“Mom, do you have time to lay with me?”
I cringed as I heard the footsteps of one of my boys creeping down the stairs when it should have been bed time. Honestly, the first thought that ran through my mind was, “I’m almost done cleaning up and I was finally about to collapse on the couch and put my feet up.”
But then I cringed for a different reason. One that tugged at my heart and helped me to hear his words more clearly…”do you have time”….
As I left dishes in the sink, laid my towel on the counter, and ignored the dinner crumbs on the floor, I replied, “Of course,” and took him off to our room to sneak in a few minutes, just the two of us. We snuggled down into the covers and had a wonderful moment of tenderness as he wrapped his arms around me and smiled. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would he share his greatest desires, a recent hurt, challenges he’s facing, his dreams and hopes for the future? No. On this night all he needed was time. Time to simply be together.
Time. It’s such a gift.
Time can be wasted or treasured. As I pondered this thought, I asked the Lord to help me give this precious gift freely to my children.
This week I purposed in my heart to put forth extra effort and to be more aware of my kids need for ME. Not distracted me or dismissive me, not “in a minute” me or “maybe later” me. Shouldn’t it be so easy to give of myself? Especially to my own children? Yet, for me it’s one of the most challenging and conflicting parts of being a mom.
Choosing to spend time with the kids this week, beyond meal time, homeschooling, and bed time, has proven to be one of the most life-giving, purposeful, and enjoyable times I have had in a long while.
We had a tea party for lunch,
biked to the horses in our neighborhood and helped a neighbor brush her pony,
and enjoyed the beautiful weather playing together. Doesn’t this smile say it all?
AND then I was filled with joy watching my loves gift time to one another.
Looking back on this week and these precious pictures I realize that the gift was really mine to receive. Suddenly the mundane didn’t feel quite so mundane. Being engaged with each of them, watching them laugh and play and run made my heart overflow.
This day, this hour, this minute, is a gift. I want to be present in these days with the kids, laughing at their silly jokes, singing loudly to their favorite songs, and trying my hardest to throw strikes they can hit, because one day the memories of today are what will remain. When I look back on my life, I want to be able to say to the Lord, “Thank you for that time, that season, those days….what a gift You gave to me.”
Moms, wives, friends, next time you are asked “Do you have time….?”, carefully consider not only the gift you can offer, but the gift you will be given in return.