How do you deal with your little ones when they pull you away from a project, you know, for that all-important game of peek-a-boo, or to read the story “just one more time”?
What is your reaction when you want to get a little cleaning done, but your little one wants you to watch him jump up high enough to touch the cabinet where cups are kept because. . . well, just because he realize he can actually do it?
How well do you respond when your teenager plops down on your bed to begin asking about all the mysteries of the world, just as you were planning on saying, “Good-night!” to the world?
At this point, do you barely engage with your child, hoping that a brief acknowledgement will do the trick? Do you rush through your responses, eager to get back to what you were doing? Do you nod and mmm-mmm, not really paying attention? Because after all, there are things to be done, right? I mean people want to be fed a good meal, live in a neat and tidy home, and want homeschool portfolios to be stellar, right? Or maybe you’ve got errands to run or a phone call to make. Maybe you actually want to sit down, put your feet up and scroll through some random social media. Mama’s got things to do. . .
The truth is, there is no greater work than that of child-rearing to the glory of God. Our children are the arrows we will send soaring into the air of the future to do battle against the enemy, by the way they work and live out their lives for the Lord. Included in that precious child-rearing are the interruptions–but are they really interruptions or opportunities?
These moments are hidden pockets of God’s grace that cause us to slow down and focus on what’s important: an eternal soul, the true, well-being of another. They are also moments that God uses to refine us, working patience within us and sifting out the selfishness resting in the corners of our hearts. And, these moments are sweet gifts, to be cherished because time won’t wait. These babies of ours grow up and we don’t get these moments back: baby toes to kiss, little fingers in your hair, helping tie shoes, bedtime routines, little dresses to iron, grubby fingers to wash, help with hairstyles and accessories, your thoughts on something they created. . .all precious gifts.
Now, I know about being in the trenches when you’ve got 3 little ones and the oldest is 4 years old . . . or the busyness of another 3 babies, each a little over one year apart . . .or the frustration of not always being able to console a colicky baby while your other kids look on, wondering how you’ll fix it all. One of the lessons I’m learning in having a wide range of ages in my children is how unappreciative I was to these interruptions when my oldest ones were little. But I’m so thankful for how beautifully the Lord has worked in my heart to begin regarding these moments with gratitude.
One day will be the last day they ask to play peek-a-boo because they’ve outgrown it and are moving on to reading books. One day will be the last day they ask you to play hide-and-seek because they realize they can’t fit under the kitchen table like they used to. One day will be the last day they ask for help because they can do it all. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Cherish those moments, mamas. Take a deep breath before you respond to the interruption and remind yourself that it is actually a sweet gift from God. Remember, He has called you wife and mama, this is your domain, your territory. Own it and be grateful, not flustered, not frustrated, not exasperated that you have to hear that again, or do that again, or say that again, or help with that again. Take it in, stay the course, see God’s hand in it all, which will allow you to enjoy these blessings from God.