Well it would be un-American to not have this month’s column be about anything else than THANKSGIVING!
I find it interesting to search my own heart this time of year. I often find ordinary things to be especially thankful for, blessings that get overlooked throughout the other 11 months of the year. I can be overheard saying during this season of my life the days are long but the years are so short. We are in the midst of such a busy season. But as I type that I feel my soul shrink and whisper, “Slow down.” I want to stop saying I am busy and instead share an experience I enjoyed during my ‘busyness.”
I have found that my generation really likes to brag about how busy we are. It’s almost like a badge of honor. And for the few of my friends/acquaintances that don’t have their kids signed up for multiple after school activities, there is a clear undercurrent of ‘oh you must be a selfish parent.’ Don’t get me wrong, I think every generation has been guilty of living through their children. The sports fields and gyms are filled with parents with a undiscovered, unrealized dream that begins to feel alive again with a glimmer of hope their child may realize that dream. But this generation, including myself, is so guilty of replying, “We are just so busy.” I simply want to respond back…”But are you enjoying the busy with a thankful heart?”
As we run from one activity to another and sport to sport, I want to pause and look in the rear view mirror as my child smiles. As we are scrambling to get to the next thing, I want to no longer say “HURRY UP!… or we are going to be late.” I want to look up to the sky and simply breath in the fresh autumn air. I want to celebrate the process and my kids’ abilities to even be able to participate. As I watch the kids play basketball in the gym, I am going to quiet my thoughts and think of all the Mama’s out there whose kids have graduated and left their home; the women who didn’t get an opportunity to be a Mama, or even those whose kiddos have no interest in activities outside of their devices.
For you see, it is not in the commitments or the being busy where we miss out on connections. That’s just our justification. Within that moment of chaos our opportunities exist to connect with each other, encourage one another and take our relationships to a new level. We can share stories of empathy; of not just walking through a similar season but actually surviving it and heck, we may actually admit to even enjoying the process. I look forward to reminiscing and admitting, “Man, I actually miss those days.
“??My hope for you this Thanksgiving season is for you to enjoy the crazy season you are in, no matter what that looks like. I hope the next time someone asks you how you are doing you don’t respond with a “so busy” but instead with a “let me tell you about a funny story of this crazy season.” We have personally enjoyed hearing each of your stories, the ones that are full of joy or sadness, the ones that are restful or stressful. For those stories are full of vulnerability – it’s the strings that hold us together as humans and create deep relationships. We may not be in a position to slow down, but each of us is in a position to be intentional.