15 In Community

Featured Friend: Laura Rath – Journey In Faith

Beautiful tulip bouquet over garden bokeh backgroundWelcome to Feature Friend Wednesday!  Every Wednesday for the next few months I will introduce you to one of my beautiful writing friends.  I hope you will take the time to read.  Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to read about the author and visit her blog and social media links.

Choosing For This Season,
by Laura Rath

It started as I drove to meet a friend for lunch one day last fall. I can’t tell you the exact words, but I sensed God telling me to spend more time focused at home and on my daughter. Honestly, I didn’t really get it. My life pretty much revolves around my family, home, and work, so I didn’t know what He was referring to, but it was clearly from Him.

I didn’t feel as if there was something specific I was supposed to do… that would have been easier—something I could check off a list. No, instead, it was more of a feeling or reminder to let other things go and focus on the moment.

Oddly enough, I found that tension between television and the online world.

I’m not one to sit and watch television for hours. I have to be doing something else while I watch—reading, working on a jigsaw puzzle, working on a post or my blog, or surfing the Web.  I thought they were all the same, so what’s the difference if I’m online or flipping through a magazine?

The difference is the online world takes you away from the world you’re currently sitting in.

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone starts checking his e-mail and you watch his attention shift? No longer is he in the conversation at the table. He’s now in his e-mail world and you’re wondering if he’s coming back, or if you somehow missed the end of the meeting.

I realized that’s what I was doing at home.

Ecclesiastes 3.1

While my attention was focused on the blogging world, my family continued to laugh and converse without me. I may not have thought it mattered, but it did. Even if the other person doesn’t point it out, the shift of attention and focus to something online causes frustration and annoyance.

I feel it when it’s done to me, and now I was doing it to others.

Is that what God was trying to show me?!?

Our lives certainly don’t revolve around watching television, but when my daughter asks me to watch a specific show or movie with her, I don’t want to miss spending that time with her. At the same time, I don’t want to be worried that my presence online is lacking.

But that’s the choice that has to be made.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT)

Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. Choosing to be focused at home means setting something else aside. For me, that means limiting my time online. Not indefinitely, but for this season.

Separation became necessary because something was going to suffer, and I didn’t want it to be my family.

I won’t kid you. It was a struggle. I had to get used to not checking e-mail and my blog all the time. And guess what I learned…e-mail waits and the blog continues on its own. Both are still there when I get to them.

But the moments at home…they don’t wait. The laughter, silly jokes, and the Mom-I-need-you-now moments—they pass quickly. And those are the moments I don’t want to look back and find out I missed.

When have you found yourself at a time of having to choose what was right for the season you were in? How difficult was it to adjust to the choice you had to make?

Laura_Rath_SquareA daughter of the King, saved by His grace, Laura writes to encourage women in their walk with Christ. She is a wife and mother, and shares her heart as a regular contributor for 5 Minutes for Faith, Next Level Mama, and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. You can find Laura at Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith, as well as on Twitter @LauraJRath and Facebook.

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie @ Heartbeats Soul Stains
    March 26, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Barbie, what a wonderful post from your friend. Choosing to be focused is so important and something I really needed to hear tonight. Thank you! Have a blessed week.
    Debbie @ Heartbeats Soul Stains recently posted..Corned Beef and Cabbage

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post Debbie! Laura is a gem!

  • Reply
    Denise
    March 26, 2014 at 4:05 am

    May God sweetly bless you Laura.
    Denise recently posted..Wednesday Hodge-Podge

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 26, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Laura, there is much wisdom in this post. What jumps out at me is when you yes to one thing you say no to something else….I’ve been sharing that nugget of wisdom with others for sometime, now I need to take heed of it myself! Thank you for this reminder.
    Mary recently posted..I search and I search…

    • Reply
      Laura Rath
      March 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you Mary. 🙂 Making that decision of yes or no to something is often not very easy…but necessary. God bless!
      Laura Rath recently posted..Choosing For This Season

  • Reply
    Rebekah
    March 26, 2014 at 5:55 am

    I’m learning the same valuable lessons.Life doesn’t stop while we look at our laptops or sneak peeks on our smart phones. Thank you for sharing your journey.
    Rebekah recently posted..The Lover of My Life and Soul {Words of Life Wednesdays ~ A Link-up}

  • Reply
    Laura Rath
    March 26, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Barbie, thank you so much for having me here as a guest today in your series!
    Laura Rath recently posted..Choosing For This Season

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Thank YOU Laura. I’ve been reflecting on your words today. Praying you have a blessed tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Beth
    March 27, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Laura, this is such a timely message for me as I have realized I spend far too much time online. Even though my husband is currently away and my children are grown there is still life happening around me that I’m missing out on. My youngest is still at home but before you know it he will be gone. I don’t want to find myself wishing I had given him more of my time. You are so right..emails, this blog and all the other things can wait. I’m figuring out a balance and doing that is restoring joy to my heart. I know there are still more time I should be placing that computer to the side but I’m grateful for how God keeps nudging at my heart.
    Thank you for sharing with us. Barbie, thanks for sharing your friends. 🙂
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: Bread of Life

    • Reply
      Laura Rath
      March 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Beth, thank you for sharing your experience here. It’s finding that balance and then not worrying about what I’m not spending time on…not always easy. Blessings to you!
      Laura Rath recently posted..Choosing For This Season

  • Reply
    Karin Madden
    March 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    This is just what I needed to read today. My family and I have been traveling for 2 weeks. We were far from a speedy internet connection and it was a little strange at first… Then, it was wonderful. We arrived home today and I have thought very much about exactly this. How much time does the online world really need? My little ones and my hubby come first of course, and it’s refreshing to come back and re-set the priorities. There is time to write, there is a season for every purpose under heaven, and the key is remembering to stay in the “now” – it’s all we ever have. Thanks for sharing this Laura and Barbie!
    Karin Madden recently posted..When A Lost Sheep Finds You

    • Reply
      Laura Rath
      March 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Karin, that’s great that you were able to evaluate how much time should be spent online after you got home. It’s easy to think “I have to get caught up” but I think it’s hard sometimes not to get sucked back into the online world. Thanks for sharing here. God bless!
      Laura Rath recently posted..Choosing For This Season

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