When I have the privilege to drive my kiddos to or from school I am always struck noticing the same mom each time. Sometimes she is hurriedly walking her kids to class and other times she is leisurely strolling to her car with kids in tow after school. No matter the time of day, there is always a constant. Her face is dressed with discontent. Every. Single. Time. The interactions with her children are peppered with angry scowls as if her life has been rudely interrupted. I don't know much about this family but I have spoken to her outside of school when her children are not present and she is a bit softer...but it is obvious there is no zest or love for life present. Perhaps life is hard. Maybe her children do rudely interrupt. She could be suffering depression. All I know, every time I see her, is that I DON'T WANT TO PORTRAY THAT IN MY OWN LIFE. She serves as a reminder to me to slow down, enjoy the small moments that are given me, count my blessings and walk in joy. I admit that I often take life seriously. Probably too seriously. I want things done right, on time and in order. But my aim is to do this lightheartedly and with grace. When my children look back on their childhood I hope that it's filled with smiles, warm memories, and laughter amidst the things I've taught them.
Life really is such a gift. We only get one. So let's do it right, make it count. Let's live it up. Let's enjoy all it has to offer. Learn to laugh at our mistakes. Find the silly in our days. Dance in the rain. Have food fights. Be late every once in a while because we stopped to smell the roses or discover something new. Let's be spontaneous and a bit off key. When I interact with my children I want there to be a spark in my eyes, glimmers of love and affection and unending JOY. It's a challenge for me - to lighten up - but for the sake of the way I want my children to view this world, it's one I must conquer.
Today I will commit to SMILING MORE. How about you?
PS I am also committing to praying regularly for this woman...that she might rediscover the joy of life and the blessing found in her children.