Sunday, May 13, 2018

Take the Simplicity of Every Moment and Teach It to Your Children


As a mother, I am continually asking the Lord how I can "connect" with my children--in other words, how I can teach them and lead them to the place where they might step into a life of service and love for the Lord, how I can nurture not only their bodies and minds but also their hearts and their souls. We live in an age where everyone is so "connected"; via social media, through easy transportation, through every new and bright form of technology. And really, true communication, true connections have been greatly lost. Why? We live in a distracted and distanced society and culture. Everything is at our beck and fingertips and yet we have really lost touch with the greatest reality of all--the living God--manifested in His creation, in our hearts through faith, in the simple and quiet pursuit of knowing and following Him in spirit and in truth. We are distracted by the cares of this life and they eat away at the fabric of a consistent Christ-centered, focused mode of living.

Our connection with Him is frayed at best and at worst, lost. He is some distant Grandfather in the sky to which we turn often only when something is wrong. I see this attitude of "distance" many times in my own life--there are so many day to day distractions, so many things that "need" to be done, so many enticing forms of entertainment around us, that we often lose touch with what is really important. We think that the temporal things are so necessary when Christ would have us embrace the spiritual. Until we find our connection with Him and lay aside every weight, it will be impossible to truly connect in a sincere way with those around us. In my own life, when the connection to Him is "strong" and the distractions are laid aside, I am able to reach out to the lives that He has placed in my pathway in a deeper and more connected way. 

I have been blessed in that the Lord led me to live in the country. Here, there is not as much noise and distraction materially, yet I still feel and sense that old-Adam tug of my heart toward being distracted--mentally, spiritually, emotionally--I have to constantly remind myself of what is eternal and important--to pursue those things--and often that means laying aside other perfectly 'legitimate" things that I might otherwise do and focusing my eyes and heart on what is eternally important. 

He comes in the stillness. And one of the lessons that He has been impressing upon me lately as I've been praying is to continually "simplify" everything with my children. I write about it here as maybe it will be helpful to someone else. I know that the Lord has been using this lesson in my own heart. 



We need to be present with our children. Period. We can be stay-at-home-moms and not be present with our children. We can be distracted by a million and one things--we all know what distracts us personally and have felt the tug of conviction on our hearts. We know when we are ignoring our children even if we are there with them physically--we know when we are selfishly pursuing our own interests and pushing them into the background of our lives. It's an attitude of the heart that daily should be rooted out like a weed in a an otherwise good garden. And the deeper we allow its roots to grow, the harder it will be to pull out. We need to be vigilant about uprooting weeds of distraction and the cares of this life. 

I've been asking the Lord how to interact with my children (I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old) and this is what He has spoken to me personally--take the simplicity of every moment and teach it to your children . . . talk to them about everything around them, relate it back to the Lord--not in a way that is forced, but out of a heart connected to the Lord--as the outflow of that--

A feather on the ground, 

The robin singing before it rains, 

Ingredients going into a bowl of cookie dough,

A pie crust being rolled out

A hymn softly sung

A prayer for a hurt animal

Seeds being pressed into the ground of the garden

Paint being spread over a board

An earthworm fat and sleek being placed gently back into the soil

An anthill so determinedly built marveled at

A rainbow in the great Midwestern sky

The work of a rake exposing the beautiful green grass under the deadness of winter . . . 



The list goes on and on and on--and I think that this is why my own childhood is so vivid and bright to me---my own mother took the joy of each moment and pressed it into the hearts of her three daughters --in such a way that it has had a lasting impact upon my life. 

Everything in God's creation was sacred in some sense to my Mom, not in some strange mystical way, but a in a real, flesh and bones, joy-infused existence. She gave that joy to us--in so many ways, through the literally thousands of books that she read to us, through her constant relating everything back to the Lord, through her beautiful rich voice singing songs to the Lord as she cleaned our house, through the constant sacrifices that she made to make sure that we went to a Christian school through our younger years. 

The Lord has been bringing that lesson to my heart--to take each moment that He gives and to use it as an opportunity whenever I see it to impart some small grace to my children.  It has been a learning experience for me. 

Children, even very young ones, can be a part of so much of what we are doing--making a bed, cooking, cleaning, raking, again, the list goes on and on--and the more that we teach them when they are young, the more that they will be a help to us as they grow older and feel a part of our lives--

We are tempted many times to let children "go off" and play by themselves when we could include them into so much that we are doing--not everything of course and not all the time of course--but many times



This connects our children with us through day to day life--try it--I find that when I pursue this that my children are less "distracted" and more focused--I am better able to connect with them and to nurture their sensitivity toward spiritual things. The task often takes "longer" to complete, but I feel a great sense of joy when I am not rushing through completing everything on my "to-do" list and involving them. We are both enriched--I in slowing down, and they in being a part of what I am doing. 

