Saturday, February 20, 2010

Intentional

I stay home with my kids all day. One might think they get my attention all day. But, somehow, there seems to be days where I go to bed at night and I am not sure if I even stopped to hug Annalee, or did I ever hold Avery like she had asked? Did I read to anyone? Did I crouch down and smile at Shelby? Or did I clean up messes, direct chores, provide food, change diapers and send them outside to play? None of those things are bad. In fact they are necessary, but those, without the others, is well, wrong. I know that. I know it deep in my heart. When I have a busy day where I forgot to stop and enjoy my children, I miss them when I lay my head down.
How is it that this happens? It is so easy to tell Avery, "Hold on baby, when Mommy is done with this I will hold you." She is ok waiting for a second, then we both get distracted and the moment is lost. I remember Shleby always wanted to be held. I remember thinking... I need to remember that she is extra affectionate and when she is a few years older she won't ask so much, but I need to remember to do it anyway. Because even though she doesn't ask, she still needs it. It is who she is. It is how she was made. That will never change. She may learn to deal with it in other ways, but at what cost, and why can't I stop and hold her? The dishes can wait. Who cares if I have sticky hands from baking. The bread will go in the oven when I need it to. The moment with Shelby is lost forever. Sure there will be more, but really, why do I stay home? Why do I keep them home? I never regret it when I do stop. We are all happier when I stop. Why is it so hard? I am a task oriented person to begin with. I often plow right through people to get a job done. I am really great at it. Sad, but true. I am working on it.
I also think about what I am imparting to my children in their faith. I love the conversation where there are many questions. Most of which I can't answer. I love to hear their thoughts and heart for God. Their faith is so simple, so uncluttered, so raw. I lead by example. We all do. What does my example look like? Am I making people the priority, or the task? Am I pointing to the Lord in all things? Am I being grateful? Am I talking with kindness? Do I have joy? Joy, peace, love...these are contagious. Am I living this way? Are my children learning about what a godly strong, peaceful woman of God looks like? Who am I in their eyes. Because, you see, they see the real me.
So to be intentional is hard. It take work, sacrifice and forethought. It requires time, flexibility and energy. It is something that doesn't come naturally. If it did we wouldn't have to be intentional about it, right. Right. So today I will smile, hold, hug, read, sing, thank, kiss and play with the greatest of intention. All with the grace of God leading my heart as I follow His example.

5 comments:

Veronica Boulden said...

I know exactly what you mean!!! I have nights like that when I am laying down for sleep and I want to go wake my kids up so I can snuggle and read to them. :) I don't... but I want to! I was told about a book called The Tyranny of the Urgent... Don't know much else about the book, but the title, though I think it is about this kind of thing: choosing what is important (our kid's emotional needs) over what is urgent (the sink full of dishes).

Natalie said...

This is the very thing my accountability girl are holding me to this week. Intentionality was the very word I use. Love it that God is working on us in the same area but miles apart. Love you friend and will pray for your intentionality.

Stef said...

this post moved me to tears.... I loved it.
This is such a great post for Mommies to read because I think we all struggle in this.

Yesterday my kids and I were driving along to go to a park and I suddenly looked in the review mirror and saw their 3 cute faces looking back at me. There we were, driving along listening to Christian radio, but not saying a word to each other. I smiled... they smiled back and then I said "I love you guys" and they got these thrilled looks on their faces and said "We love you too, Mommy!" melted my heart, made my day and reminded me to stop and take time for those simple, yet very meaningful things.

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Michelle said...

those days go by way too fast. i remember when my oldest couldn't get enough of my hugs & kisses. now she's 13 and i have to repeat i love you 3-4 times before she'll say it back. i feel very blessed to have been able to stay at home and spend those precious years with her.