I sit here with two littles effectively tucked into bed (I think the giggles are finally all out), apple bread baking in the oven (not-even-close-to-healthy breakfast for tomorrow), and the beauty of Pandora ushering some calm into the evening.
Each morning we awake and face all that the day has to offer. The good and the bad. The joy and the sorrow. The routine and the spontaneous. The appointments and the serendipitous. The tasks and the free space. We rush throughout the day, kicking our emotional arms and legs to stay afloat. Evening comes and it’s right before bedtime that the kiddos seem to get a burst of energy. (Surely ours aren’t the only ones like this, right?) Then, when they’re finally in bed and the door has latched closed for the final time (after several attempts, mind you), there’s a calm, solemn space. An odd feeling of relaxation — and yet missing the kids all at the same time. Just thirty minutes ago, the feeling was “please go to bed already”… and now… “I just want to hug them one more time.”
It’s not a bad thing. Just the nature of life, or at least this season of it. And yet as I sit here I’m forced to consider this thought: as I try to squeeze the most out of my day, am I trying to squeeze the most out of my relationship with my kids?
Certainly life has its responsibilities. There are things we simply have to do. Don’t pay the bills, utilities get shut off. Don’t do the work, lose the job. Don’t buy groceries, go hungry. There are consequences to not taking care of the responsibilities before us.
But when’s the last time that I thought to myself, “If I don’t spend this hour of free time with my kids, there will be negative consequences.”? Are we typically inclined to think of the negative consequences of not accomplishing the other, but not of missing time with the kiddos? Am I all too quick to make sure I rush the tired kids to Target to pick up a few things rather than embrace their exhaustion and just lay low at home?
How do I maximize every moment… certainly for the sake of this life we live, but also for the sake of the lives we’re building?
How do I effectively choose to say no to some things… in order to say yes to some other things that really do matter more?
How do I relax and soak up every moment… without being so concerned for the things that may not be getting done?
This parenting gig is hard. Heck, this life can be hard. Yet in the midst of it all, I still choose to believe that Jesus was speaking truth when He said he was coming to give us life to the full (John 10:10). I’m just not so sure I always do a good job of following His lead in the daily life and end up getting the ‘full’ out of life.