Last Monday my husband and step-daughter left for church camp! I really wish that I could have gone as I am involved in youth group at our church with the High School Girls. I love those girls with all my heart and I am sad I was unable to attend.
On the bright side – my mom came to visit to keep me company while they were away at camp. After the extreme life change that my side of the family has faced over the past few years, this was probably the best trip and time I’ve had with my mom in a long time. We had a great time hanging out with each other, the kids, and just relaxing.
Now my mom is back in California, and I am awaiting the arrival of my husband and step-daughter in a mere 3 hours. Hooray! Although I was busy with my mom and the rest of the kids, there were still pieces of my heart that were gone. In missing them, I learned 3 really important lessons that I would never have without them being away.
- Time Away is Healthy. Now don’t get me wrong – I do NOT want my family to be separated ever again! But I do recognize that as a blended family, it’s important to not overindulge yourself in fostering your relationship with your stepchildren (or adopted) but to make sure you are investing just as much into your biological children. Merging families affects everyone in a different way, as we all have our different roles that we play… and it’s often easy (as I mentioned in my middle child blog) to pay more attention to someone you didn’t have from the beginning.Greta being away with Will (and others from church) I’m sure has been a healthy trip and I’m looking forward to hearing about their shenanigans. I also know that it’s been great for Emma and me to just be with each other and for her to know that she is just as important as everyone else is. Nobody deserves more attention or love than the other.
- I Had Time to Discover ‘Me’. Sure I was busy having fun with my mom and taking care of the kids, but I also had downtime at night to read, pray, and plan. Although I missed these 2, I was able to use the time I normally spend with them to meditate on things that I often lose sight of. Myself. I’m finding that being able to take care of me a little more, will help me to be a better wife and mother.
- Absence Made My Heart Grow Fonder. Every day my husband and I would exchange text messages saying ‘I miss you’, ‘I love you’, ‘I wish you were here’. Missing Will and Greta made me realize how much I really (unintentionally) take them for granted.I tend to go through my days thinking about what I didn’t do or what my family didn’t accomplish, rather than thinking about the opportunity God has given me to be with my family.Now that they’re coming back, I’m hoping to not lose sight of the little things that put the pieces of my heart together – because the moments we have and the people we love are not always guaranteed to be there.
When was the last time you took a step back to look at your life, and the family that you have? When was the last time you appreciated what they bring to the table? My challenge to you (and myself!) is that I take the time every day to reflect not on the things I don’t have, but the things I do have.