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Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!

"Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feelin’ groovy" are the lyrics from an old Paul Simon song. (I am definitely giving away my age) Although I won't be kicking down any cobblestones, the point of the song is to slow down your pace before life has passed you by and you have missed it. One positive outcome from the Covid Pandemic is that the world was forced to slow down. Life as we once knew it, drastically changed almost overnight. People were forced to stay at home as all activities were cancelled. I say positive because many families began to play games, eat meals, and have actual face to face conversations with each other.

When our girls were young our calendar was full and bursting at the seams. The calendar hung on the fridge with the dental appointments, doctor check-ups, basketball and track practice, piano and violin lessons. Then there was Bible Quizzing and Wednesday night youth group. Summers were almost busier than the school year, as the kids had camps for the various activities they were involved in. If someone became ill there just wasn't time to throw another appointment in the already full schedule. Although we prided ourselves with only allowing each of the three girls to take up one activity per season, we still found ourselves needing to divide and conquer in order for everyone to get to their appointment, lessons, or practices each day. Meals needed to be planned around the events, and sometimes bedtime prayers became shorter because of late night games. Family game night turned into the family going to the game.

When I reflect back on our life and family growing up, I loved our life and time with the children. It was a very rewarding time being a mom and raising three amazing daughters. Although we thought we were being vigilant about the amount of time being spent on outside activities, we could have pulled back a little more. The activities weren't bad in themselves. Baseball, ballet, soccer, swim team, 4-H, and band are just a few of the many clubs and sports children can enjoy and be a part of a team or group. All of these diversions can benefit kids by making friends, developing skills, learning teamwork and building self-esteem. The problem arises when we replace or minimize our family time or our moments with Jesus only to fill it with too many pastimes. In the big scheme of life it's not the activities we allow our children to be a part of, but rather how we spend time with our children. Psalm 133:1 "Look at how good and pleasing it is when families live together as one."

When I ponder on some of the time we spent traveling to games and practices , I would gladly trade some of it in for another gathering around our table playing a game of Monopoly, a few more times of watching the girls play "dress-up", or reading scripture and praying together in the evening before bed. Covid restrictions are being lifted and many activities are returning to full capacity. I would encourage you to ask yourself, "Did I learn anything from this forced time of staying at home?". I hope that families will continue to enjoy each other's company, play another round of corn hole, come to the table to eat together, and take time to thank Jesus for the blessings He has bestowed on us.

Matthew 14:23 "After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell and he was there alone." Jesus, himself demonstrated how important it was to spend time alone with God. Shut out the noise of the crowd, tv, or social media and just have a conversation with God. Plan devotions and pray with your whole family together. As Paul Simon wrote, " Slow down you move too fast" let us remember to use our precious moments and intentionally spend time with God, and pour into our families.

Prayer: God you are a good God. You bless us with children to raise up, and to show them who You are. Forgive us when we fall short, and make mistakes. Show us how to use our time. May we live together in unity as one. Amen

Bible Verse:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

* For more articles on this topic: The Myth of Balance with Jennie Allen- #madeforthispodcast

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