I had a 'God thing' happen to me yesterday. While I was editing my manuscript, I was going over a scene where one of my main characters is praying. He wants God to give him a 'word' for direction in his life. He closes his eyes, but can't hear any inner voice but his own. He then opens his eyes and sees the word 'Love.' His deceased first wife had once purchased a wall hanging that said 'Love is patient, love is kind' from 1 Corinthians, and it remained in the room as one of her favorite belongings.
John 15:12 states: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
Well, I worried-- not only is this extremely sentimental and sappy (but hey, that comes with the territory in our genre of inspirational family fiction!) but also that God wouldn't think this is a good portrayal of His communication to us. So on a whim, sitting in my living room, I'm like- "God? Would you do this for me, just like you did for this character in my story? What is my direction for my life? Can you give me a simple word or two in print when I'm glancing around for the next few minutes?"
So, I glance around my living room, and look for the first words I see in print. Well, the first big-print word I saw was 'Cadoo' which is a children's board game on my shelf, but right next to it on another game box was 'FAMILY.'
Then, the next shelf over, on a photo frame of us with my daughter at one of her high school hockey games, there it was again, in pretty cursive script:
I totally kid you not. And of course, there's pictures everywhere of my husband, two daughters, and son. In one of them, my husband is holding a giant moose antler with a big dorky grin on his face.
He wants me to invest in my family as a wife and mom. That means taking time to play board games (like Cadoo, Apples to Apples the Family Version, Uno, and Trouble) with my elementary school age son, have 'girl time' with each of my daughters who are now 19 and 17, and be the comfort at home for my stressed and overworked husband.
Yesterday, my husband was involved in an ice-water rescue dive. He helped recover a drowning victim from a frozen lake- and it isn't even his primary job. I can try my best to be that soft spot to land on when situations like this make him feel discouraged with the sadness of life. He is often 'burning the candle on both ends' and needs a loving wife to be his pillar of comfort.
God doesn't necessarily plan for me to be a great writer, or a perfect friend, or a perfect part-time employee. Or a 'perfect' wife or mom for that matter. But he wants me to be there and love my family, for the rest of my life.
I am 47 years old. One of my children is technically considered an 'adult,' (How'd that happen??) and one more is on her way. I still have several years left to raise my fourth-grader, my 'caboose' boy who loves Nerf Wars, hates the broccoli I try to sneak into his dinner, and tries to compete with me every night with how many cheek kisses we give each other!
In Proverbs 31:25, it says 'She can laugh at the days to come.' I really, really hope and pray I can do that! There is great joy in seeing my kids older now and developing their own unique identities.
I love seeing my college daughter's Instagram page, the way her friends and boyfriend love and value her for the sweet and hard-working young lady she is.
I love seeing my high-school daughter walking out the door, swinging her lanyard of keys and shouldering her book bag, her hair in a ponytail. She's getting into the car and she's driving herself to school!
I love the goofy conversations between my son and I while we are playing cards at the kitchen table, and his appreciation for my Beef Stroganoff hot dish.
I am also happy that God's direction for me is simple. It's simple, but it's not easy. I really love to withdraw into myself, my own thoughts, and solitary activities. I like to surf the Web and hang out on forums and blogs and social media too much. I have my headphones on with Netflix while my offspring is in the other room- doing the same exact thing. We hardly ever eat together as a whole family.
So I need to work on actively loving my family, and investing TIME with them more. It's no coincidence, I believe, that the word 'family' appears twice on the wall of my living room where my gaze so often falls.