Love the Ones You’re With

I’m still trying to give the gift of me for Christmas. But it’s hard sometimes. Here’s a confession I wrote in one of my devotions for the P31 book that I could’ve re-written this week:

“The other night oue family was all snuggled on the couch watching a movie. We were spending quality time together but then I got distracted. I was still there physically but I started returning phone calls and emails mentally. I glanced at the clock to see how many hours before the kids went to bed and noticed the silhouette of my son’s face. He looked so grown up. How quickly ten years had passed! I thought. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he’d be counting down the hours until I go to bed, so he can instant message his friends. Suddenly, I recognized the gift of being with the ones I love while they’re still with me.”

Why can’t I be like Jesus? He knew His time on earth was limited and tasks weren’t that important. My time with my kids at home and this season of life with my husband is passing. But unlike Jesus, I am a type A, get-it-done kind of girl. Just being isn’t natural for me.

My only hope is to take my desire and struggles to Jesus daily and ask for His help. He wired me this way, so He’s the only One who can make me more like Him.

I love knowing that God understands how easily I get tangled up in my to-do list and through sweet reminders like my son’s silhouette, He helps me see my family as my greatest treasure. He reminds me that my time with them is my most important investment.

But sometimes my high-octane-brain still gets distracted so there are a few things I do to help me stay focused on them when I’m with them: I look into their faces and remember what they used to look like, This helps me grasp how quickly time flies. I think back to what life was like without them. This makes me thankful God gave them to me. I imagine the day they won’t be with me, the day they live in another place with their own family. This makes me want to cry! But then I freeze-frame that moment so it lasts longer!!!

Okay friend, let’s make a pact today to slow down and really be with the ones we love – and love the ones we’re with – while they’re still with us.

And, if you’re visiting from the P31 devotion, welcome to my blog!! I am so glad you stopped by. Click here to read today’s post.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I love that song “Love the one you’re with” although I’m not sure that was the meaning of the song! But I do try to love the kids when I’m with them- the only problem is I have a teenage son who would rather me not be so “noticing” of him! So I focus instead on lots of snuggling with my daughter, while sending a look of love in my son’s direction!

  2. I do my best to live in the “moment”. Sure we all get side track every once in awhile. My daughter is 12yrs old and soon to be a teen and I know how important this time is “now”.
    Debra
    Dzantman@yahoo.com

  3. WOW I am so busted! Being still is soo hard for me. Thank you so much for the challenge to enjoy those precious moments with my family and my heavenly Father!

  4. LAUREN at Faith Fuel- says:

    I love that song “Love the one you’re with” although I’m not sure that was the meaning of the song! But I do try to love the kids when I’m with them- the only problem is I have a teenage son who would rather me not be so “noticing” of him! So I focus instead on lots of snuggling with my daughter, while sending a look of love in my son’s direction!

  5. Debra Zantman says:

    I do my best to live in the “moment”. Sure we all get side track every once in awhile. My daughter is 12yrs old and soon to be a teen and I know how important this time is “now”.
    Debra
    Dzantman@yahoo.com

  6. randomramblings says:

    Renee,

    Your post and the devotion sent out today really hit home with me. I’ve been struggling with a lot this season–schedules, financial worries, job changes, travel, etc. I have allowed all of these things to rob my time with my precious family. What you’ve written today was just what I needed to read!!!

    Thanks so much!

  7. My children are grown and gone now…how quickly that time passed! It can be so difficult to stay in the moment…my mind wants to jump on to the next task at hand 🙂 But, really…the moment is all we have. Thanks for reminding me again in this busy holiday season that it is best to take a deep breath, slow down, and enjoy the important stuff…our family and loved ones …and to take time each day with our Heavenly Father. Have a Blessed Christmas!
    Becky

  8. I would say that staying in the moment is one of the hardest things that I personally struggle with. I can be in one place (with my husband, my son, friends, or even just reading or in prayer) and I totally go somewhere else. Either to my to-do list, look around and think what else I could or should be doing. I feel an immense amount of guilt, but I am not really sure how to just relax and enjoy each thing, person, event, and day. I continually pray that I will overcome this and be able to just “live in the moment.”

