Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thinking, thinking

Thinking about a lot of things these days.  (This probably also explains my lack of blogging.  Too much churning around.)

My neighbor Gabby is on my mind each day.  She has just begun chemo and radiation 2 days ago, and is already dealing with side effects.  Her parents are by her side constantly.  I just can't imagine how hard this must be for them all.  It breaks my heart, and I pray for them all the time.

Then I look in my own children's faces.  I think about how it could just as easily be one of them down at CHOP.

And then I think about how often I am not really listening to them.  I think about how often I lose my patience.  I think about how I make too big a deal about things that really don't matter in the scheme of things.  I think about how I take for granted that they will grow up and go to college and get married and give me grandbabies and do great things for God. 

Then I also think about how quickly they are growing and changing.  And how I need to just soak up the kids' every last little smile, giggle, spoken word, and yes, even the not-so-shining moments of their lives.  Because we never do know how much time we will have with them.

A month ago I was hoping summer break would go quickly and wishing that Chloe would grow up a little faster.  Now - if there is one little positive thing that I can take from Gabby's situation - I have such a different viewpoint.

Yes, the days are long and tiring and filled with negotiations and cooking and cleaning up and settling squabbles and running errands and cleaning up some more .... but now my perspective is less "grin and bear it" and more "grin and just enjoy it all." 

This evening we put the kids to bed, and as I kissed Audrey good night she wanted me to lay down with her for a few minutes.  My usual response is - No, I need to go finish the dishes/fold laundry/etc.  But tonight, I said okay and climbed up into her bunk bed and laid down.  We ended up having a long conversation about something that was on her mind and I was able to pray for her, that she would trust God and not be afraid.

I wonder how many times I have missed out on these kind of moments because I am too busy or preoccupied.  Or even more embarrassingly - because I have a TV show I want to watch.

Now realistically, as parents, we have limited time and resources to offer our children.  It would not be wise or even healthy for me to drop everything every last time the kids wanted my attention (because the desire for attention can be bottomless sometimes, and they do need to learn that the world does not revolve around them alone.)

BUT.  I can slow down and take the time to listen more.  I can enjoy playing with them.  I can discipline them in a way that teaches them and doesn't put them down.

Father God ....thank you for my beautiful family... and help me to love them well and be grateful for however long you give us together on this earth.


Eric said...

Great reminder Amy! I hear you. It is easy to take for granted the time we have with our kids, or assume that all will go well in their lives.

ErinOrtlund said...

THat was me, Erin.

I liked your description of your talk/prayer with Audrey. I'm sure she was so encouraged.

Jennifer said...

Right on, Amy. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative side of parenting (some days I feel like I live there!) - when really, I suppose, there shouldn't even BE a negative side of parenting, right? There is no negative with God - positive love, positive rules, natural consequences bring sadness, but no negative from God the Father. I struggle daily with it. How to balance the "correction and rebuke" with the love and encouragement. Protecting my child's heart is my goal, but most of the time it's me that's bruising it, or so it feels! Sometimes I just take days where I set out to ENJOY my girl - who she is, how she thinks, what she likes, what she needs to learn and talk about. LOVE those talks:) Enjoy your summer!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Thank you for your beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes this morning. I have been pondering some of the same things. I don't want to look back on this time with regrets.

nateandkatesmom said...

I felt this way many times before when Alexa was sick, when Trey relapsed, and now with Gabby. I pray that I won't need these kind of reminders to not take one moment with my kids for granted, and that it would be my hearts desire ALL the time to give them the attention they need and put aside my to do list. I know that when the kids stayed over at my Mom's last night I was missing them like crazy!

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your post. Brought tears. I am a mom of 2 boys and feel all these things almost everyday. Thanks for reminding me of the important things.

Jennifer @ A Fine Romance said...

Me too, too. My heart aches for these families...and I think, oh God...not mine, please never mine. I couldn't live. But how often do I not live in the now with them? How often do I moan and complain because they are acting up or just plain needy. The nerve of them, needing their mommy. I am so ashamed. I love Ann Voskamp's Year of YES - learning to say YES; and No less. Because you really do never know just how much time we have left. The mere thought of losing them crushes me...and yet, so often, I am impatient and even unkind because I have my own agenda. :( I appreciate your honesty and want you to know that you aren't alone...we mommy's need to pray for strength and patience for each other and for moments filled with joy and no regrets. :) XO

Thoughts for the day said...

What a beautiful writing.
Time is indeed a gift we can give.
Along with an open heart and ears that are willing to listen.
I know life can get hard for a young mommy but from an older mom, grandma and wife of 38 years the most important thing you can do is stop and give them some of yourself. To listen is a gift. To pray is even more of a gift. Remember always to make memories that are good.

Pink Slippers said...

Thanks for linking up today. I am glad you did. I enjoyed reading your blog.