Interruptions: Hidden Opportunities

Big foot little foot

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’m seeing a pattern with one of our sons. He summons my attention, usually with just a grunt or some cute little sound. Without fail, it’s when I’m in the middle of a thought, or having a quiet time, or I’m trying to write something down before I forget it.

I’ll be having my quiet time, and from my doorway I hear, “Mama!” Or a grunt. Honestly? Too often, my first response is a heavy sigh. I turn, because it’s expected, and make eye contact with the boy.

Mother with children

Connect with him.

Often, that’s all he needs . . . the reassurance that we have a connection. He needs— craves— the affirmation that I, his mother, can offer to him.

I struggle with wanting to stay in the flow of what I’m working on and without the interruption of my boy-child.

There are times when I want to shut out everything and just complete the task I set out to accomplish. Interruptions cause me to lose my place, lose my focus, and get frustrated with what, or who, caused this to happen.

High school joggers

What I really need to remember is that our boys aren’t interruptions, they are answers to years of prayer. They are only this age once. They’re both nearing those teen years, that season when they won’t seek my attention, or care about if I think they look handsome in their uniforms (Boy Scouts and football). They won’t need that connection with me in the same way.

Growing feet

I’m realizing the gift their interruptions can be. I need to be about building and maintaining those connections with our sons. When I offer them a smile, a word of encouragement, it solidifies their foundation . . .

. . . their sense of self,

. . . and their sense of belonging in our family.

This is crucial as they struggle to figure out who they really are, who they’re designed to be.

Interuptions God's way copy

Should I still set some boundaries around my time? Yes. But, interruptions are sometimes God’s way of reminding me of my own need for connection—with my family and with my Father. How many times have I “interrupted” Him with a prayer request, or a shout for “Help!” or an, “I love You.”?

Mom walking with child

Has He ever said, “Not now, Jeanne. I’m working on something.”?

Never.

Girl and grandfather

He listens to me, my prayers, exuberance, heartaches. 

And He comforts me.

He takes time out of running  . . . well, everything . . . to listen to one small daughter.

Yes, He’s God, and I most certainly am not. But, His example is one I want to emulate with our boys.

Being available to them . . .

Giving them the affirmation they need . . .

Encouraging them.

Peter and Ed SD

When they need my attention, I want to give it. Because in doing so, I’m speaking—showing— love to them. And that’s one of the greatest gifts I can offer.

What about you? What’s your perspective on interruptions? How do you handle them when you are in the middle of something that requires your attention?

Today, I’m linking up with Holly Barrett and at Christy Mobley’s place. Come read some other great blogs in these places.

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21 thoughts on “Interruptions: Hidden Opportunities

  1. What a lovely point -and I don’t even have kids. Interruptions always irk me because I like to get in B-land (as my husband calls it) when I working on something. But, yes, absolutely. The Lord re-orients, and He can always bring back any thought He wanted in our heads— plus giving the joy of the interruption! I love your last line “Interruptions are real life. All else is fantasy.” Might have to write that down somewhere : ) Blessings to you Jeanne, in your interruptions and your working!! #TestimonyTuesday #RaRaLinkup

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    • Bethany, I know! Interruptions are so inconvenient. But God . . . I love what you said about how God can re-orient and bring back thoughts we may forget when we’re interrupted. Trusting God in the midst of life’s interruptions is a great choice to make. 🙂 Have a great day, my friend!

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  2. I promise you, someday you will cherish the moments you chose to allow the interruption to connect. Not only because those are the important things, but because you are sewing seeds of a relationship that lasts beyond the years your boys are at home.

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    • Debbie, I know you’re right. 🙂 I’ve been blessed to have older women speak into my life, especially when our kids were younger. Through their wisdom, I’m learning how important it is to make good memories with our boys, and to be intentional about listening to them. I have to set some boundaries, but I try to flex when I can so that I have time with each of our children. Sewing seeds of a relationship that lasts beyond he years our guys are at home is my hope and goal.

      Thank you so much for stopping by today! I appreciate your wisdom and encouragement.

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  3. I guess it comes down to perspective. We see almost everything in the now. The constant invasion into “my space” can become an annoyance. We seldom think of life beyond its present state and assume our children will always be just as they are—they won’t—and as in my case, some children even die. Perspective changes should your present “now” turn out to be all you would ever have. Its then that we realize how precious every second was and long to have that time back.

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    • Gene, I hadn’t thought about the truth that we see everything in the now. We’re living in each moment, and those are what we focus on. Though I know our boys will grow up and one day move out of our home, it is so easy to see them as they are today and expect that what they are now is what they will always be. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to cherish each moment with our boys. Only God knows the number of their days. Every second truly is precious. I need to be purposeful in remembering and living like I believe that.

      Thank you for sharing your insights here today.

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  4. Your words are exactly what I needed to hear. I have been known to do some heavy sighing believing my time is more important than anyone else’s. I know God loves to interrupt our normal routines and step in because He desires to be connected with us but He also is telling us that we are not alone in this world. We need to see beyond ourselves and let the interruptions become the best part of our day.

    I love everything about this today because I have just experienced a big interruption in my life and this provides a much needed perspective. Thank you and praying we both see the in interruptions in our day as the best connections in our life.

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    • Oh, Mary. I’ve been guilty of thinking my time is more important than others’ time too. I’m such a selfish creature. Yes, God interrupted my normal routine this weekend. I’ll probably be blogging about it in the near future. He does this to connect with us. When we’re forced out of our “normal” we tend to seek Him more, don’t we? I love the idea of letting the interruptions become the best part of our days. What a great perspective!
      I’ll agree with your prayer, my friend. 🙂

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  5. This is the second post I’ve read today on interruptions – could God be saying something? I’m so guilty of being bent out of shape by interruptions. Mostly because what I’m working on usually takes focus and if I break it, it’s lost. But just yesterday my son came home and was so eager to tell me about his day, while I worked on a blog post. I could feel the tension rising, but God was whispering, “listen.” And I did, and I’m grateful. It’s true there is such opportunity, such grace, knit into those interruptions if we’ll take the time to stop and look for it. Blessings, friend.

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    • Tiffany, I can’t tell you how many times one of my boys has come to talk with me when I am in the middle of something “important.” I usually come away from those conversations enriched because of the connection. Oh, that I could remember this when I begin to feel frustrated initially. 🙂 Have great connecting time with your boy, my friend!

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  6. I seem to struggle with these interruptions as well, but you are so right about the importance of reframing them. My son is a new teenager and I’m really trying to soak up each moment I have left of his cuddles and attention. I can so relate to everything you shared here. I have declared 2016 the year of family for this exact reason, but I still catch myself sighing when someone needs me in the middle of something I’m working on. Thank you for these beautiful reminders, Jeanne!

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    • Candace, I see we have sons the same age. My oldest hits the teen years in a month. I’m trying to embrace every moment with him, even when I struggle with his personality quirks. I love that you have declared this year your year for family. What a great idea . . . being intentional about focusing on those you love most. Thanks you so much for stopping by!

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  7. Jeanne, yours is the second blog in a row I’ve read that deals with the subject of interruptions. Seems like God really needs me to ‘get’ this message, yes?! Maybe it’s time to stop over-valuing what I see as ‘my time’ and realise just Who it really belongs to. Because life is more often than not lived in the in-between moments and the interruptions. All the rest truly is fantasy because we imagine we own and control it, but we don’t. Thank you for making me pause and ponder, my friend! 🙂

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    • Ahhh, Joy. You are learning the same lessons I am about Who time really belongs to. And I agree, real life happens in the interruptions, not around them. I hope your day holds much joy, interruptions or not. Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. 🙂

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  8. Oh, Jeanne, your words, “our boys aren’t interruptions, they are answers to years of prayer” grabbed my heart. Yes, I’ve had to remind myself of the same thing when I’ve been interrupted. You’re a wise mom. They grow up so quickly, so keep listening to your Father as you already do.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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