Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Things That Count

It was a super busy day in the Starnes household....yes....busier than we normally are.

My Mom's Class met this morning and the little ones enjoyed their time at school. Home for lunch time/nap time. Carter walked off the bus, into the 'burb and we were off to church for Religious Education. After that? Dinner out and soccer practice. Jack and Lainey scored two trips to the playground in addition to their playtime this morning at the church. Guess who will sleep well tonight?

I've been thinking all day about a lesson learned this morning from guest speaker, Susan Crook. She spoke about the four basic personality traits in people....and thus, children....and how the knowledge of where our children fall into these traits can help us know better how to communicate with, discipline, nurture and overall, raise them into happy adults. It was very interesting and I left thinking about each of our kids and where they might fit into the diagram.

What stayed on my mind even more was a small side story that described a woman who had first, a set of triplets and then second, a set of twins. Gasps went through the room. How did she do it? Who could tolerate such stress? Can you imagine......the diapers.....the sleepless nights.....the crying and whining and tantrums. I found myself baffled at the idea, considering how flustered I get with my 3.

She went on to talk briefly about her life and then how she started having some minor medical issues. Which turned into pancreatic cancer. Which brought on her death 3 months after being diagnosed. A totally healthy woman....and this tragedy came out of nowhere.

Her point in sharing this sad story was not just to reiterate what I've already been thinking to myself as I pray for my sweet sister fighting so hard against her challenges......which is to grasp life. She went further to point out that we should appreciate all parts of this life we're lucky enough to be living.

Stop waiting for things to get "better". Start appreciating what is already "good".

If we're always consumed with waiting for things to be done with diapers, to have kids who can take care of themselves, to lose 10 pounds, to make more money, to afford that dream vacation, to have the bigger house and the nicer car, we risk missing the little things. And, those are the things that count.

I was reminded of one of my all-time-favorite quotes that I've posted before, but will again:

"You can shower a child with presents or money, but what do they really mean, compared to the most valuable gift of all - your time? Vacations and special events are nice, but so often the best moments are spontaneous ones. Being there. Every moment you spend with your child could be the one that really matters." - Tim Russert

And, who better to have shared this quote originally with me? Sweet Caroline. She's always been a smart one.


The Rand's said...

I totally agree! Live in the moment!
And, while having "things" and going places and such is nice, all that kids truly care about is spending time with their family and friends. That's what truly matters. Sometimes it's easily forgotten, as we are all so busy going and doing!
Praying for Caroline!

Clare said...

Ah, yet another great post. My favorite blog posts of yours I have a hard time commenting on. Mainly b/c they are so well written that it is a challenge for me to respond with what I want to say, without sounding like an idiot. I know that you're not going to judge me by the way my response to your blog is written but I still get nervous. So, with that I say: Great blog post!
And, I love/loved Tim Russert, I just bought one of his books but haven't tackled it yet.

Jennifer said...

Great post! So well written and so true!!! You have no idea how much you inspire me!

Shannon said...

I agree with the concept of spending time and hanging out but haven't ever been able to execute it. I much prefer the planned things to do together.

I'm interested in the personality trait discussion because my two got strengths in totally opposite areas and that's been a huge challenge.

Dee Stephens said...

Great post! I couldn't agree more!!
BTW - I noticed the book you're reading.
AWESOME!!!!!!!! I don't read nearly as much as I should.. but that one I couldn't put down.

SASS said...

I needed to read this today! I was starting to get grumpy. About my HAIR. Thank you.

Love that quote. You don't ever know what moment that could be-the ones they remember and treasure into their adulthood. I've told my mom things I remember, and she's always surprised. It was never anything planned or memorable in her mind.

Still praying for sweet Caroline.

donatelli98 said...

Great post - sometimes I think we all need the reminder to live in the present and enjoy all of our little blessings - even if we don't think they are blessings! Caroline is smart - but so are you! She's lucky to have such a caring sister! We're praying for her here in the desert!!

The Soladay Family said...

Perfectly said. Took me a long time to not always be thinking about tomorrow and just enjoy today. If you do that, before you know it, life has passed you by. I love the simple moments in life. Kids won't remember the expensive trips to the movies the way they'll remember the free moments spent with their parents.

Yellow Beads said...

so true! love this post!

5 Boys And Me said...

This is so true! Praying for Caroline and hoping she's improved!

On a less serious note, I LOVE paisley - orange/sage/tan - I bet your chairs are beautiful. Do you sit on the ottoman/tables? Are they sturdy enough to be used that way - sort of multipurpose?

The Lenzers said...

Hello TEARS!!! Not about the story, but the lesson in general. Goodness how are you making it through this moms group? This really got me to thinking (about some subjects I have tried to push out of my mind lately). Where/how did you find this group?

FROGGITY! said...

okay, officially crying. i hadn't read this post before right now, and i am so glad i did because it's so true and eloquently written.

casey, here's a hug from me to you. we're praying for your sweet sister!

starnes family said...

Thanks, everyone, so much. Keep praying for my sis.

Jann, Caroline used to teach (at Allen HS) with one of the leaders of my mom's class. It's at a huge church here in town....not Catholic like we I would never have found it without a connection. Have never seen a mom's group like it. Quite an organization....happy to have it.

Tammy said...

Thanks, Casey. Needed that today. Hugs, Tammy