One of the messages of this past year for me has been to “slow down.” I can’t remember how it exactly started, but I believe it was a song:
Teach me to number my days
and count every moment before it slips away
take in all the colors before they fade to gray
I don’t want to miss even just a second more of this
It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash,
It happens in the time it took to look back,
I try to hold on tight, but there’s no stopping time,
What is it I’ve done with my life?
It happens in a blink.
Slow down, slow down, before today becomes our yesterday.
Slow down, slow down, before you turn around and it’s too late.
I remember the words “slow down” speaking so clearly to me. If I’d leave work and have something on my mind, I’d hear the song and realize I needed to let it go and focus on what was in front of me at home.
I was dropping my son off at his piano lessons one afternoon, and as I was walking across the street, I looked up at the store window that sells tea and such, and there in the window were the large words, “SLOW DOWN.” They weren’t there the next week; they were there though the day I needed to see them.
During our pastor’s sermon a week or two ago, I caught it when he clearly mentioned “Slow Down.” I remembered again the message this year that I had kept wanting to overlook. Because sometimes, slowing down means letting go of things we feel better at or things we enjoy doing in order to do the things that don’t come as easy (training children!). But it’s what my children need, and it’s what I need.
I don’t know that I’ve done a great job of assessing what it looks like for me to slow down, but as the year has gone on, it seems to be happening. This week has been our spring break, and I’ve enjoyed the days with my children, doing things we haven’t done together in quite some time, focusing on them, not just being physically present with them, but being there in the moment with them.
One thing I haven’t been able to get off my mind this week: a family we knew from our time in Virginia who were in our Sunday school class lost their son, a freshman at University of VA, in a tragic fall at the university Sunday night. They are now missionaries in Ireland, but the dad was in Charlottesville that weekend. He went to church with his son, they spent the afternoon together, went to dinner and a show with grandparents, and ended the evening around 10 when they dropped off the son at the dorms. His last words to his dad were, “I love you, dad.” Apparently, he went out then with some friends, and less than an hour and a half later, he was dead from a tragic fall. This same family lost another grandson in a drowning accident 2-3 years ago. I have been praying for them all week and trusting this is not in vain, that God knew the days ordained for this young man, and that He has good and perfect purposes. I am praying for their comfort, for his two brothers, for his precious parents and grandparents, that they are able to see even now some of the reasons and ways God is glorified in something that from man’s perspective is so harsh and tragic.
As my son played trick after trick on me today for April Fool’s Day (seems 12-year old boys especially enjoy things like short sheeting the bed, putting salt on toothbrushes, pretending to splash you with water, and such), I was reminded to just enjoy him and enjoy his joy in the fun.
I am excited about the days ahead and learning more what it means to “slow down” and finding the outcomes of what this means for our family.
I just finished this blog post and had to take my husband’s car to get a headlight replaced. As I walked to the porch to get my shoes, I found them with shaving cream in them! The jokes continue, and I try to remain glad!
On the way back home, we drove past this sign in a yard and it seemed timely: