So far 2013 has been crazy.

I expected nothing less. I mean, we moved our little family of 5 just days before the new year started and spent the first couple of weeks trying to manage 3 children, all of our normal responsibilities and about a million boxes. That alone is craziness.

But the rush and the busy seems far more reaching than just our recent move. We lead these lives where all too often our days are seen as just something that we have to get through. We even find ourselves praying at the end of the day, “Thank you God for getting us through today.”

At some point along the way we seemed to have forgotten that every day is a gift. A gift to be treasured. A gift to be thankful for. A gift to be stewarded well.

Yes, for many of us we are new parents with littles getting tangled in and among our feet, demanding more juice or screaming ‘wipe me!!’ from the bathroom. For many of us, you or your spouse or both are in such hard seasons with work that when you do have a spare minute of quiet you simply stare blankly into space. For many of us, when we do finally have a date night to ourselves, our heart begins to ache because real meaningful conversation is lacking and maybe even a little awkward and the thought creeps in that we no longer know this person sitting across the table.

So, maybe at the end of the day, a long and very difficult day spent fighting internal and external battles you sink into a chair and all you can muster is ‘Thank you God for getting us through today…’

I understand. I do.

But I believe God wants more for you. He wants more for your marriage. He wants more for your little ones.

Last week I had the blessing of being able to spend 5 days with my husband. Just us. It was glorious. Not perfect, because there were hard moments too, but even those moments were for our good and for the good of our marriage. We talked and we laughed and we ate dessert after every meal and we walked about a thousand miles and we soaked in God’s beautiful creation. We breathed. We stopped rushing. There was no list of things to accomplish. There was no real plan except to enjoy one another. (And eat amazing food.)

We had been long overdue for a resetting of our hearts and minds. The trick was not the getting away (although it obviously helps to remove daily distractions and step away from normal routine.) The trick was the intentionality. To look one another in the eye and in your heart believe that the other person is worth the investment. To see that person, whether it be your spouse or your little one or your friend or neighbor as the gift they were meant to be and to steward that gift well. The trick was the perspective shift. How do you view your every day? Is it a gift to be cherished and treasured? How do you view those God has sweetly given you in your life whether it be your spouse, children, friends, siblings, co-workers, or neighbors? The trick is bathing your days in prayer. Constantly and consistently begging God to turn your heart towards Him, to let your heart see what He sees, to give you the strength and wisdom to steward those gifts well.

Honestly, leaving my little ones for 5 days was hard. Especially baby Adee. Until that point I had not left her for more than a few hours. And although there were a few tears in my missing her, I was reminded that my marriage, my husband, has priority… even over the little ones. He is my first gift to treasure and cherish. And my prayer over the last week is that God would help me to stop all my running and whether there are children desperately needing me or not, whether there is laundry to be folded, dishes to be washed, dinner to be cooked or a lengthy work list needing to be tackled, to look my gift in the eye and to let him know I love him, that I cherish him, that I am thankful for him.

My prayer is that I would do the same with my little ones. To stop and soak in their little lives. Even if for just a moment. To have that perspective shift that allows my heart to see even the hardest of days as a blessing. Too often all the truly unimportant things take precedence over my little treasures. My hope is that in the midst of the craziness and busyness (because let’s be honest, the laundry eventually has to get washed, dinner has to be cooked, and orders have to be shipped out the door) I will take a minute to stop and breath and look my little ones in the eye, let them know I am for them and that my heart loves them so.

Here is to treasuring our gifts in 2013.

(and your reward for reading this entire post? a few pretty photos from our trip to Charleston, South Carolina last week.)