Waking Up to the Value of People

Now that my daughter Anna’s 18 months old, my mind seems like it’s waking from a long postpartum haze. I was shocked today at soccer when I realized I was cheering for my daughter’s teammates by name. While I rarely forget a face, I’m usually the one who can’t remember people’s names to save my life. Which of course is worse during seasons of sleep-deprivation!

Anyway, while I was yelling, “Go Anthony!” at the game, feeling pretty smug my brain was back online, a painful counter-example of mental acuity grated at my heart. Before the game, my sister had left a voice message about some potentially scary health news. The thought of my little sister going through that kind of difficulty broke my heart. But harsher still was her assertion, once I called her back, “I’m sorry I had to call and leave that scary message about me, but you’re so busy I knew you’d only call back quickly if I told you what was up.” Ouch. Apparently the part of my brain that remembers to call people back on the phone hasn’t even begun it’s post-baby recovery.

Being a person who sees herself as one who cares about people and is even pursuing a career as a Life Coach, that hit hard. How did I become someone who my own sister saw as too busy for her? Granted, it’s pretty hard to connect when we live in different countries, on different schedules, with a half-dozen kids between us. But still. Even after the conversation had moved through a few more topics, I stopped her and said, “I’m sorry I am hard to reach. And that I stink at returning calls. I’m so sorry I’ve left you feeling your own sister isn’t there for you.”

The re-connection was immediate. She paused, forgave me, and we went back to talking and laughing for a little while until she had to go clean a bowl of Cream Of Wheat off her baby and the floor. When we hung up, I continued to wonder what kinds of choices I’m making with the people I care about. If I call myself a follower of Jesus, which I do, then wouldn’t I live like Him and pursue people as my highest priority? From the very start of His ministry on earth, he went out of his way to seek people out – from traveling to a different town to “find” a disciple (see John 1:43) to the ways he called people out from a crowd to heal them from lifelong pain (Mark 5:25-34).

Talking with my sister was a wake-up call for me. Her honesty helped me to see an area where I can grow, as hard as that was in the moment. I suppose that even over time, with years expanding between me and postpartum sleepiness, there will always be the needs for wake-up calls like this. Here’s to hoping I’ll be alert enough to listen to them!

Share the love. . .Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someonePin on PinterestPrint this page


  1. says

    Yikes! This completely hit home for me. My brother called to check in on me, because he read on my Facebook I had been in the hospital. When I realized I hadn't called him back 24 hours later, I sent him a two sentence long text to let him know I am OK. WHO AM I??? I am going to call him first thing tomorrow to apologize.