A week and a half ago, my friend lost her life in a horrific car wreck that claimed her toddler as well. Her husband and their other children were badly hurt, but they survived after a harrowing touch and go hospitalization. I saw a picture of the kids today. They were smiling and playing with toys. These precious children who are recovering without the comfort of their mother found a reason to smile. It hit me so hard. My heartfelt thought upon seeing the photo was that children are sacred beings who are closest to the innocence that makes us the most human. I want to wrap my friend’s children up in a bubble and never let them experience pain again, but then they could never heal. Without coming to terms with what’s happened, they would never be able to process all the things they must tackle in time. And, healing doesn’t happen in the absence of discomfort.
If death has ever touched your life and made you more aware of your own mortality, you’ll understand why this tragedy laid bare my human frailty and vulnerability. It compelled me to look at what’s important in my life. And what’s not. The little frustrations. Rushing to appointments. Getting down on myself for not keeping up with my own expectations. Fussing at my kids for being kids. Barking at my husband for relaxing while I’m compulsively trying to accomplish an endless list of tasks. Even the work I put into this blog.
I realized that I hadn’t yet decided what this blog would be. In fits and starts, I would spend a little money to advertise certain posts and think up all manner of gimmicks to increase readership. Not because I was seeking fame, but because my mission has always been to help parents treat their kids more respectfully and, therefore, to help kids. However, life tapped the brakes on me this year and I had to scale back. I look at other moms doing amazing things (shout out to Kaylene George over at Autistic Mama) and I want to do so much more. But, that is not where my journey is right now. I’m grateful for all the people who have subscribed to the blog and who follow me on Facebook. I post for y’all! I post for your kids. And, I post for my kids. I’ll keep going as long as you’re willing to listen.
It’s been over a year since I started this blog and I’m only just now figuring out what I’m doing here. I think back to so many other points in my life where I asked the same question, because I realize that whatever I was doing wasn’t working for me. And, I have to apply that same question to my personal life today. Why have I been pressuring myself to do everything and be everything? Why have I been frustrated with my kids and barking at my husband? What’s going on? Would any of it matter at all if I knew I wouldn’t be here tomorrow? Absolutely not.
I’ve got some thinking and praying to do. I’m also going to make a point to stop every now and then to ask what am I doing here? I will make a commitment to all of you as well. On a quarterly basis, I’m going to pose this question to you. Maybe, together, we can step outside of the rush of life and take inventory of the things that are affecting us. We can decide what needs to go and what we should keep in service of a life lived intentionally. Are you with me?