Virtual or Real? (Part 1)

virtual-or-realI had a nightmare a couple of nights ago that my daughter got thrown off a horse and died. I screamed and ran over to where she was, covered in blood. Her body was in a position where she couldn’t possibly be alive. I felt unspeakable pain; then I abruptly woke up.

I splashed my face with cold water, and walked into the kitchen to make coffee. I looked through the dining room door to my six-year-old daughter, who was diligently doing her math, dressed in her night gown. She’s always the first one up.

But today I stopped. I drank in the moment. She’s alive. She’s still small. I haven’t missed anything. I walked over to her, hugged her tightly, and kissed her head.

Then I walked away, turned on the computer, and posted my blog entry for the day. I went to post it on Facebook, and there I saw my friends and what they were doing. Soon I was drawn in…

Half an hour later I realized I hadn’t had my coffee, so I walked back into the kitchen to pour it. Then I walked straight back to the computer.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The next day I watched the movie “Secretariat,” which I had found on DVD at the library. My kids were munching popcorn as they watched the horses racing. But what struck me the most was an off-handed moment at a party, where the husband dances with his daughter who is all grown up now. And I saw my daughter grown up, and I started bawling that I had missed it.

My daughter is still six. She was cuddled up beside me, wondering why my eyes were watering, but I don’t want to miss her life, or the lives of my sons. I want to live.

I want to LIVE.

I don’t want to be sucked into the virtual world, the world that is online. Yes, God has called me to it, and He keeps putting things on my heart to write about. And yet where is the limit? Where is the boundary? How do I remind myself… Look, my kids are alive… My kids are here… I want to be present with them, to be living in the moment.

One of my sons was praying in the dark tonight, and I suddenly came up with the title “Virtual or Real?” I wanted to write it down before I forgot. But another son wanted to pray. I’m ashamed to say it, but I told my son, “God can hear you. Go ahead and pray without me. I need to write something down.” I closed the door and walked away.

I stopped halfway up the stairs and screamed in my soul, “No! This is exactly what I’m talking about!” In the dark, I ran back to my sons’ bedroom and opened the door.

“Are you still praying?”

“Yes,” said my son, and he continued his prayer. As soon as he finished, I said good night and shut the door. I paused and stared into the darkness.

(Stay tuned for part 2…)

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20 Responses to “Virtual or Real? (Part 1)”

  1. Oh Sis Susan what a horrible dream! When I have a dream that is so horrible I immediately rebuke it in the name of Jesus and pray for covering over my family, trusting God to keep them safe ( psalms 91). I pray that you will find a balance between writing and taking care of your family . I think its so wonderful that your children have been brought up to pray and know that they can go to God for themselves , trusting that your children have a relationship of their own with God. A mother Love is always with her children , but it is a blessing to see them blossom as men and women of God and having a relationship with Christ! God bless you for being such a Great women of God, and a mother who is training up her children in Christ. I look forward to reading part 2

    • Susan Evans says:

      I do love listening to my children pray. It’s just that I’m so absent-minded, I didn’t want to forget the title. What I could have done was go write it down and then come back and continue praying with the kids. Thank you for your beautiful comment. I fail so many times in doing what is right only because I’m tired.

  2. Tina says:

    Oh,how many times I have complained about having to pray with my oldest before bed or put my younest in bed.All I wanted to do was go to bed or maybe read in bed.I have gone to bed and felt condemned,so would get back up and take care of them

  3. I’ve had similar dreams, it’s very real in our dreams almost real it’s scary!

    Can’t wait for part two..

    I think your an amazing Mum!


    • Susan says:

      Thank you! I don’t normally have bad dreams. I used to have nightmares all the time when I was a child, until my mom got me a nightlight that looked like an angel. Then I would just look at the angel until I fell asleep.

  4. Susan says:

    I can relate. In a similar vein I often much prefer researching curriculum rather than spending time Using it with my kids.

    • Susan says:

      LOL I can totally understand about researching curriculum. But because I haven’t had money, I always got on my knees before God before going to used curriculum sales, and God would provide exactly what we needed. I asked God, “Blind me to anything that I shouldn’t buy and lead me to what You know I need.” I’ve used all the curriculum I’ve ever bought by using this “ask God first” method.

  5. You’re writing is captivating! Good point!

  6. This so true. And something I struggle with also.
    I just have to answer to you with a post of my own. This theme is so HUGE and so important. I think there a a lot of mother who struggle with guilt if they spend enough time with their children or not. If they give them the attention they really need, or not.
    Thank you!

  7. Mother of 3 says:

    I do find it so hard to put a stop or a time limit on my blogging so I can be really present. Often I am struck by a thought or half a post that I feel I just have to get down before I forget what I wanted to say. But I too want to make sure I am not missing out on any of the real moments for a few virtual ones.

  8. Julie says:

    What an awful dream! I’m glad to read it was only a dream!
    Looking forward to reading your part 2.

  9. Melissa says:

    Susan this is such a timely post! I’ve only been blogging for six months so I’m still trying to figure out the balance of building the blog and all that entails with spending time with my children. Man oh man it can be hard at times. A thought will pop up that I want to write down. Or images need to be created. Or. Or. It really is never ending. I too feel like God has called me to write as I have some unique experience as a Christian mental health therapist. I look forward to reading part 2!

  10. I want this too. I want my real life. Not the virtual one. It’s funny how you look at your kids one day and the next they are grown, becoming more independent, baby teeth falling out. I pray I can keep hold of real life. <3

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