Thursday, May 29, 2014

The First Step...

I pulled up to the front of the school and whipped into a parking spot right up front.  I had gotten there early enough that I didn't have to fight for a space, but I ended up with some time to kill before my daughter finished her rehearsals for the school musical.

On any other day, I would have rolled down the windows, turned off the engine, and spent my time scrolling page after page on Facebook or Pinterest.

On any other day, I would have sat there in the car until my daughter opened the car door and announced she was ready to go home.

But things had changed.  Today was the first day of making a conscious effort to living simpler.  I was making an attempt to live free of distractions, and limit my screen time.  It was time to take the first step...

I turned off the car, got out, and walked to the front steps of the school where a group of students were waiting for their own mom-taxis to pick them up.

I stood there for a little while, just listening to the silly conversations and smiling inside, remembering when I was in middle school, and how much simpler life was back then.  After several minutes, a teacher stepped out of the building to wait with the kids.  Eventually, he noticed me and smiled a friendly smile before asking me who I was waiting for.

"Marley," I said.

"Oh, Marley!" he said, with a smile.  "I love her.  If I could clone her and have a classroom full of Marleys, I would.  She's such a great kid."

Ok, hello!?  Any momma's out there?  Is that not the most awesome compliment a teacher can give you about your own flesh and blood???  Seriously?  My heart was so full!  I smiled a huge smile and genuinely thanked him, as we introduced ourselves and continued a brief conversation.

And you know what?  The old me would have missed it.

The old me would have stayed in that car, browsing the latest pins or posting a useless Facebook status update to let everyone know, "Hey, I'm in carpool and it's HOT out here today!"  Thank you Captain live in Georgia.  And it's May!

But instead, I made the conscious decision to leave my phone in the car and wait for Marley outside the front doors of the school.  This little gem of a compliment made it's way from her teacher's mouth straight into this proud momma's heart.  This first step in my effort to live my life simpler was the perfect reassurance that I needed to know that I made the right decision.*

From that day on, it became so much easier to put the phone down and take that first step into the unknown. There are blessings that abound when we look away from a screen and look up instead.  Not five minutes after this little blessing from her teacher, my daughter gave me another little blessing that I would have missed had I stayed in the car - a big, fat hug from my preteen.  Right there in front of God and everybody - friends and all.  She wasn't ashamed of her momma, she was happy to see me!

Challenge for today: Leave your phone in the car or at home today.  Look around, instead, at your surroundings or at your loved ones.  What blessings come from being free from distractions?

*In May 2014, I challenged myself to live simpler by limiting screen time and staying off social media for 100 days.  My goal is to be more in tune to my life as it happens, and enjoy the little moments, rather than missing them while my eyes are glued to digital distractions.
{Linking up here.}


  1. Great post Kirsten! I know there are many moments I miss with the distractions, as well as others I've not missed through intentionally ridding the distraction (aka phone). Many of us could use a reminder to set it down more often than not.

    1. Thank you Jolene! That moment for me was definitely an eye-opener to what I've been missing. I've been enjoying a lot more distraction-free moments since then. :)

  2. That was such a lovely post! Thank you so much for sharing. There is so much life that we miss out on because we don't look around us. And the saddest thing is we have no idea what has been missed, never to come again!

    1. Thank you Linda! It's the simple things we miss out on the most, I think, but those simple things are usually the most important! Like that hug from my daughter :)

  3. Wow, what an incredible story. I definitely felt convicted as I read it...and I'm inspired to ignore my phone and turn off my screens more this weekend. Take a true Sabbath! Thank you for speaking truth into my heart tonight. (And this post also encouraged me as a teacher - - to really use my interactions with parents as opportunities to build up their children and celebrate their strengths!)

    1. Thank you Lauren! I'm glad you were touched :) Ever since that day, I have been more aware of my screen time, and so much better about stepping away. Oh, the blessings that I have been privileged to experience because of it!