Book Club Wednesday
Am I Messing Up My Kids...and Other Questions Every Mom Asks? by Lysa TerKeurst
What Will My Kids Remember Most? Chapter 19
"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."--Emily Dickinson
From the moment Julia Star was born on this planet...my world became changed. John and I became a family of three! It was so exciting and so hard! But so very worth it. And from day one God started stretching my character and broadening my world through the daily tasks of being a mom. Simple things like taking a shower became something I had to actually plan! My time was no longer my own. And we will not even begin to talk about the sleep deprivation. Through it all I think of that very first moment of holding her and realizing I was a mom. It was such an amazing feeling...and kind of scary...how could I live up to being this little girl's mom???
Then I think of all the things that my children have taught me. Like when I hear Julia say, "Mom, God will heal me, I prayed!" I learn that my job is to just trust God with a simple heart like she does. Or when I have to say something over and over to Mark before he obeys I think, "How many times does God have to remind me before I obey?" Or when Micah just puts his arms up for me to hold him, I think...when was the last time I reached up and grabbed ahold of God...when was the last time I just longed to be in His presence? When was the last time I let God just take care of it all and stopped trying to do it all in my strength?
Lysa starts out this chapter reflecting about being an older woman...and looking back at this time of motherhood. Don't you ever tuck your kids into bed and wonder...when will be the last time they ask for another story? When will be the last time they share all their secrets with me? When will be the last time they ask me to hold them? Because...we forget that childhood ends...they grow up...one day our homes will be quiet and empty, and although that may sound slightly tempting and enticing we will actually miss those smudges they leave on the fridge, we will miss the toothpaste in the sink, and the toys on the floor. One day the toys will be packed away and they will be off at college or at work. It's hard to believe, but time is like that...it passes so quickly.
What will the kids remember most?
Mommy was always complaining? Mommy was always yelling? Mommy was always rushing us here and there? Will they remember that we used their favorite icing on their birthday cake? will they remember the stories we read, the field trips we took, the hugs we gave, the bubbles we blew in the backyard? I hope my kids remember the trips to the library, the trips to the park, the forts we made, the pictures we drew, the songs we sang...
I don't want to live with regret. I don't want to wish and hope they don't remember that day. The day I lost my cool, a day I yelled, a day I was short with them.
Lysa says, "I don't want to be the older woman sitting at the park watching other people live and love and laugh and think about all the simple pleasures I missed out on with my children. Why didn't I sit in the backyard and blow bubbles? Why didn't we lie in the grass and name the shapes of clouds above us? Why didn't we read fairy tales and then find a toad and kiss him just to see? Why didn't we talk longer, play harder, and spend more time dreaming together? And did we even once chase a rainbow's end?
This chapter caused me to action. It begged the question...Do I really KNOW my children? Do I KNOW their hearts? Do I take the time to really LISTEN? Honestly, there are so many times throughout the day that I say, "Not now...you have to wait...in a minute...or the famous "I'm only one person!" I can't tell you how many times I actually kneel down and look at my children at eye level and really listen to them! And I am a stay at home mom for crying out loud! This is why I am home, isn't it? I want to be with my children to know them, to raise them, to love them...why am I so busy with other things???
Because I am selfish. I say I don't have time and that I'm too busy...but really I am doing things that are not as important...or I over book myself with outside things. I do this all the time. I over extend myself everywhere else and wonder why I have so much to do. I have such a hard time saying no. And my family suffers. And I suffer because of it. I over commit time that should be spent braiding hair, tickling toes, and listening to someone read me a story or telling me their dream. I don't need to pray to ask God to give me more time with my children...I need to ask God to help me say no to outside things that may be good, but take me away from my number one ministry... my family.
Lysa says T-I-M-E stands for Take Initiative for Meaningful Experiences
"The real joy of parenting will be watching this child God has entrusted into my care grow to be a healthy, capable adult. Mixed with the sadness of seeing the doors of childhood close is a great sense of accomplishment." --Lysa
Katherine C. Kersey wrote, "Children come into the world not knowing who they are. They learn who they are from those around them."
I have such a desire to be that mom that listens, that takes those moments to stoop down and look into her child's eyes and show them you are all that matters in this moment. You matter more than my phone. You matter more than my facebook. You matter more than my agenda and to do list. You are my precious child. You matter and you are loved.
Lord, please help me to be that great mom who loves, cherishes, and lavishes time on her children.