This is a passage from The Message translation of the 12th chapter of Romans: “Don’t become so welladjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be
changed from the inside out.”
How are things going with the people in your immediate circle? Our stay-close-to-home house has two parents and three children. These days I’m grateful to have the presence of four people around me who have their own particularities and bring their own gifts. In the “before times,” I had gotten used to regular routines and taken for granted the nuances of my children’s’ personalities. The absence of many outside commitments has turned my attention inward and closer to home.
We all miss the community of the school and it’s required a lot of adjusting. What’s changed in my vocation as a parent is being so close-up with the kids all.the.time. But in the spaces where I am “alone,” quiet in prayer
and contemplation, I am better able to appreciate the ways that they are adapting, serving, and living their own sibling vocations. Being a sibling is a vocation? Yes, I think so.
I have seen the kids do things that surprised me. After getting myself worked into a frenzy with impatience about my first grader trying to manage school through a screen, the other kids gracefully stepped in and walked her through a long backlog of overlooked Spanish assignments. The kids haven’t done much in the way of organized sports, but the other day the three of them are outside with a basketball collaboratively playing a made-up game. Gwen reminded me to notice the flowering tree in our front yard. “You can just look at it and relax,” she said.
I surely had become well-adjusted to my culture–accustomed to not noticing. Maybe now my eyes have opened just a bit wider to really see the ways God’s grace is flowing around me and my family.