Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles. Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble. Even when you scream and fuss, I will keep my cool and deal with it in a calm manner.
Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows or computer time.
Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mommy’s and daddy’s who are kneeling beside their children’s graves rather than beside their beds, and the couples who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t handle it anymore.
And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer……it is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day…………..
As a weary mother of 4 little Fergusons, this moved me to tears! How many times do I rush through lunch, so we can stay on schedule? Or shove them out the door as fast as their little feet can move, so we get somewhere close to “on time”? How many times have they asked me to stop and read them a book, or color with them, and I say, “Not now, mommy’s busy” and then never get around to it again?
How many times do we show them that their work “isn’t quite good enough” by re-doing the bed they worked so hard to make? Or fixing the dinner table settings just an inch to the left? How many times did they walk away with slumped shoulders and sad hearts because mommy didn’t take the time to listen to what they were REALLY saying?
Oh, how we stumble and fall as mothers. Oh, how we break those little hearts without meaning to, and crush their spirits, rather than the wrong behavior, by our reactions.
As mom’s, we do our best to balance life, and these unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves, to be a certain way, have our house look just so, or enroll our kids in certain activities to give them “opportunities”, that maybe we never had. But, somewhere along the way, somewhere in this hustle and bustle we call life, we’re missing out.
We miss out on playing with our kids because we are never home, or when we are, we’re catching up from a busy weekend. We miss those teachable moments in the car, because we turned on the dvd player, or are talking on our cell phones. What happened to just singing songs and talking to our kids without media-based interruptions? What happened to sitting on the front porch each evening, talking to your spouse after a hard days work, with kids crawling all over vying for your attention? Does anyone DO that anymore?? We should! Heck, it seems like people can barely manage family dinner, let alone a whole evening together!
Our kids are missing out on even BEING kids, because they have too many activities that rob them of the layed-back life they should be enjoying now. Don’t the stresses of being an over-worked, under-slept adult come quick enough? Our kids should be outside playing until we call them for supper, coming in flush cheeked and eyes sparkling, ready to chow some dinner before homework and bedtime. What happened to that? Where along the way, did we as the adults, decide to pass down our overly busy social schedules to our children, and at such an early age too!? Do our 4 year olds really need to be in tap, jazz, piano, softball, knitting, ceramics and a spinning class at the local Y? No!
“Outside” activities, meaning those that take you from your home, need to be viewed as a privilege, not the norm. Family time is sacred time, and anything that takes away from that, needs to be evaluated as to its worth. Will this further the kingdom of God? Is this building our family up? Is this time well spent? Will it bring our family together or send us in different directions?
Is it morally wrong to allow your kids to experience these different activities? Of course not. It’s just that satan likes to use them to steal from your children….he steals their time! Family time is gone. How about running around free and just being a kid? Gone, because we are in the car eating fast food, rushing to the next event, or practice.
Remember the good ol’ days? Playing with siblings and neighbor kids until the neighborhood moms would come out on their porches one by one, and call their kids in for dinner? How comforting it was to join my family for a delicious hot meal to end our day. If felt peaceful, relaxed, low stress.
Did you know in the 1940’s, your average size home was 700 sq ft, and the average family had 7 kids?
Did you know in 2000, the average home being built was 2000 sq ft and the average family had 2 kids?
Our families are getting smaller and our homes are getting bigger…..and we all are going our separate ways. We are losing a precious gift called Family Time. We are missing out on a living room so small that we HAVE to be together because there is no where else to go. No where else to be, except together.
When your kids are grown and gone, you won’t wish you had enrolled them in that cooking class, or ballet class, or soccer league. You’ll wish for one more moment of family dinner time, with those sticky little hands tugging your arm to get your attention and say thanks for dinner. Those teachable moments of learning to clear your own dishes and load them in the dishwasher. You’ll wish for one more family game night, or Bible story time with all the kids lined up at your feet, listening intently. One more moment to watch them wrestle on the floor with daddy before bed. One more moment, lingering on the edge of the bed, with a footy jammed toddler’s sweet little head tucked under your chin….
Dale and I are super committed to keeping Family a priority. In fact, we are in a war to protect it. It’s a sacred gift to be treasured and enjoyed. We value the precious moments spent around the family table too much to share that with anything else!
Go hug your babies extra tight today…..and really take a look at you and your family’s social calendars. Cut some things out, commit to sitting down at least 4 days a week for family dinner and watch (AND FEEL) the changes occurring in your home!
God will honor your “God first, family second, work (and activities) third” mentality.
I’m off to bed, good night!