By Sharnessa Sandén Valley Bugler Columnist
As we’ve all heard, the older you get, the faster time flies. I seem to recall the Editor saying something like that last month…
That stark truth has really been hitting home lately, and more often and deeply than usual. My youngest son turns 6 years old tomorrow.
I’m not sure what it is, but this year of birthdays have been a bit tough for this sentimental mamma!
There was something about my 7 year old turning 8, and now my 5 year old turning 6 that’s been awakening me on a whole new level to how the window of my “little lads” being little is all too quickly closing.
As I laid down with the birthday boy tonight for a bedtime cuddle, for the “last time as a 5-year old” (*sniffsniff*), and as he sweetly dozed with his chubby-yet-all-too-swiftly-thinning-out-little hands all wrapped up in mine, my heart swelled and my eyes spilled over.
How have six years already fled by like a dream?
How has it been six years since we bundled up that faux-hawked, strawberry-blonde-haired newborn for his homecoming on that crisp, stunning November morning?
We’ve been a family that’s been good at making for time together, but as my hubby, Sam, and I have recently been mulling over together, we want to be even better.
A month or so ago,Sam and I attended an amazing conference called “Pause”, for pastors and the like. The hosts absolutely lavished on us attendees (gifts, words of encouragement, prayer, etc.), and the whole thing was geared around pausing, slowing down, making memories, soaking up our days, “sucking the marrow” out of life, taking mental snapshots, “wasting” time with our loved ones & the Lover of our souls, taking our Sabbath whatever that may look like for each individual.
It takes being so intentional to “pause” these days. Yes, we all have things that we need to and want to
and are called to “do”. We’re not here on this earth to be lazy or to be hermits.
However, in an age where we’re all so extremely accessible, pulled in so many directions with phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texts, you name it Sam and I are finding more and more that “being intentional” for our family isn’t a buzz-word… it is VITAL, and something we must fight for.
A quote that moves me to my core is from “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan: “Someone asked me recently what was my biggest regret in life. I thought a moment, surveying the vast and cluttered landscape of my blunders and losses, the evil I have done and the evil that’s been done against me.
“Being in a hurry,” I said. “Pardon?”, they replied. “Being in a hurry. Getting to the
next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all that rushing. I realize that through all that haste, I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
(Sigh…*sucker-punch to gut*)
With Christmas quickly approaching, “Sabbath” and “slowing down” can seem unrealistic during a time of year that’s become a chaotic, budget breaking, stress for so many.
And I get it! Even though this is my most favorite time of year (there’s nothing else like it!), I get how easy it can be for the focus to shift off of what matters and what lasts to “the Tyranny of the Urgent.”
But ultimately it all boils down to our choices.
Our choice of how we “spend” our time, because we truly are “spending” our days, hours, minutes and seconds, it’s just a matter of where.
This beautiful Christmas season (and beyond) let’s slow down and make time and waste time a bit more…let’s say “no” a bit more to our phones and desktops and iPads and over-packed schedules that make for cluttered lives.
Let’s say “yes” more to things eternal, to our loved ones, to our kids’ invitations to just play and listen to them tell their exuberant stories, to serve “the least of these” alongside our family and friends and to freely give out of filled and thank-filled hearts as we ourselves have been lavished upon!
Let’s choose wisely, let’s be intentional, let’s soak up and create and give back and SEE the joy and magic swirling in the air.
This choice to listen, look and SEE and respond is ours for the taking,
friends. Let’s not be afraid to press the
“pause” button more. The results are worth it.
Sharnessa Sandén is from Longview, WA, where she resides with her Sweden native hubby, Sam, of 13 years, and their two full-of-life sons, Chase and
Weston. In addition to homeschooling their lads, she also teaches Hip-Hop classes at Fresh Attitude, is co-Congressional District Leader for the ONE Campaign with Sam, and heads up the missions department of their church, Fathers House, with Sam.
By Sharnessa Sandén Valley Bugler Columnist