Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Really Matters

stop and smell the flowers

The days flow by so quickly. In them lie a million things to do. Spaces quickly filled with the must do's, the need to do's, the want to do's. And yes, even the "I don't want to do's." You find yourself facing the end of another day and really questioning whether all that you just did really even mattered in the whole scheme of things. Did the things that occupied my day really matter? Those little faces, with their eyes turned up to yours, asking "mommy, will you play with us?" How quickly we dismiss them with thoughtless little words "mommy has lots to do! So much work to be done!" As if they don't even really matter. As if they are simply just an afterthought.
I mulled it all over this evening as I fixed supper. Chopping lettuce and tossing the salad. There were times I felt as if my whole day was "wasted." After all, I had only played with the kids today; That and done school. The house had been a wreck. Dishes smattered across the countertops, living room couch cushions strewn hither and yon, remnants of a childish living room fort or two.
The children wanted me to play with them. "Jump on the trampoline! It's lots of fun! Ride the four wheeler's with us! C'mon mommy!" I balked. Really? But the dishes need washing! And who's going to make us lunch if I don't? I just have so much to do! Pictures of messy closets and drawers come skittering across my mind. I go at the tug of the small hand. I climb onto the trampoline and I jump. As I jump I begin to feel a smile tug at my face and soon I realize that I am having a lot of fun. But my tummy is growling and I see the mail truck coming up the road and I wonder if my phone has texted or not..... The distractions are many, trying to tug away our affections from what's really important in our lives.
Lunch is finished and I think once more that I will be able to conquer the pile of dishes and the dirty floors. But once more I am tugged outdoors. Out into the balmy spring day where it feels so delicious and the sun kisses your skin a glowing pink. I jump some more, and I ride four wheelers, the wind warm on my face. We come inside and do Resurrection based crafts and Bible readings (using A Sense of the Resurrection-love it!!) and I begin seeing my children's little love cups being filled and beginning to spill over with the fullness. Afterwards they scamper off, playing independently and I begin to clear away those dishes. I ask them if they might each clean their rooms for mama and they cheerfully do. I scrub countertops, and scour pots. Sweep floors and set the dishwasher in motion. As I work I think over this day. I have joy. I had joy. I had joy each and every time I said YES. Even though the initial saying of the yes was hard and at times reluctant, I had joy in the yes. I piped up to my kids who were playing happily in the living room together- "You know kids, I really had a fun day today!" and my Hannah (7) pipes in- "Yes! Now you know how much fun playing can really be!" And I truly smiled all over. For isn't that the truth? We can get so caught up in all our work and all our must do's that we forget. We forget how much fun playing really can be.
At the days end, the house stands in relative neatness. The dishes are done. The rooms are cleaned. It didn't take all day to do it either. Just an hours worth of time or less. All taken care of and yet I spent time with my babies. My little ones won't be little for long. I felt such fulfillment in spending those moments with them. I know not every day can be like this one was, but I sincerely hope that I can remember those happy faces and those bright and eager eyes who saw and experienced their mommy playing with them and I can say "Yes" a whole lot more to their earnest requests.
We want to instill Jesus in our children. We want to teach and we want them to learn. But how can we do all this if we aren't truly present in their lives? Just something I am thinking about... How about you?  


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