The house is pleasantly quiet. Both boys are already at school. Baby girl is still asleep...thanks to a late night of baseball yesterday. So, I am enjoying myself this morning as I sit quietly. I've already consumed one cup of coffee, and the birds outside my window are definitely entertaining as momma bird works quickly to feed her babies. The thing about sitting quietly...my mind has time to wander. And that is what I'm doing on this cloudy April morning...just thinking.
If I really stop and contemplate the state in which our world is in...especially our country and our culture...as a momma and as a woman, the anxiety can really kick itself up a notch or two. I was just thinking the other day of how my three children, if I stop and think about it, don't really stand a chance in this culture today. To make it through life as a boy, without being tempted in some sort of sensual way, is simply out of the question. As a girl, to grow up without being told, either directly or indirectly, that you are only as valuable as you are sensual, is just not going to happen. These thoughts really began to unsettle my spirit.
I only have such a small window of time. My oldest is already 8-years-old. In another 8 years, he'll be driving. Ten years from now, he might possibly be thinking about moving out on his own. When I realize how quickly the first 8 years have flown by, the thought of the pace only picking up is devastating. The sense of urgency I find myself feeling is overwhelming. What am I going to do with the time I have with them? How am I going to exactly spend it? What will their memories be of me once they move on from their childhood and from their home?
If I calculated the time I spent on my iPhone or in front of my computer screen (I am sitting in front of one right now as I type this), I would be appalled at the amount of time I spend looking at other things, at other people, at stuff OTHER than my family. These are moments, minutes, hours even, that I could be spending otherwise. This brief amount of space that God has given me to spend WITH them, I could be using to help them understand who they are in the Lord, what He has planned for them, what He wants of them, and most importantly...what He thinks of them and what I think of them.
What do I want, truly?
I want God to "give them the boldness of Paul, who was never ashamed of the gospel but saw it as a power that could not be attained. Or how about the courage of Esther, who risked her life to intercede on behalf of her people. Or the passion of King David, whose wholehearted devotion revealed him as a man after God's own heart."
I want my "children [to] have the spiritual sensitivity of Stephen, a man full of wisdom, grace, and power."
I want God to "give them the out-on-a-limb faithfulness of Noah, who built an ark before anyone had even seen a raindrop...the obedience of Abraham, who was willing to slay his own son at God's command...the moral purity of Daniel, whose refusal to compromise his beliefs set the stage for an undeniable miracle...or the loyalty of Ruth, who exchanged her pagan heritage for a place in the lineage of Christ." (From Praying The Scriptures For Your Children by Jodie Berndt)
These are things they can't teach themselves, and these are things I can not teach them behind my computer screen or while I'm holding my iPhone. These are things they will learn as I choose to invest my time into their precious lives. These are things they will learn as they watch my husband and me live and lead our own lives in this way, God help us!
In the quiet this morning, I've asked the Lord to forgive me for all of the moments I have spent my time poorly. I've asked Him to give me another shot, to help me see the value of my children and the time I have left with them. This goes for anyone in our lives who we cherish. How are we being honorable to the Lord in the way we steward our time?
Time...something we all want more of, something we never think we have, something we almost always take for granted. Time...it is one of the most valuable things the Lord has given us.
Lord, help me see the value in the time you've blessed me with. Don't let me waste another moment.
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." -Proverbs 31:28-30 (NIV)