Look Up

Time more than flies. It tramples. What’s that old saying??? Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters…I’m not an expert on lessons of life, but this week has given me some perspective on how truly valuable time is.

Today is our last day of vacation, and before we left I decided I wanted to completely unplug for the week.

No phones, no smart devices. I read an article recently about how we are seeing all kinds of legit negative implications as a result of smart devices as more time passes and more studies are done: relationship failures, loss of empathy, sleep disturbances, car fatalities, underdeveloped social skills. The list goes on….It almost seems easier to list the things they don’t mess up, than the things they do. But this isn’t why I decided to unplug.

This is our first family vacation in two years. And I wanted to be super intentional and present with our family time. I gotta admit, I honestly didn’t anticipate how freeing not having my phone would feel.

I think we can all attest to the fact that it’s far too easy to get sucked into our phones. I don’t think I fully realized the extent of how easy until this week. I think I’ll just open up facebook and see what’s going on for a minute.…Forty-five minutes later (or longer…sometimes much longer) you finally look up and have no clue where the time went. It’s gone in a blink.

Our baby girls first look at the ocean.

Time seems to run quickly when you have children. It streaks by at warp speed. Six months turns into six years. Time turns our babies into big kids. If this phone free week has taught me anything, it’s that our children NEED to spend meaningful time with us. They need to see who we are and how we live our lives. How can we effectively accomplish this if our heads are buried in a phone?

We’ve made SO many special memories this week. I’ve had my eyes up and open, joyfully taking notice of ALL the tiny little details I might have otherwise missed had I been mindlessly scrolling. I’ve watched my kids laugh, chase birds, chase each other, giggle with their cousins, capture crabs in the dark, and watch movies under the stars. And I can’t remember the last time Jess and I have laughed so hard.

This week has given me an opportunity to observe and concede to how quickly the baby stage is fleeting with our girls. I can feel it slipping away more and more by the day. Seems like each morning they wake up a little more toddler, and a little less baby. And I don’t wanna miss it. ANY of it.

A short 23 remaining week days of spending the girls nap time with Harley. Then he’s off to kindergarten and those cherished one on ones will be fewer and much further between. More precious and rare. One more year at home with my Hazie girl and she’ll be right behind Harley and onto kindergarten as well. A year may sound like a long time, but it’s really not.

This phase of life…though it’s challenging. It’s invaluable. Here today, and gone tomorrow. Mamas with littles, in a world where so many people are constantly staring down at their phones…

Let’s look up.

Look up and soak in all the fragments of time with your family. Study those baby cheeks, their little eye lashes. Delight in watching them try something new, or labor at mastering a skill. Squeeze that little body tight with both hands and arms. Memorize their smiles and small features.

Look up.

Be present with your family rather than physically there, but head down and mentally checked out. Our phones aren’t going anywhere. They’ll still be sitting right where we left them, in the exact same spot after our kids are in bed. Unchanged and unmoved. But our babies are growing every day. They’ll never be as young or as little as they are today again. RIGHT NOW. The thought takes my breath a little.

I know this is the world we live in…but this week induced some major nostalgia for the days when everyone didn’t feel so attached to their phones (myself included). We don’t have to be. We can choose to look up.

I’ll never learn how to slow down time. None of us will. I try to imagine my parenthood clock wound forward to a time when my four children have grown up and moved away. I picture their messy bedrooms clean and empty. Their playroom converted into another living space. The back seat of my car clean of crumbs and empty of car seats. Laundry under control. Kitchen clean. Dust collecting on their old books and toys. That mental picture allows me to see the present days for what they really are: the best days of my life.

When we’re always looking down, we are missing SO many treasured moments. Ones we maybe don’t even realize. I’m super thankful for this week with my people. And I didn’t miss it by looking down. Let’s all just put our phones up. I promise you won’t regret it if you do. But I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll regret it if you don’t.

Let’s look up Mamas.

Look up.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4: 14

P.S. This blog post is for me, if it’s for no one else. I pray it serves as my own reminder and source of accountability for me.

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