  9. Kimmiejane says:

    Guilty, guilty, guilty!! How many times does my husband have to ask me to, “come and sit for awhile and un-wind”, while I’m going from one task to another? My prayer is that I really take time to STOP and put all that energy into just…being…still…..

  10. I do find it hard at times to just be still and enjoy my family. I am a Martha I guess, got things to do and feel a need to get them done perfectly at times. I do tend to relax and just enjoy my family, I need to really work hard at that and I know with God’s help, I will. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Renee,

    Your post and the devotion sent out today really hit home with me. I’ve been struggling with a lot this season–schedules, financial worries, job changes, travel, etc. I have allowed all of these things to rob my time with my precious family. What you’ve written today was just what I needed to read!!!

    Thanks so much!

  12. Thanks so much! I thought I was the only mom in the world with this issue.
    I was diagnosed with a pretty bad case of ADD after my daughter was born. Suddenly things started to make sense. I can’t even read through a magazine in one sitting…..it usually takes me about a week. I pray for ADD daily and for God to make me a here and now person rather than trying to play catch up with my mind and my to do list. I realized how controlling this can be when I sit with my kids and can’t “be” with them mentally. I long for the moment that I just soak in every moment with my family so that I can unlock those treasured memories when my kids are grown.

    Thank you again! Through CHrist we can be here and now moms.

  13. Sometimes being in the moment with our kids means getting out of the house and away from computers,phones(turn cell phone off) piles of laundry,dishes,monthly newsletters and piles go on and on. What we like to do is take games Phase 10 and Set stop by our local Starbucks and play while sipping on warm drinks. It gives us a chance to breathe, talk and enjoy one another’s company. Unfortunately our busy schedules don’t allow us to do it very often.
    Darla

  14. MrsProverbs31 says:

    Renee, Your devotion today filled my heart with amazement and joy. I am so lifted by your spruce pine. Praise God for the gift he has given you.

    Anyway, as I am learning and developing those noble characters, I have learned that just enjoying the moment has got to be the hardest for me to accept. God has totally humbled me this week. I am in awe of His goodness.
    Shoua

  15. Just wanted to leave my email.
    Darla.Leatherman@uscm.org I forgot on earlier comment.

  16. Lelia Chealey says:

    Hello!
    I’m so excited that I won one of your giveaways!! God is so good! I’ve needed to get a new devotional. Thanks so much for blessing me.
    I too loved your mom’s stockings that she made. Can I put my order in? 😉 How beautiful & what a treasure. On my dresser in my bedroom I have a framed cross-stitching from my Great Aunt Myla that is of our names & wedding date. I love things straight from the heart-the things you can’t buy off the shelf.
    Have a blessed Christmas Reneee-your home is beautiful & I wish I could perch myself at your kitchen bar & just chat~you seem amazing. Something about Sisters in Christ! 🙂 Thanks for all of the wonderful devotionals too.
    In Him,
    Lelia Chealey

  17. My oldest son graduated from college in May, and my younger son got married in June, so I have had two children to leave the nest permanently this year. As a special Christmas gift, I am making each of them a photo scrapbook of our family history. While copying the pictures, I could hardly see for the tears in my eyes. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that these momentous events occurred: when Timothy held his little brother for the first time, when Timothy and Kevin met their baby sister, Brianna, when we went through the adoption hearing and added three more wonderful little girls to the family? I know that I missed much in busy moments. But I am so thankful that I took time to live in the moment with my children, not just in the photographed events, but in the daily routine–cleaning spaghetti off of little faces, building snowmen, drawing on the driveway with chalk, walking in the woods, snuggling in a chair and reading them a story, listening to their fears and hopes. The time I invested in them is paying off now with close relationships even though my sons live out on their own.

