It's mid-March. This year is flying. I can't keep up. How's that New Year's resolution working out for you?
I'm not big on resolutions. I set a few goals. I'm keeping up pretty well. I periodically work out. I've read my daily devotionals every day for the most part. But the one that gets me a little stuck is the one where I want to be more present. This one kicks my tail.
We live in this world of distractions where we are expected to not only multitask, but to participate in extreme multitasking. It's like the Adulting X-Games. If we aren't participating we are not winning.
I am not a fan of adulating some days so the X-Games of it don't give me a thrill. They also inhibit my ability to be present.
You know when you're on the phone with your best friend, she's telling you a story in hopes that you will offer some insight, but your parental Tourettes is full blown and you're screaming, "Do not put that in your mouth!" and "No! You can't zip line off the roof!" as you try and concentrate on cooking hamburger helper, bathe the toddler, sign permission slips, and hear your person's story. As you look up, you see the hamburger meat is smoking, one kid is eating dog food, another has a carabiner and thread, climbing on a ladder, and the bathroom looks like you're housing a whale in your tub, and that "permission slip" was actually a note because your kid got "clipped down", you've missed your friend's entire story and the house is about to burn down. You were trying to be present for so many things that you missed it all. This is a complete exaggeration, but it feels realistic, right?
I want to be present. Even if that means saying no to something. Even if it means I have to call my friend back later. Even if it means we have to eat supper at 730 instead of 6, I need to be more present for myself and for everyone else.
I need to be present when I am reading my devotional and scripture. I don't want to share my God time with driving or signing school papers or paying bills. I don't want to share a kid's bath time with supper even though that is more likely than not. I want to focus on the things at hand and let the past or the future worry about itself.
I don't usually tell people my "resolutions." I don't like to fail. I'm sharing it with you for a purpose so hang with me.
A few weeks into the year a lady that I admire at church gave me a gift. It was a pretty little package with a story and as I read the inscription on it, I was moved. It was a Rustic Cuff that said, "be all there." If you aren't familiar with them, they have a neat story. This cute cuff means the world to me right now because I'm trying so hard to "be all there" in everything I do. It is hard. It takes prioritizing and saying no sometimes, and there are times that I get it way wrong. A lot, actually. But this bracelet is a daily reminder of my goal.
This weekend I got the opportunity to go on a road trip with some good girl friends. We went to Osage County, OK to The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. Mrs. Ree Drummond is pretty amazing. I remember reading her blog years ago and being so thankful that she had the talent to write, to share about her rural life, their farm, and her amazing recipes. Mrs. Ree did something that I think is so neat. She lives near Pawhuska, OK, about an hour northwest of Tulsa. Pawhuska is an old Oklahoma town that is far away from just about everything. Nobody is planning vacations there and I would guess that the better paying jobs involve a good commute. Mrs. Ree could have decided to build a pretty new store in Tulsa. There are gazillions of people and businesses in Tulsa. There are events that bring in tons of people, like the BOK which is where our trip ended and we saw Miranda Lambert sing her southern heart out. It was fantastic. Anyhow...The Pioneer Woman made her tiny old Oklahoma town a tourist attraction. She remodeled an old down town building and put in an amazing restaurant and general store with exposed brick and sugary sweet charm. The bakery upstairs is worth waiting in line to get into. We didn't get to eat at the restaurant because the line was long and our time was short. People wanted so badly to see and meet the amazing lady that started all of this as much as they wanted to see what she had built.
Mrs. Ree wasn't there. I'm not disappointed, though. She may be an amazing lady that built an amazing empire just being herself, but she's still a person. She deserves some peace. Peace that doesn't come with success, but the kind of peace that you allow yourself to find. She deserves to be all there for her family and her friends. As much as I would like to have caught a glimpse of her red hair in that bakery I wish for her the ability to get some quiet time. Lord knows she deserves it. She's everywhere!
The Mercantile isn't a place I'll forget. And I won't remember it for all the pretty things or the great bakery, I'll remember it because a lady decided that her community was worth investing in. Her community was worth thousands of people driving to the middle of nowhere to see what she built. If we all set aside our need to see immediate success outside of our home, our family, our town, and invested in what is closest to us we might not change the whole world, but we'd change our own world.
We also visited the Rustic Cuff store. It was in Tulsa. It was fancy. They had pictures of famous people wearing their bracelets. Needless to say, my picture wasn't on the wall and I only bought a few "on sale" cuffs, but it was a neat place to visit. Jewelry isn't my weakness, but my Rustic Cuff means the world to me.
People visit The Mercantile to say they've been there or to see The Pioneer Woman in the flesh or maybe to grab a cinnamon roll or lunch, but my takeaway was so much more.
I want to invest in my own community. I want to invest in my own family and my own kids. Success doesn't show up in my bank account (wouldn't that be nice), or in the blog I write, or how many followers I have on Facebook. Success shows up when I am investing in my own little garden. Success shows up when my kids have manners and respect because that's what I've taught them. Success shows up when I invest in my community. Success shows up in all the places we invest ourselves. We can't grow our own crops if we're too busy worrying about how the neighbor grows theirs. Bloom where you're planted. Invest, fertilize, and water your very own and watch it grow like crazy. Be present and active. Be all there, y'all.