This past weekend I was given a beautiful gift. No, it wasn’t in a perfectly wrapped box with an exquisite bow adorning the top. It was better. It was the gift of time. My husband and son went on a very special boys’ trip, leaving my daughter and I with a weekend alone.
Instead of over-planning and trying to cross multiple items off my always too long to-do list, I picked the 1 or 2 critical must-dos (laundry, grocery shop) and let the rest go. I left the choices regarding food to Abby. We would eat one dinner out and one at home – but the food was up to her. She made great choices that we both enjoyed.
We spent an entire day together – making a list of places we wanted to go (we like to shop!) and went on our way. It was not so much about looking at things or trying on clothes as it was about just to two of us being alone, enjoying each other’s company. We laughed a lot. My daughter is a riot. She has the gift of an amazing sense of humor and one of the sweetest sounding laughs I’ve ever heard. Our day was a lot of fun. We finished with Chinese food at home and some “home spa” pampering – mini-pedicures and facials. We snuggled in for a slumber party and thanked God for our special time.
As wonderful as that 36-hour stretch with Abby was, the bigger blessing came on Saturday morning. I woke up before her and let her sleep in – closing the door to my room where had stayed with me Friday night. I grabbed my Bible, journal, a great devotional book titled “Jesus Calling” and my first cup of coffee of the day. Settling in on the couch, I prayed and opened the devotional. I had a couple days to catch up on so I was quite surprised when the first reading was clearly about pausing and just taking time to be in His presence. It was the perfect place to start quiet time.
I enjoyed a long, joyful devotional period that morning. The Scripture references sent me to lots of different places and gave me great reassurance of His love and a peaceful focus on Him. It was the spiritual exercise I had needed for days.
The gift of last weekend – both the time with the Lord and with Abby – was a lovely reminder of priorities. When my relationship with the Lord, or my dedication to my family begins to slip lower on the list, I am the one who suffers. I am grateful for that reminder. It’s often too easy to start the day thinking about everything I think I “need to do.” By giving God that first part of the day – however much time that is – He helps prioritize my thinking and somehow (wink, smile) I end up having a much, much better day.