Casting Stones.”
I want to be a stone catcher. I want to be a stone catcher not to just people around me, but to my kids and to my family members. I am focusing on the people I love most because I feel like sometimes they are the people we can treat the worst. Lots to think about in this article. Tell me what you think.
This past weekend we were able to go and visit our parents and some family members. It is always something we all look forward to and we always have fun, but the one thing that my kids forget until we are like 2 hours into the drive, is that when we go to visit we spend like a total of 15 hours in the car. We do things to break the drive up but really, it is just a lot of sitting and driving. This time the ride was particularly adventurous with potty training. Well, I potty trained her like a month ago, but you just never know how it will go when you don’t have ready access to a potty. We took along the training potty and we used it on the side of the road more than once. I was super nervous about her staying dry through the night, but she did great and kept her new sleeping bag dry the whole trip.
While we were driving we of course had the normal sibling drama happening, “Mom, she is touching me!” “Her foot is too close to me.” “Stop looking at me.” “I don’t want to share the crayons.” You know, it is always interesting to see what is going to be said. It was during those times that I or my cute husband would try and focus the kids’ attention on something OUTSIDE the car. “Hey, look at those construction vehicles.” “Did you just see that purple truck go by?” “Don’t worry we have already gone 3 hours, we only have 4 more to go…” It was a game to get them to stop focusing on each other and what the other person had “done” to them and focus their attention to something that they couldn’t control but that they could see. Other times I really wanted to point out something outside, but they were having a laughing fit about something that was so funny and playing together great. I had to stop myself a couple of times from saying anything and focus my attention on the love and joy that I felt in those moments.
It got me thinking about life. Sometimes it is good to shift our focus outward on things that we can’t necessarily control but that is a good learning moment. Other times when the focus is inward with our family and close friends we need to savor those moments and stop looking for something outside to grab our attention. The best times in life are with the ones we love are in small spaces with loud laughter and tickle wars. Don’t forget to enjoy those times by focusing inward.