Today I was solely responsible for watching June. Brooke and I have been trying a new strategy where I watch June at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Brooke can go in to work and then she watches her Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so I can go in to work. While our business is very important to us, there is nothing more important than our little family, so we really do out best to make sure June gets plenty of Dad time and plenty of Mom time.
This week was the first Tuesday for the new strategy and I started the day by getting June out of bed, feeding her and taking her downstairs to play as Brooke got ready for work. I put June in her crib with toys for awhile so that I could clean up a few things, empty the dishwasher, put away our laundry, etc. Whoever watches June for the day is also responsible for taking care of the house. Eventually, I put June down for her nap and decided that I'd grab my laptop and work on a few things for work. So, I sat down, ran through my e-mail, checked up on a few things and then opened up an empty page to write a blog post.
and looked at the screen....
and looked at the screen...
I could not think of a single thing to write about. I would type out a few words and then delete them, then write a few more, and then delete them. I did this for about 30 minutes all while thinking that June would be waking up from her nap soon, so I had to write something before that happened!
Nothing came, June woke up, and I was back on Dad duty. I brought her downstairs to feed her, which is a fun adventure every time! I felt frustrated that I didn't finish, let alone even start a blog post, but told myself, "You are on Dad duty now, so be all in on being a Dad." As June sat in her highchair we talked and laughed and had a great time. I never ever ever imagined that my daughter would be such a goof ball at such a young age. I truly hope she never gets too cool to goof around with her Dad.
After we finished eating, I decided that I wanted to clear the furniture out of the main dining room area and dump out all of June's toys and books for her to play with.
She has been crawling a lot lately and so I thought she would really enjoy going from one thing to the next all in one place. For the first five minutes she just scooted around and around in a circle on her butt while I tried to take photos of her. After I snapped a few shots I sat down on a little stool on the outside of the ring of toys and just watched her. My little June literally had every fun thing in her world right in front of her -- within arms reach. She could play with blocks, move to books, grab a stuffed animal and then go back to books and blocks within seconds. But, after she spent those five minutes scooting in circles and looking at the toys, she looked up to me, crawled over all her toys and came right to me. It was at this moment that June, like she has so many times before, started teaching me something so amazing that I just had to share.
She had EVERYTHING TO CHOOSE FROM AND SHE CHOSE HER FATHER!
I almost started crying. Because, honestly, how often in my life do I get stuck in the ring of "fun things" and totally ignore my Heavenly Father on the outside of the circle. I decided to test June and see if the first time was just a fluke, so I moved to the other side of the room, and yet again she followed.
So, I moved to the other side and she followed.
And then again. And again.
My 11-month old is teaching me that even when she can have it "all" she wants her Dad. When is the last time that was a reality of my heart? When is the last time I stepped out of the circle of non-stop entertainment and crawled over to my Heavenly Father just to be with Him. I was convicted in the empty dining room full of toys.
I believe that God has a desire for all of us to have a life to the full, but I wholeheartedly believe that can only happen when He is at the center. When we can push through the distractions and go right for Him -- He will pick us up, turn us around and show us what's best for us out there.
I want June to have a full life, it's why I emptied the dining room and gathered all the toys in the first place. I didn't do all that just so she could look at them. But instead so she could experience them! Hold them in her hands! God didn't give you your life just so you could watch it pass by. He didn't give you the skills and talents you have just so you wouldn't use them. He gave you these things because He is a good Father. He just wants you to use them -- experience them, hold them in your hands -- all while He remains at the center. It's why I get down on the floor and play with June. I teach her how to read books and play with stuffed animals and stack the blocks on on top of the other. I want her to use what she's been given -- and she looks to me to learn how.
I know that at times I am literally the most selfish person in this world, especially when it comes to spending time with God. I can make time for almost anything before spending time with Him. Imagine though, if I had the attitude of my daughter. Imagine if even when I had "all the toys in front of me" my first response was to go to Him over and over again.
Imagine if the next time you wanted to post something on social media you went to Him first and checked to see if it was the way He wanted to use that "toy".
Imagine if the next time you got a bonus at work, or came into some extra money, you went to Him first and checked to see how He wanted you to spend it (or not spend it).
Imagine if in your life you spent more time climbing over the distractions to get to your Heavenly Father, instead of swirling in circles, just going from one thing to the next.
June was stationery in the ring of toys, just going round and round. She only started to move when she started moving toward her Dad. Is that you? Are you stuck because you aren't moving toward your Father? He might be right around the corner, or just past the current distraction, or boyfriend or job, that you shouldn't be doing! And instead of crawling over it all to get to Him, you are just stuck.
If that's you, I pray you'll crawl over all the toys, all the distractions, all the things, and pursue your good Father in heaven! My guess is He will pick you up, or better yet meet you at your level, and show you how to use all the things He's given you for His purpose!