what it looks like for Doty to GO!

Shifting Focus.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34


I am a photographer. Well, amateur picture taker at best. I like taking pictures of my kiddos; their silly faces, their cheesy smiles and even sad cries…because sometimes, it’s funny. But even though I’m constantly snapping pics, it doesn’t make me a pro. I’ve never taken a class and I’m not an expert. This though, reminds me a lot of parenthood.

I’ve never taken a class and I’m not an expert. Parenthood is something we’re thrown into from the first moment of the first breath. You always just figure that you’ll figure it out. As your kiddos grow, and rather quickly by the way, you learn to adapt and change and grow your family. My husband, of almost 12 years, and I have learned so much about each other as parents. We instinctively know when the other has had too much and needs a break. We know our kids. We have two girls, ages 8 and 6, and two boys, ages 3 and 18 months.  We know when they are tired, we know when they are excited, we know when they are scared. There’s so much we know, but there’s a lot that is still a mystery. We don’t know what they will grow up to be. We don’t know who they will marry or if they’ll live close to home. And we don’t know if the decisions we make for them now will affect their lives in the future. One of those decisions that we have made for our family is to shift focus. We’re talking braving the elements and switching from auto to manual focus. We have made a family decision to make a family decision — and to make our family our priority.

Life with kids is crazy, literally crazy. And time evaporates into thin air. One of my favorite quotes {which hangs in my line of sight in the dining room so I am constantly reminded of it}, “Parenting: the days are long, but the years are short.” With all that is going on in their brief time spent with us, we decided to forgo any activity that tears that apart. SHOCK…and ahhh. I can’t say that we’ve tried it all, but we’ve tried a lot with our girls. We did the dance lessons. We played a season of t-ball. We did the gymnastics classes. We tried violin lessons. We did art classes. We, as far as I thought, were never overloaded and had at least a couple of free nights a week. But just a couple? That wasn’t enough. We didn’t quit cold turkey. We’ve eased our way down to one, lone activity that occurs twice a month. We eat family dinners. We take road trips on the weekend. We relax and snack and ride bikes after school. We pray and snuggle before an early bedtime. We have shifted our focus away from the busy, every-kid-is-doing-it activity, to what is a priority for our family — us and our kids.
You can hope for that perfect shot, that perfect light and that picture good enough to frame. I know that it’s not for everyone and I know we still have two boys who may want to play ball or tickle the ivories, but we have made our family our focus. As the kids grow, and my husband and I grow, I want to surround our family with less hurriedness, lots of love and all the time we have together. Because one day, before we know it, we will know who they have married, we will know what they will grow up to be and we will know if they have stayed close to home. Our focus, is our family and it is where our treasure is found.

Doty and Jon live in Kansas City with their four children. They love exploring the Kansas City area, rooting on the Royals and sneaking in a date night from time to time. They are active in their church, in their schools and in their community. They believe in love and the Lord and laughter.



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