Do you ever feel like as soon as you direct your attention on what is urgent with your family, something else pops up that needs your attention? Once you handle the stomach bug, you find out your middle schooler is failing two classes.
Keeping a garden is a multi-tasking effort, too. As soon as you solve one problem with the bugs on your roses, you notice you have a gopher in a flower bed.
As I type this it’s winter here in Utah. I’m really glad for that because it means I have a break from pulling weeds, fighting bugs, and making sure that darn gopher doesn’t come back. I have learned that ignoring things, like weeds, won’t make them go away. And, weeds grow without any care or work. They are hard to kill and hard to get rid of permanently.
Just like a garden, the family relationships we don’t tend will grow weeds. We won’t notice them until we realize we’re not as close to them as we once were. This is often the case with teens. We leave them alone because we think that’s what they want. Just like a good gardener, we have to constantly be nurturing, lovingly tending, and pulling out the weeds in our relationships in order for them to thrive. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but we need to be consistent, and proactive.
I notice weeds in my relationships with my family when I don’t spend much time with them. The challenge begins when we are busy. We all have stuff to do and screens to look at. Everyone has plans outside of home and away from each other. We have to make a conscious effort to guard our time with our families just as if we were tending a garden. The consistent time together is what makes the difference in our relationships, and, ultimately, our happiness.
Do you agree? What do you do to spend consistent time with your family?