Posts Tagged With: chores

Everything Else Can Wait

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight as I lay down to snuggle with my son we visit for a few minutes before sleepiness comes sneaking in around him. I can see it in his eyes and feel it in him as I notice his body relaxing.

But my mind has jumped ahead. I’m wondering how much longer I need to lay here. Because if I try to get up too quickly, he’ll wake up. And there is a list a mile long of things I need to do:

Clean the windows.

Wash the dishes.

Wipe the counter.

Clear off the table.

Scrub the sink.

Pack my sons lunch for tomorrow.

Fold the blankets on the couch.

Put toys away.

Sweep and mop the floors.

Do the dusting.

The list goes on and on.

And when all that is done I need write another post for this blog, send a few emails, find a pair of pants that are long enough for my husband and order them, and send a couple thank you notes.

Without even thinking about it, I suddenly realize that I am becoming overwhelmed and I am still laying here with my son. My sweet, sweet, precious son. This is supposed to be a special time. A beloved time. A time just between the two of us and I’m not enjoying it at all because I’m too anxiously anticipating all that my evening will hold.

He is sleeping soundly by now.

I prop myself up on my elbow so I can watch him more closely. I love the way the dim light falls on his face. He really is a beautiful child. He lies there so peacefully, so calmly. I look at his long, dark eyelashes, his chubby cheeks, and his small hands. I watch his chest rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.

And then, all of a sudden, it hit me…  It will not be like this forever.

There will be a time when his cheeks are no longer chubby and his hands aren’t quite so small. He won’t beg for me to stay just a little bit longer because he won’t desire that anymore. He will only be little for a little while.

There will be a time when the hours will no longer run quite so quickly out in the day. When I no longer struggle to find time to clean my house. When the house is quiet enough during the day that I can write all the blog posts that I need to. When I read a book during the day free of distractions and interruptions.

Yes, my house will probably be a little cleaner in a few years. The content of my blogs will be put together much better and more thought out. And I’ll be able to attend a few more Bible studies.

But my home will be empty of children.

And then I am reminded of Psalms 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Just moments before I had not been doing this. I was not rejoicing but allowing sin and selfish desires to overwhelm me. I had neglected to treasure this fleeting time with my son that was ordained by God. I had fallen into the temptation to trade it in for worry, anxiety, and anticipation.

No more!

I will cherish this time.

Big deal if the dusting doesn’t get done. Who really cares anyhow?

This blog can wait another hour or day to be written.

So I decide to take the time to rejoice in my day, in my moment. I stay a little longer, hold him a little tighter, and love a little longer. I choose to treasure the child that God has entrusted to me.

Everything else can wait.

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Because Loyalty Is Important

 

Lately, my family has been talking a lot about loyalty. It begins with loyalty to Christ, loyalty to our family, loyalty to one another, and loyalty to the body of Christ.

We, as the parents, must model loyalty to our children. We must set an example for them.

We start with showing loyalty to them. Every weird comment someone makes is a chance for me to show loyalty to my children. In public, many people make comments without even thinking about what they are saying or the little ears that hear the comment too. I work to respond to the comment by showing my loyalty to my children. A comment I hear a lot is, “Two boys. How exhausting!” I try to say something like, “Oh, they are so fun. I am very blessed to get to have not only one, but TWO boys!” The point is that my children hear over and over again that I am happy that they belong to me.

There is another much more sneaky way that I can show disloyalty to my children. Every gripe, moan, and grumble of discontentment about my life they may hear as disloyalty to them. When I complain about my post-pregnancy body, the lack of time alone, driving a minivan, making fun of my own social life, and in general talking bad about motherhood, they hear that I am complaining about them. They know that they are specific reasons for these problems. Don’t let your attitude be an attitude that insults them. Children belong with their parents. Let the message they get from you be one of overwhelming love, joy, excitement, and contentment.

Loyalty extends to our everyday life in how we deal with one another. We do not allow our boys to make fun of one another, tell embarrassing stories about one another, or choose friends over siblings. If my older son has a friend over, they must include the younger brother. This is an expectation in which the parents must live out first – we do not tell embarrassing stories about one another, making fun in unloving ways, remind one another of their shortcomings, or sharing stories about each other’s weaknesses. Loving one another as yourself should encompass your family, begin with them, and be demonstrated by them. This is also a wonderful way to instill loyalty in each family member.

There are a number of meaningless and silly ways that divisions are created in the family. For an example, we used to have a list of chores that each family member was responsible to complete. But we noticed that one person would see something needed to be done and not do it simply because it was not their chore. We did not feel that this created loyalty in our family, but division. It is now our rule that if you see something that needs to be done, do it. It does not matter if you made the mess or not. Everyone cleans up after everyone. There is no great injustice done if a child who did not shoot the darts out of the Nerf gun is the one cleaning them up. Because the child who did play with the Nerf gun will be cleaning your dirty dishes tonight or folding your clean clothes tomorrow morning.

Does this seem strange? Why should someone clean up a mess that they did not make? We desire our children to have a much larger view of themselves, one that includes the people around them. As they grow into adults, we want them to serve the church and community without calculating what they have done for whom. We want them to serve freely, openly, joyfully, and lovingly. We want them to serve without even thinking about it. And we might as well start here at home.

But the heart of what I want to say does not have to do with any parenting style or choices at all. It has to do with Christ. When I put Him first and keep my eyes focused on the cross, failure is completely avoidable. We will not fail our children, our spouse, church body, or community if we are obedient to Christ. Loyalty to anything or anyone begins with loyalty to Him. If I am loyal to Christ, I will forgive easily; remember how He has forgiven me even though I don’t deserve it. If I am loyal to Christ, I cannot be without joy. If I am loyal to Christ, I will gladly serve my church, community, and family. If I am loyalty to Christ, I will look for opportunities to encourage my brothers and sisters, especially when I notice they are struggling.

The truth is that my children do not really belong to my husband and me, they belong to Christ. He is just allowing us to raise them for Him. It is our job as parents to help them grow consistently and to never let them forget Who they really belong to. We want them to be loyal to Christ throughout their whole life. And only by God’s grace will we show them how this is done.

 

 

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