I tend to be a “stick to the list” type of person. I like to accomplish. You know – the whole house has to be cleaned, all the school subjects covered each day, etc etc.
I can be rigid.
It might be a fault.
However, as mothers we need to be sensitive to our family’s emotional state and willing to respond accordingly. Children have a LOT going on emotionally, physically, and mentally; accomplishing things that have no discernible value to them isn’t always on their list for the day.
I was reminded of this recently when Sunshine Girl just wasn’t her usual sunshiny self – in fact, she was in a downright funk. All she wanted to do all day was have me make paper snowflakes with her and build a fort in her room.
Now, the List side of me could have forced us to stick to the schedule for the sake of “learning discipline,” and Then Do Something Fun, but that wasn’t where she was emotionally. She needed something from me, and it wasn’t a lesson on industriousness. It was simply my time.
I love the beauty of Ecclesiastes 3 and while I come nowhere near the wisdom of the author, I might add just one more: a time to accomplish, and a time to just be.
To be with your children, your spouse, yourself, your God.
The great and the terrible about our culture is the ambition. Don’t mistake me – I’m a very ambitious person – but it’s taken God years to show me that unwarranted ambition is just a better-sounding word for pride. It’s easy in our pinterest-oriented culture to believe that we should always be pushing for the next thing that’s better than what we have right now, but it could be that what we’re called to be is right here, right now. After basic needs are met, our children care little for our career or life accomplishments; what they need are us. And if we’re too busy working, like I used to be, we are failing to give them what they need most.
So we didn’t get all our schoolwork done that day, but we did play outside for three hours, made snowflakes, and built a massive fort in her room. My List make not have received its coveted checks, but my daughter received the one thing we can never get back: time.