Choosing What's Greater: Frame of Reference

an excerpt from Niki Shirkman's Blog

Choosing What's Greater

I pray often (because I forget often) for God to help me fix my eyes on what is above and not on things below. 

We go about our daily lives as though it'll continue on this way forever. That the people we interact with will always be there, that the important things can wait until tomorrow, that we'll pay more attention to our kids once we've finished our to-do list. 

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In this new season of being a mom, I have prayed repeatedly for God to help me be present–to savor and enjoy every moment, even the seemingly mundane. To soak up these precious times with my little girl as she's growing bigger by the day. And in so many ways I feel he has answered those prayers. 

Lately in the afternoon, our little girl has been wanting to cuddle to nap. I love this. But some days I prioritize my to-do list over her (and I recognize at some point they will need to be completed).

Last week as I'd lay her down in her crib for nap time and she'd (sometimes) start to cry, I'd think to myself, "tomorrow I'll snuggle with her during this nap."

Well, tomorrow turned into days, and into the end of the week. 

This time as I held her, about to lay her in her crib, and replayed the same excuse in my head, I stopped. I looked at this little peanut who immediately relaxes and is comforted in my arms, with her face snuggled into my neck, and I realized – these moments will go faster than I want them to. 

One day she won't nap as often (or at all). One day she'll be walking around on her own and not need me to hold her all the time. One day she'll be helping me with those chores around the house. 

So I held her, laid down on our bed and covered us with a blanket and I watched her little body rise and fall with each breath, savoring her sweet smell and little body cozied up with me. And I knew I had chosen the greater "task." 

My to-do list will always be there. But these moments won't be. I am not promised tomorrow, nor are the people in my life. So I'll strive with all my might to cherish these moments, the relationships in my life and not complain the days away, or be filled with a nagging sense of what's not getting done.

Balance is seemingly elusive in life–being intentional with my time and working faithfully; staying on top of tasks but choosing to prioritize people. Modeling faithfulness in work for my child, but slowing down, savoring the present and just being available to my husband and daughter, and the people God has placed in my life. 

I have a pretty certain hunch that when I look back on these days I won't remember the dusty shelves or dirty dishes. But I will remember the relationships in my life, and most certainly, the people in my life will remember how I treated and prioritized them.

 

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