Lately, there have been a lot of events in the periphery of my life that have caused me to stop and think. I have a friend whose niece was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Day. I have another friend whose home had an electrical fire. I know a family whose father lost his job just after Christmas. Not to mention my other friend who lost both her son and her husband almost a month ago. All these events combined to create an immediacy about my life. Every day is full of fleeting moments, and lately I’ve been feeling that I need to take greater advantage of these moments.
Maybe I’m a little shell shocked, but there is an amazing delicacy to life that can be gone in just a moment. I’m not trying to be pessimistic. I’m normally a very optimistic person. I think the lesson I’ve been learning is that each moment is precious and cannot be taken back. Today is the only day I really have to do anything with my children or husband.
This introspective train of thought has led me to ask some questions of myself. And in the spirit of the New Year, I thought I’d share some of the questions.
What have I done today to show my husband I love him? This question strikes at the heart of keeping a marriage strong. When both partners make it a priority to show their love for the other, then the marriage will be strong. It’s easy to take our partner for granted. “They’ll be there tomorrow,” we think. And we need to think this a little or we’ll start panicking if our partner is a few minutes late. But making it a priority to show our love to our partner everyday makes it so, in the event of the unthinkable, we know that our spouse knew how much we loved them.
What have I done today to show each of my children I love them? This question is all about creating strong, loving bonds with my children. This question is about savoring who they are right now and reveling in that moment, mile stone, or exploration. I find it is easy to wish away a childhood by thinking things like “I can’t wait until Child _________ is old enough to ________(insert milestone or action.)” The tricky part of this question is making sure each child knows they are loved every day. All five of my children understand love in a different manner. For example, my oldest understands love as both time spent together and as gifts. So, for her to feel loved by me, I need to spend time with her on a daily basis.
What have I done today to show God I love Him? My life is deeply rooted in my relationship with God. I know that I could not be the mom I am without the help and strength given to me by God. Daily, I supplicate Him for assistance – from praying to get the laundry finally caught up to praying to know how best to help a child. But, does that supplication show God I love Him? I think prayer does marvelous things, and that communication does amazing things for my soul. God loves to hear from us, but sometimes He needs us to do something to bless another of His children. So, making sure I am aware of what God wants me to do each day shows Him I love Him.
What have I done today to show myself that I love me? This questions strikes as the heart of being filled with love for everyone else. I cannot give away what I don’t have. I owe it to my family to take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s easy to listen to the messages that say I’m not good enough – but those messages of discouragement find less footholds when I know I have taken the time to care for myself that day.
So, while these four questions aren’t really New Year’s resolutions, they are my guiding principles for the coming year. They aren’t listed in any particular order. My New Year’s Resolution is to enjoy every fleeting moment I’m blessed to experience with my children, spouse, and other loved family and friends. Life is delicate. We are only given so much time – and it’s important to spend that time on ways that build up the people around us.