Today I was able to spend time with my kids and grandkids. It always brings a smile to my heart. We started with pancakes at iHop and when my little granddaughter jumps on my lap, hugs me so tightly, and says, “I just love you, Gaga,” well, I melt. Even though the sugar packets are askew across the table, and I am wearing coffee creamer on my blue jeans, I am so enamored with the fact that I am even here. That I am even a grandma.
And I love watching my oldest son be a parent. Half the time I am thinking, “That’s what we call Karma, my son, karma!” Watching them maneuver through Joanne’s Craft Store is particularly enjoyable. They love that store. Their mom is an amazing crafter and they are very familiar with each and every aisle. Today, while their mom was returning things, I stole my granddaughter and we took off for the section with their little fairy houses. She loves all the tiny, little homes with swings and flowers, with fairies and gnomes hanging around. One day I want to make her something for her room, with all of them inside. She just gets the biggest eyes and finds such joy in these simple, little treasures. We discussed what fairies and gnomes we liked, which swings were the best, which cars and trucks they should drive. “But Gaga, you can’t make a strawberry a house!” And then we were off, discussing real and make-believe! What priceless moments.
After I got home from our journey, I began my Lenten study. I had forgone my quiet morning for breakfast with my grandchildren, a treasury of moments I would never trade! I can still feel my little granddaughter’s hug, and her hand in mine, as we gazed at all the goodies in that craft store. And my son, chasing his son, down the aisles. Precious moments I can still feel in my heart.
And today, I read, “God, you know my folly. My faults are not hidden from you…” (Psalm 69:6) I think about all the times we lie to ourselves and others. God sees. He knows our folly. Sometimes we lie to not hurt other’s feelings…little, “white” lies. But God knows those, as well. “Our God is a God who saves…” (Psalm 68:2) I read these verses in light of my children and grandchildren. Yesterday’s activity was to list 30 interesting things about me. And in a way, it became almost a wish list. I wished that we had enough land and a big enough house that we could all reside near one another – if not under the same roof, then on the same property; at the very least, in the same state! It is so hard not seeing your grandchildren grow up. We have a granddaughter we have not even met, yet. And it tears at my very soul. But the Lord, He knows my folly. He knows, also, my heart: “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all..” Psalm 139:2-4
We cannot always get what we want, but sometimes the longing helps us to appreciate and discern what is right there, in front of us. And even though I cannot hold all of my grand babies at once, or even weekly, I can appreciate that I now have 5 of them! I am so very, very blessed. What a legacy my husband and I have contributed to our world. We have three fine sons who are raising wonderful families. And I am very proud of them.
And I have learned that I have been substituting doing mindless things for precious time with my family and friends. This Lenten exercise and the things I chose to forgo so that I could grow, have opened my eyes. Strangely enough, a dear friend called me today and we caught up a little bit. Those moments are priceless and precious to me. I don’t need social media to feel that; to experience that. I touched my daughter-in-law today, on the arm, and explained to her that the here and now, the moments, are what I treasure. I apologized and explained that I needed a complete stop to realize I squander time. And there is a limited amount of it. Angry birds? How silly is that? Constantly checking my status or notifications? What a waste of my time.
We are becoming zombies to our electronics. And I am vowing to walk away. To not spend the time I have been spending, looking at my phone or checking on my laptop. Once a day is more than enough. Life is to be lived with those we treasure…not the things we have or hoard. People can be taken in a moment and you cannot get that lost time back. So even though I cannot see my babies, or my sons, I will endeavor to stay a part of their days. Even sending annoying texts if we cannot talk. But I will endeavor to weigh my time and guard it zealously. My days are numbered, and I am entering the twilight of my time here. God knows my folly..and thankfully He knows how to rectify my errors. Thanks be to God for Lent!