Savoring the Precious Moments

Savoring the Precious Moments

by Leslie Ludy | November 1, 2011

Every night as Eric and I are drifting off to sleep, we have a little tradition. He says, “Remember the kiddos?” which prompts me to recount several funny and/or adorable things our little “pumpkin doodles” did that day. Things like Dubber telling me that he had the “peacocks” – which meant he had the hiccups. He also told Miss Annie that he had a “mustache” on his arm – which meant he had a rash. (We are still working on his vocabulary skills, but for now it’s very entertaining to hear what he comes up with.) Or Hudson setting up “Hudson’s Toy Store” in his bedroom and doing a high-pressure sales job on every unsuspecting person who enters our home – selling random articles from around the house at a premium price. There was a great sale going on today though; I got a pair of swim trunks, a baby hair bow and a well-used book, all for seventy-five cents.

Such anecdotes are truly precious to Mommy and Daddy’s hearts. But in the bustle of daily life, we so quickly forget these priceless moments unless we take the time to savor and enjoy them. Taking time to meditate upon the nuances of our little ones every night cultivates a deeper tenderness and appreciation for the children God has given us, and it refreshes our perspective as parents. Instead of just focusing on the problems or “discipline issue,” it helps us remember that these munchkins truly are a blessing from the hand of God, not just a duty or responsibility.

I’ve discovered that the best way to truly savor the joy and beauty of motherhood is by taking the time to cultivate relationship with my children throughout the day. This sometimes requires putting my “to-do list” on hold while I listen to their little speeches, show enthusiasm for their new discoveries and accomplishments, take time to carefully examine and admire a ladybug with them, or chase them around the backyard while they giggle hysterically. Training, discipline, schedule, and structure are certainly important, but these things are merely tools that enable me to focus on what truly matters in motherhood – building godly relationships with my children and leading them to Jesus Christ. As women, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the logistics of managing a home and disciplining children, and forget to really enjoy our relationships with our children and treasure the time we have with them. Everyone is always telling me how fast children grow up. But I believe that if we as mothers slow down enough to savor the precious moments in every day and build lasting relationships with our children, we will not one day feel like the years with our kids passed us by – because we took time to treasure and enjoy them.

I recently listened to a time-management teaching from a homeschool mother of seven. It was filled with helpful information, from how to manage the laundry to keeping kids on track with their schoolwork throughout the day. This particular mom was very diligent about rising early in the morning, structuring the flow of her children’s day, having regular mealtimes with the family, and making sure all household chores were accomplished. She shared the wisdom and practical tips she’d learned throughout the years, and for the most part her home seemed to run pretty much like clockwork. But when asked if she ever spent one-on-one time building relationships with her children, the woman replied, “Very little. I just don’t have time for that with everything else I’m doing.”

It made me sad to hear that response. While I’m a big fan of order, structure, and discipline in the home, I believe those things should never become the end goal of godly womanhood. Rather, they simply help enable a wife and mother to spend time on what truly matters – cultivating an intimate relationship with God, and with her husband and children. Titus 2:4-5 says, “...that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers...”

Becoming an excellent homemaker is certainly of great importance in God’s eyes, but it’s not at the top of the list – loving our husbands, loving our children, and cultivating godly character come first. We must not overlook God’s priorities through our well-meaning efforts to become an effective “keeper of the home.” Sure, we can show love to our spouse and kids by tending to their practical needs like laundry and meals, but we must also show love to them by spending purposeful time with them, becoming a trusted depository for their hopes, dreams, and struggles, sharing precious moments and enjoying time in their presence.

This is not an easy balance to find. Managing a home well and also spending purposeful time with my children is probably my biggest challenge in life. I’m constantly asking God for wisdom in how to be excellent in both areas. By nature, I’m far more of a “Martha” than a “Mary.” And when it comes to motherhood, it would be easy for me to spend all my time organizing, planning, scheduling, and cleaning rather than playing, laughing, and making memories with my kids. But I don’t want to look back in 20 years and remember an organized home devoid of meaningful family relationships. I don’t want my kids to remember me as a mom who kept an orderly household but never had time for them. So nearly every day, I try to be intentional about making memories with my kids.

For instance, yesterday was “bubble day.” I filled up our water table with bubble solution and let the kids use straws and bubble wands to make all shapes and sizes of bubbles. I made chocolate milk and let them blow bubbles in it (a special one-time privilege). We read a very interesting book about the science of bubbles. We did a bubble art project involving bubble solution and colored tempura paint – yes it was a mess, but it was worth it for the fun we had. And then I put bubble wrap on the floor and let them jump on it and pop the bubbles. Just a few simple activities – but the memories we made together will (hopefully) last for many years to come.

Today the crisp fall weather was particularly beautiful, so I decided to load all four kids in the car and take them to the local pumpkin patch. We jumped on hay bales, took an inordinately long and bumpy hay-ride, fed some sheep and a fat pig, and collected a variety of pumpkins and gourds to decorate and bake with. It took only a couple of hours out of my busy day, and it was a well-spent investment of time and effort. Herding four little kids around a busy pumpkin farm all by myself was not the easiest of endeavors, but I felt the grace of God enabling me to “go the extra mile” in spending that purposeful time with my children.

I certainly do not feel that I “have it all figured out” when it comes to making memories or building relational time with my kids into every day. Like most moms, I often struggle with the feeling that I should be doing even more than I am. But I know that God has placed this burden upon my heart for a very important reason, and as Elisabeth Elliot reminds us, “God never issued instructions which He was not prepared to enable us to obey.” So, by His grace, I intend to make the most of every moment that I can during these precious years of my children’s lives. Not an easy undertaking, but one that can reap divine rewards for the rest of our lives, and Lord willing, for eternity.*

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