Sometimes I forget that Emma is 6 years old and Bradley is still 10. They both act so much older sometimes. Emma is very smart and cunning and Bradley is always on top of the rules and taking charge of the situation. They’re both bossy… not sure where they got that from, but I know it wasn’t from my husband 🙂 They’re busy. Their jobs require a lot of energy and not much motivation. They need to have something to do, almost always. They seem to be just as busy as Clay and I are. Emma’s jobs consist of doctoring her stuffed animals, barbies, and baby dolls whom she calls “little sis”. She also has to play tea party and change her clothes four times a day because she’s in fashion. Bradley must line up his army men, both enemy and ally and battle it out in war. He also has to swing in his hammock and read books, play monopoly, build the most amazing things out of legos, and put away groceries at the store. Both of them are busy!
Sometimes I’ll stop to look up from the computer and it becomes that moment when you notice everyone in the house is staring at the screen of some sort of device and nobody is talking. I’m busy with Thirty-One and busy with emails, posts on FB, and writing this blog that hopefully touches someone… anyone. The kids are playing on their GPads and Clay is hunting bike parts, looking at old trucks, or watching mountain people live on the land and off the grid.
Then, there’s the daily grind. Clay works and trains on his bike. I drive the kids to ballet, karate, and music lessons, Dr. appointments, dentist appointments, and of course homeschooling them too. Not only do I barely get to tell Clay “hello” some days, but sometimes I realize I have forgotten to stop and look into our children’s big brown eyes and see their souls. I have forgotten to take a moment to see how precious they are.
They are precious and time is fleeting. They are the most precious thing the Lord has ever blessed me with and they’re growing up way too quickly right before my eyes. I have to figure out a way to make each moment last as long as possible. I know how much I love them and how blessed they are. They only know that this is the only way of life there is. The only loss they’ve felt was the loss of a pet. The only pain they’ve felt is the occasional scrape on the knee. They’re safe and they’re loved and they know it. They trust us and love us despite our busy schedules and daily mistakes.
The truth is, all children have precious eyes and big hearts. They love you no matter how you treat them especially if you’re all they’ve ever known. They are innocent and weak. They can’t fight for themselves and they often take the brunt and feel the pain of divorce, abandonment, and abuse, and still they love.
My own children put up with us being busy with work, staring at computers and phones and answering calls and returning emails, and still they love. They wait on us. They beg us to play with them, they beg to be tickled and they give hugs for no reason at all. They smile and cling to us in celebration that work is over and time together may begin. That’s all they really want. Beyond the toys and the clothes, all they truly want is to be loved and to spend time with us. This is true for every child everywhere.
In this crazy world full of changes and uncertainties, I urge you to remember you are all your children have ever known. Give them a happy loving home. Read to them. Hold them when they’re too big, wipe their tears instead of sending them to their rooms, and think before you speak. Be compassionate. Look them in the eyes. Show them who Jesus is.
Proverbs 22:6 English Standard Version
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
How are you training your child? I urge you to put away your phone. Turn it off during family time, dinner time, and pick up time. Teach your children the word of God by living it. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”. Remain faithful to God, to your spouse, and to your word. If you train your children up like this, they won’t depart from it.
Father, I ask you to help me put aside things that aren’t pleasing to you. I long to live a life that’s acceptable to you and honorable to my children. I want to remain faithful in my behavior and in my words. I thank you that you are the Lord of my children and that they will not depart from you or your Word. I thank you for reminding me that my children are my first ministry, that you have entrusted them to me and it is my duty to raise them in a way that would bring delight to you. You have entrusted them to me to teach, guide, and love. Teach me Lord, so that I may effectively teach them. In Jesus name. Amen.