Dear friends, I am so happy for you to meet Heather. I’ve known her for awhile now but over the past few months, we’re getting to know one another even better. I am so often blessed by what she shares on her blog: Musings on the Move
This weekend I was traveling, and taking a ton of photos. I do that a lot these days, take photos. But this weekend I noticed something – my favorite type of photo to take is a close-up, a precisely focused image, something composed and clutter free.
Sounds nice, right? It did to me, until I started thinking about it. What does this mean about who I am? About my personality, my life? Why am I afraid to look at the big picture sometimes? Why do I choose to see everything as isolated moments rather than in the proper context?
I pondered. I reflected. I talked to my husband.
I kept wanting to put a positive spin on things: “It just means I don’t like clutter….the surroundings distract. I like order. I like calm. I like focus; focus is good. I like beauty, that’s not a bad thing. I don’t like clutter and distractions; that’s a good thing, too, right?”
He hesitated. He waited. He didn’t jump in and agree right away. He gave me time to offer the other view….
“….or you think it means I need to stop being so nit-picky? Stop looking at the little things and remember the big picture? You know, sometimes with the boys….I get a little (or a lot) frustrated by the little things they do, and I forget to remember that over all, in the grand scheme of things, they are really good kids…..”
Yea, this time he nodded in agreement. I wasn’t thrilled. But he was right. I need to shift my focus.
I need to learn to look at the whole person when I look at my child; to look at the whole situation not the one frustrating event.
That’s so hard for me. I spent a while trying to justify this – I’m training them up; it’s my job to teach them, to correct them when their behavior is less than ideal.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” –Proverbs 22:6
Right? Well, it is. That’s true. It’s also my job to focus on the good I see in my children, not the bad.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” –Philippians 4:8
And it is my job to “…spur (them) on to love and good works…” Hebrews 10:24
…to remember as I correct that I am speaking to a lovingly created human being, a boy becoming a man
These frustrating behaviors are only a bit of who they are, a bit of the sin nature we all have.
I need to focus on the fact that they are most likely copying that which they see in me – if I model for them things which are praiseworthy, they will in turn model the same, and this vicious cycle will one day see its end.
I need to remember that focusing on those things which are good applies not just to the culture around me, but to the family around me and the people I encounter. To think on the good in them, not the bad. To see in them the image of my Father, for he tells me it is there in each of us. To see the big picture, and take the details in context for a change.
I know my boys will thank me for it, and my home be a more pleasant place when I do.
Father, help me to see my boys as you do, to love them with my words, actions and tone of voice. Help me to see the big picture and not focus on the little things all the time, especially when it comes to my boys. I can only do this through your strength. Amen.
I asked Heather to give me an example of a photo she’d taken. Isn’t this beautiful?
She said the bigger picture was that the entire roadway was lined with these flowers making a blanket of beautiful color!
Thank you Lord for Heather’s insights. Thank you for her heart to share. Pour out your blessings on her today. Give her safety on her trip and time to ponder the bigger picture. Draw her ever nearer to You Jesus…as she and her husband seek you in raising their little men to become mighty men of God! In Your Holy name, AMEN