On Tuesday, Ben and Sarah had a soccer game. We took all but the two oldest who were working on homework. Their team won, and, as is the tradition, they went out for ice cream after the game. Well, it so happens that the coach is a friend of ours, and he had picked Ben and Sarah up for the game. They ran to his car to get their stuff out, and 6yo Luke went with them. I hollered at them to hurry so we could get the ice cream and then get home, and they came running. Everyone climbed into the car, or so I thought. We drove off to the ice cream shoppe, and they ran off to join their team. I thought Luke had run in with them, but suddenly I was hit with a sinking feeling. Where was Luke? He hadn't had enough time to get out from the back of the car and get in before Ben and Sarah. I knew we had left him behind, and I knew he was going to be so scared and hurt. My heart was aching, knowing that one of my children was not with me, and he was out there somewhere. We let their coach know what was going on, and I sped back to the soccer field. As soon as we got close, I saw him with another couple - someone we didn't know - who were taking the time to try to find someone who knew us so they could get in touch with us. I put the car in park and ran to Luke. As soon as I got to him, he started sobbing, and I could tell that he had been sobbing while we were gone. I just held him for a long time, and then I thanked the couple for their kindness in taking care of someone they didn't even know. I apologized over and over again, and I promised that I would never do that again. He forgave me, as children are so quick to do. The worst part was when he told me that he was headed towards the car, and he saw us pull out of the parking lot and just leave him behind. He tried to run after us, but we didn't even see him. That must have broken his heart.
I learned to be in less of a hurry, and to make sure that each of my children knows that they are loved and SEEN by me. Especially since the move, I have been so distracted by packing and unpacking, organizing and sorting, that I have not focused on my children as much as I should and as much as I want to. But in the end, it isn't going to matter how many boxes are left in the garage that I should have gone through, but it will matter that my children know that I love them and that they are my world. My world is NOT the new house or the errands that need to be run or the laundry that never seems to end. My world IS my family - my children and husband, and I need to be sure to let them know that and see that in the things that I do. And the way each person feels that love is different. They all have different needs - some need time, some need words, some need to know that they have been heard. But as I put my best efforts towards helping them feel that love and concern, I find that my needs are either less important to me or are met in unexpected ways! Funny how the Lord does that for us! Truly, as we lose our lives, we find them! And I am going to lose my life in serving, loving, laughing with, helping my family!