  18. GrammaGrits says:

    As a grandma, I’m beginning to learn to live in the present. It is a hard thing, no matter what age, but each day is such a gift to enjoy and be useful in God’s Kingdom. God bless!

  19. Relaxing can definitely be a challenge for me. My 4-year-old helps motivate me to enjoy the moment. The more she says, “I can do it myself,” the more I realize how fast she is growing up. I have to make a conscience effort not to get distracted by daily tasks. I do find, like you, God gives me the reminder that I need to focus on what is most important when I am getting distracted. Merry Christmas! Michelle A.

  20. Thanks for all you do. Your pictures of your home were beautiful.

  21. Thank you for the devotion today and your blog. I am so glad that I signed up to receive the Proverbs 31 devotions just last week. God knew what He was doing because I would have missed His encouragement through your devotion and blog today. We all need to hear the words you have spoken and remember that He does chose us over and over, no matter what we do. I am Type A myself and God has been speaking so many things this season into my heart about loving those He has given me while I have them. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such an awesome ministry! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  22. This really hits home today. During our Christmas break from school and the normal stuff of life I find that I have a lot of time to just be with and enjoy my family. I love it! Yet, I know that the usual routine is waiting around the corner and just this morning I was asking the Lord to help me not to get so caught up in life’s agenda. I want to look my family in the eye with undivided attention throughout the year, not just when we celebrate holidays. Maybe that will be one of my goals for 2008!

  23. I am a single mom with two grown boys. the oldest is 23 and the youngest is 21. they have both moved out of our home into their own homes. I too am a type A personality and I missed some precious moments while they were growing up (I was not saved at the time). But God has done a great work in my heart and instead of focusing on lost time, I can enjoy the time we have now. when they come to visit, I am fully present to them. as one woman said – I look at their face while they are talking to me. they know I am there with them in the moment. It is such a gift! thanks for Proverbs 31 ministry – it reminds me daily of what’s really important. God bless!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your devotional. This exact issue has been pressing on my heart alot lately. Why is it so hard to just “STOP?” I was hard wired the same way you are and i remember my mom being the same way. I always wished my mom would take more time to listen to me, really listen. I fear that “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree” and that I am following in her footsteps. She was and still is, a wonderful mom, but I remember those moments when she was reading or working around the house and I’d come to her with something and she just kept on working or reading!! We laugh about it now, but at the time, as a child, it hurt.
    Now that I’m a mom, I pray that God convicts me of this when I’m guilty of it. I pray for perspective everyday. Every rough season of motherhood will pass and soon my son will be grown and gone. Although he’s only two now, and more like a monkey than a boy, he’s is precious.
    Lord, Help me to slow down and just BE there!!

    Thanks Renee,
    Deb DesCarpentrie
    grantandeb@verizon.net

  25. Bless you. Thank you for this message today. I’ve never seen time with loved ones from this perspective. Today I make concious effort to really spend TIME-that is give my undivided attention to my family.After all that is the true meaning of QUALITY TIME.
    Shalom

  26. Bless you. Thank you for this message today. I’ve never seen time with loved ones from this perspective. Today I make concious effort to really spend TIME-that is give my undivided attention to my family.After all that is the true meaning of QUALITY TIME.
    Shalom

  27. Bless you. Thank you for this message today. I’ve never seen time with loved ones from this perspective. Today I make concious effort to really spend TIME-that is give my undivided attention to my family.After all that is the true meaning of QUALITY TIME.
    Shalom

  28. You are concerned that your children are growing and they will be gone, but if you invest your time with them and truly enjoy their company they will know it. I have a 20 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter. I love spending time with them and now their friends as well. My door is always open to them, and friends and this has brought me thru a very difficult year, as they have been there for me as well. You get what you give! Invest your time well.

  29. You are concerned that your children are growing and they will be gone, but if you invest your time with them and truly enjoy their company they will know it. I have a 20 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter. I love spending time with them and now their friends as well. My door is always open to them, and friends and this has brought me thru a very difficult year, as they have been there for me as well. You get what you give! Invest your time well.

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