Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living with the Shades Drawn

By Tara Hackney

I live on the banks of a beautiful river in southeastern North Carolina. We have lots and lots of windows and lots and lots of shades to cover the windows. When we first moved into our home, I stood in awe at the beauty each morning as I opened all the shades. Then, life crept in… Preschool and gymnastics and Kindermusik beckoned each morning and opening the shades became a hassle, too much effort, and an unnecessary part of my day.

One evening, I was sitting in my son’s room (which happens to have the best view in the house) and I’m not sure why, but I opened the shade. I was shocked by what I saw – the sunset was spectacular! The sky was filled with varied hues of orange and pink. Sunbeams threw up their arms to reach over the clouds and the river lay shimmering and silver. I couldn’t believe what I had been missing sitting inside with my shades drawn.

As Christian mothers, are we living with the shades drawn? Do we have access to glory and power and strength to get through the day but fail to ask for it because we are so consumed with our busyness? Do we take the time to truly stop and look at the children God has blessed us with? Do we ever stand back and watch as they pretend to be pirates or princesses? Do we ever crouch down to see the world through their eyes? Do we take the time to watch them sleep and pray fiercely - begging God for their health and safety?

Through His creation, which includes our little ones, God reminds us daily of His never-ending presence. All we have to do is take the time to stop and open the shade. Then and only then can we bask in His presence.

Tara Hackney is currently raising her shades in Wilmington, North Carolina where she lives with her husband, Spence, and her sons: Nathan (4) and Christian (2). She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the family’s newest addition in October. Tara spends most of her time painting, coloring, reading board books, cooking, cleaning, and hugging. She enjoys writing in her spare time and strives for a deeper relationship with Christ.