We have been taught some great lie that children are a burden--it often niggles at our hearts--if they weren't "in the way we would be able to pursue the important things in life. 

Maybe what we think is important really--isn't. 

Children are a blessing from the Lord--near and dear and close and real flesh and blood--not just to be shuffled off to someone else--not just to be let loose to bring themselves up, not to be showpieces or badges of honor that elevate our own pride, but tiny spiritual beings--

Nurtured, loved cherished, taught--to the best of our ability--by the grace of God--and for the good of our own hearts. 

Teach them simply--and simply teach them--Involve them, include them, connect with them, love them . . . 

Let the little children come. 




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17 comments:

  1. Time passes by so quickly. If you have children at home, take advantage of all those opportunities to "talk." It will pay many dividends and blessings.

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  2. I love this post because it brings back so many memories that happened in connecting with my sons here on this country hill. The opening image of the eggs brought back the memory of teaching them how to crack eggs into a bowl and stir up the ingredients. There are so many homely tasks that can serve as meeting places with our sweet children.

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    1. Yes! I remember Ravi Zacharias telling the story of an older man advising him to make sure that the memories he was building were good ones . . . this often comes to my mind.

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  3. Hi Bekki, This was such a beautifully written post! I loved your insights and the importance of incorporating our children "and grandchildren" into the day to day tasks and activities, even when it may take longer.

    My dad taught me a love of nature. My mom said she would watch me and my friends walk to the bus stop. My friends busy with whatever was in their hands and me just looking up at the sky. When I was very little I would get up at 5 am and sit at the picture window and watch the birds.

    I confess that I have lost some of that wonder being too distracted by a silly phone in my hand and all that it "has to offer" when really it offers nothing and steals my joy.

    Thanks for a great post pointing us all back to the Lord.

    I miss you sweet friend! Blessings,

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    1. Ahhh! I can imagine you doing that when you were little! That is so sweet . . . Yes; I know what you mean . . . it is so, so easy to become distracted and to lose sight of what really matters--it is a day to day battle for me.

      I'm glad that this post was encouraging . . .

      I love you and miss you so much, too, Karen . . . <3 I hope that you have a very blessed week!

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  4. I agree! My kids are older... 25, 22, 18, 16 and I still try to point out the small wonders and connect them to spiritual truth. It just takes a few more moments and that all important ingredient... TIME!

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    1. Yes; that is very true, Karen! Time; exactly! The Lord bless you and your family!

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  5. Yes. Being present with our children and just enjoying time with them and talking about the little things makes such a big impact. Being present with them, which can be a challenge. I know sometimes I think I will multi-task, talk to them while I am cleaning the kitchen. Half listening. And yet, it doesn't work very well. I get distracted. And when I talk when they are busy doing something, the same thing happens. We both need to stop and focus on each other. Be present.

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    1. Yes; I know exactly what you mean, Theresa! It is so important to be present with our children; the Lord keeps reminding me of that--and boy, do I need the reminders! The Lord bless you!

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  6. Our grandson is 2 and a half years old and we so enjoy the simple things of life with him. Seeing things from his perspective as he talks about them and just taking the time to stop with him and watch the things that are new to him but old to us. He loves to sing with us and we are having the opportunity to sing all the children's choruses and instill the Word of God in his mind.

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    1. Oh, that is wonderful, Sandra! May the Lord give your precious grandson a deep, deep love for our Savior! The Lord bless you and your family!

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  7. Great post and good reminder. Thank you for making me think.

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    1. You're welcome, Kathleen; the Lord bless you!

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  8. "I find that when I pursue this that my children are less "distracted" and more focused--I am better able to connect with them and to nurture their sensitivity toward spiritual things. The task often takes "longer" to complete, but I feel a great sense of joy when I am not rushing through completing everything on my "to-do" list and involving them." This is so true. I raised 7 kids and when I would focus on my to-do list it seemed like everything got in the way and I was frustrated, but when I included them and didn't worry whether or not everything got done, we were all in a better frame of mind and I actually got more accomplished. Blessings to you! Thanks for sharing with us at the #LMMLinkup.

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    1. Yes; I know what you mean, Gayl; that is so true!! I get more accomplished that way as well! The Lord bless you!

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  9. This is a lovely reminder! Thanks for linking up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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