But I haven't put away the dishes in the strainer and there are knives and there is glass and my hands are full with my six-month-old baby, and I have a choice.
I can snap, "Not right now, Debbie; you need to come down from that stool," - because that would be easier for me in the moment. I can do what is convenient for me, I can give her the "righteous" no, while smugly insisting that she is learning obedience that way and giving myself the excuse that my hands are full, and that I am tired, and that it's been a long day, and the baby has been fussy; I can give her the "righteous" no.
Or I can see little Debbie as precious.
I can look my little girl in the eyes, made in the very image of God and loved by Him, and I can hold Elisha with one arm and I can put away the dishes with the other and I can bring my tired body over to the sink and I can stand next to Debbie (or sit in a chair next to her) and engage my daughter and engage my son and I can talk to Debbie while she washes the dishes and talk to little Elisha about washing dishes and I can see them as precious.
There are times to say "no," but right now, this isn't one of them, and I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to my mother's-heart - my tired mother's-heart and holding me close to Him and whispering Listen.
You are tired, but this too shall pass -
Wouldn't it be easier to just let them play on the floor and supervise them?
Maybe "easier" but not what the Lord is leading me to do right now.
The Lord has been teaching me - teaching me slowly, to see my children as precious.
They will only be tiny once, and I have this window, this small space in time, to nurture them, love them, instruct them, teach them, lead them... to Jesus.
Do I want to be distracted during this time, trying to "get through" these years, pushing my children to crawl, to walk, to leave the nest, so that I can be "free" again?
Or do I want to see them as precious?
Lord, help me to see my children as precious... precious gifts, precious charges, precious souls... eternal souls.
There is freedom in giving.
Not in "taking back" what we think is ours. Our time, our bodies, our lives.
Because they aren't ours - They belong to Jesus.
A conversation that I had with a very dear friend burns in my heart -
I asked, Do you think that I should have more children?
And she paused and spoke to me and she said, "I don't think that it's an issue of how many; it's an issue of whether or not you are faithful with the ones that the Lord gives to you."
Her words, her words keep burning in my heart and she referenced the parable of the talents and she said that the Lord gave different amounts of talents to different people, and the issue was not about how many talents each one had, but rather with what was done with those talents...
It's not so much an issue of how many...
And I think that as humans we're tempted to make it into an issue.
Whether we're advocating for large families or whether for small ones.
But maybe it's not so much an issue of how many - rather whether we're faithful with the ones that we've been given... these gifts that we've been given.
Because we can be unfaithful with one child or unfaithful with ten - The issue is a heart issue and a life issue and not a number issue.
Are we being faithful? Am I being faithful? Am I engaging my children, leading them through all the events in the day to Jesus? Or am I merely trying to get through the day?
It's not a matter of how many we can have or how few we should have... but about being faithful with what the Lord gives as we follow His leading and obey.
And then we will see our children as precious... when we look into their eyes, as if looking at the face of God Himself.
We will see them as gifts, as precious.
You might find me on these link-ups:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul Survival, Good Morning Mondays, Oakhill Homestead, Grace and Truth Linkup, Faith Filled Friday, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, The Weekend Brew