The truth is, getting what you know in your head that short 12 inches to your heart, can feel like running a marathon. I suppose it is. (Hebrews 12) I mean, life IS a marathon, right? A series of small choices that give you your end result? All those little things seem insignificant, but they add up. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, yada yada yada. But there's a balance (isn't there always?) that one wrong choice, or a thousand wrong choices, doesn't mean you can't make a good one right after and change your direction.
Am I doing what's important to me? Are my children seeing me LIVE what's important to me? Sure, the laundry has to be done, people have to eat, bathrooms have to be cleaned, but am I falling short in what MATTERS, to keep up all those things to perfection? I do teach my children that Daddy leaving for work is because he loves them and so he can provide, and I'm showing them love by cooking, or washing, or cleaning. I want them to know that. We structure our house to intentionally NOT revolve around the children's entertainment. That's our desire, that's what works for us. However, I've been questioning whether I make those things too big a priority in my life over the desires God has placed in me. I make sure I get library books on things the kids are intrigued by this month, and I say that I want them to feel free to follow their hearts' desires and not fit some mold of expectation set out by us. But what do I do? Do they see me do things that bring me joy? Or do I show them by my actions that all the daily stuff that never goes away no matter how many times I do it, is actually more important?
I've been re-listening to John Eldredge's series on Desire again. It's FREE, right here. If you've never read or listened to anything of his before, DO IT! Seriously. I love the way he teaches and thinks. It has helped free me of so many unbiblical theologies I thought were, in fact, biblical. So I've been challenged anew to not set aside the things that make me come alive - that which God has put in my heart that make me ME. That's what I would tell my kids - it's important. Don't waste all your time on things that will always be there. If you wait until all of that is done before you allow yourself the "luxury" of giving time to that, you never will. Really. Ever. I have been totally slapped in the face with that reality right now. I WANT my kids to grow up with lots of exposure to music and worship. How am I doing that? By waiting to play piano and sing after I finish (insert everything that would make my home suitable for Southern Living)? You know why? Because I feel guilty. It feels like an indulgence. Because I enjoy it? Who says something's worthwhile because it's hard or difficult? Obviously, there are things in life you have to fight for and through, but God gives us plenty of things just. for. joy. If I don't make a single step every day to bring music into their lives, they won't. If they don't see me reading (insert chore guilt) just because I enjoy it, they won't. If they don't see me slow down, breath deeply of nature and enjoy how frivolous and wasteful the creation we live in is, THEY WON'T.
I want my kids to stop and see the wonder He has spread before us. I want my kids to delight in things God has put in their hearts. That means burning away the chaff. Getting rid of what looks good and making time for what IS good. That may not look the same for all of us. Ha. I know it won't, because we're all different. All our families are different. Each of my children are different. All of them may become musicians. None of them may. It doesn't matter. What matters is they learn to be after God's heart, which is after theirs. The things they love, and make them feel alive, are things that point them towards the heart of God, because they are made in His image.
Just as C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, there is an enemy after our souls, my children's souls, even now, and he will do anything to distract them from that which leads them to God. Luke 10:38-42 "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”