Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In the Spirit

Living in the Spirit, and living without the Spirit are like living in constant day or night. It is so easy for us parents to let time pass on autopilot. Perhaps we are deeply afraid of failure? So we immerse ourselves, or maybe our kids, in constant distractions and we don't have to focus on the things that we're anxious about. TV, computer, video games,even worthy things like school work, good books, church responsibilities and activities, hobbies and social events can be distractions. These things are fine to do occasionally, some even regularly. Just be aware that if you're not paying attention, you may become distracted from the things that matter most. You may find yourself unknowingly spiraling downward spiritually, emotionally, and eventually, physically and mentally, if you do not stop and give attention to the present things that are of most importance. Your spiritual strength, your children's spiritual strength, your relationship with your spouse and children, relationships with all friends and family. But when you're living, breathing, and walking in the Spirit, you will your family's worthy activities will change from a distraction to an enrichment, and your success will be magnified, while the unworthy distractions will lose their strength of attraction.

Yesterday I spent all day going from one distraction to the next, when I decided to stop and feed my spirit. It was just about an hour before bedtime. My kids hadn't listened all day, I was discouraged, and I didn't feel like doing the laundry or other things I knew I should do. I guess I just had an off-day. But then, as my spirit was being nourished, I started to feel it. It was gradual; a slow warming, an opening of the eyes; a drink of cool water; a coming-home feeling. This occurred as I listened to a talk about finding happiness, and felt the spirit in the talk. I didn't hear all of it, but the spirit still entered the home.

I know because not only could I feel it, but my son came in and asked what I was listening to. He is only four, but he decided to listen too. He asked some questions, and suddenly, my efforts to communicate were not frustrating as they had been all day, it was easy! The words just rolled off my tongue effortlessly, because I wasn't thinking about what I was saying, I was letting the Spirit speak. My son could hear and understand, unlike earlier in the day, when he just tuned me out. Then my daughter came in. Same story. Several things I'd been trying to get through to her suddenly broke through without effort. The walls between us fell, and we were able to bask in the love and understanding we felt. My littlest one came in and it was the same experience for a third time. I'm sure many of you out there have had moments like this, when the Spirit bridges the gaps and you're amazed at how easy that was!

The truth is, it doesn't have to be a moment here or there that we have help from the Spirit. Living in the Spirit can be the norm. We can live so the off-moments are the rare ones, not the other way around. I have lived this way before, and I know I can live it again.

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