Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Focus by process of elimination

I'd been distracted.

Not so distracted that anybody had noticed.
Not so distracted that my faith decreased.
Not so distracted that I felt separate from the Lord.

Not hardly.

In fact, in many ways I feel like I had been growing - and in some ways I probably was.

But I was distracted enough to become careless.
I was distracted enough to lose my true zeal.
I was distracted enough to be rendered useless for a time.

It wasn't going to end - I wasn't going to let it. I loved those distractions. They shouldn't have been distractions, but that is what they became. My desire for them started pure but ended up as my idols. Satan used my desire for these good and pure things, to create something wordly and soiled - and I let him do it.

I claim ALL responsibility.

Those distractions are gone now. I wondered why for a time. But now I know and that brings me hope. And this is the only analogy I can use to explain it:

Every evening right around 8-8:30, Bailey has a fussy time. It's not her fault - there is so much going on around her. Aubrey and Gabby are running around finishing up their chores, finishing homework, getting books read to them, brushing their teeth, goofing off, etc. All the lights in the house seems to be on. The phone rings. Dishes are being washed.

And she's tired. I hold her - but the distractions are enticing and she longs to pull away from me. She is keenly aware of the fun sounds coming from her sisters. The lights in the house invite her to learn more from her environment.

But she needs to sleep and I know it.

Are all of these things bad in and of themselves?  Hardly. In fact, they are some of my favorite times in our home. The moments when we are all at home and life is happening. Things are being accomplished and enjoyed.

But they are distractions that pull Bailey away from what she needs at that moment. She needs the distractions to go away. She needs to drift asleep resting in my arms feeling safe and loved.

She chooses to pay more attention to the all that is going on around her. After all, wasn't it a few moments ago that she was laughing and playing with her sisters? Wasn't it just within an hour that we were eating off those dishes with her at our side - enjoying the cheerful sounds around our loud table?

Yes, but now she needs quiet.

As her mommy, I know that she needs to move closer to me and just focus on her time in my arms. She fights it. She pulls away and fights the gentle yet strong tug of my arms drawing her closer to my heart.

It becomes apparent that the distractions are keeping her from focusing on me. So, I remove the distractions one by one. The older girls are put to bed, the phone ringer is turned off, the dishes are put down and the lights in the house are turned low.

It takes her a moment to realize that the distractions are gone. She's so used to them that she still cries - and doesn't understand what to do next. Though she continues to fight, I continue to draw her closer to me. I sing to her softly and speak words of love that I hope somehow make their way into her little heart. I gaze into her eyes hoping that her eyes will lock with mine in a sweet recognition. I rock her gently in my arms pleading silently for her to be at peace in my arms - to realize that at that moment, being close to me is all that she needs.

And slowly, but surely she does. I feel her body relax and there is a moment that she realizes it's time for peace and quiet. It's time to simply enjoy her time in my arms. And there is peace.

Recently, the Lord removed some distractions from my life that apparently I just wasn't ready for yet. He took away the noise. He took away the glittery things that had turned my eyes from gazing into His. He took away things that are wonderful on their own, but for my wandering heart, they were just too much at the time.

I feel myself start to relax and there are moments that I have realized it's time for some peace and quiet. It's time to simply enjoy my time in His arms. Through all this, He is pulling me closer to him, singing to me softly and speaking words of love straight to my heart. He is gazing at me waiting for my eyes to turn towards His in sweet recognition. He has been pleading for me to be at peace in his arms - and to realize that always - at every moment - He is all that I need.