Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shout it from the rooftops

That's what I could have done this evening when Meskerem said, "I love you Mom. With my whole heart. Well, with half my heart." She gave me a hug and bounced off to bed. She came out a minute later to tell me that one quarter of her heart was for her father, another quarter was for her birth mom, and, since I wasn't married, I got the other half.
Now you may wonder why I want to shout from the rooftop. I cannot remember the last time I heard her say anything close to "I love you." Every night I tell her that I love her and the response has been nothing more than "uh-huh." She never says anything about not living me, but she is not careless with words of affection.
You may know that you are doing the right thing day in and day out and still wonder if it will ever bear fruit. I'm here to tell you that it will and never when you would expect it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Margin

A Minute of Margin: Restoring Balance to Busy Lives ~ 180 Daily Reflections

I currently don't have enough margin in my life to read all of Dr. Swenson's book Margin; so I am reading the above book on my Kindle. I got to hear Dr. Swenson speak at a CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) retreat several years ago. I wish I had put more into practice at that time. If I had, maybe I wouldn't feel so tired and burned out right now. Each small reflection in this book talks about how to increase the margin in your life: financial, emotional, spiritual, etc. He asserts that our world is all about "more and more, faster and faster." I don't know anyone who would disagree with that.
After the reflections I read tonight, I need to make more changes. I need to be more deliberate in disconnecting from work and more intentional about connecting to my family.
One change that I made recently was to "give up" online shopping for Lent. That has helped my financial margin, but I need to go further. I need to break my addiction to technology. I think the worst thing I ever did for myself was get a smart phone. As I was reading this evening, I decided that as long as I am home, the cell phone needs to turn off at 7 PM. Everyone who needs to find me at night has my home number. I need to get that cell phone out of my hands and give a better example to my kids. How can I expect them to know how to handle technology, if I can't stop fiddling with my phone?
I know none of this is new to any of you. It isn't new to me, but God seemed to be telling me that if I know it, I need to do it. As if He is looking down on me saying, "You give such good advice to your patients and their parents about talking and reading and minimizing technology. How about you take some of it too?"
So with that, I am going to sign off of the computer, turn off my phone, and go back to reading a book. It might take me an extra day to respond to an email or check in on Facebook, but true emergencies rarely happen there.
Do yourself a favor, make enough margin in your life to see your loved ones without a screen in between. And if there is more time after that, pick up one of Dr. Swenson's books.