When little B finds out about Tall-girl’s plans to go to a friends after dinner for girls group… her face falls, until I tell her that were going swimming after we drop Tall-girl off.
She grins big and races off to find her new swimsuit.
Little B has been begging to go swimming. I guess she didn’t get enough of it on the three-day trek home at Christmas time. Swimming is her fave.
The days had been full with Christmas and travel and I had become a bit disconnected. Although we had been having some “good” one on one time with the phonogram lessons and math problems these were not the moments that I was engaging her heart, where I was wooing her heart to mine.
There were too many expectations on the table between us. With my nagging agenda before me, it was hard to see the little girl’s heart.
So when the opportunity came to feed this little ones heart I knew I had to jump on it. She and I, we needed some one on one, and although swimming is not what speaks to my heart I knew it spoke to hers.
I would like to say its always so easy for me to see “the opportunities” or to lay aside the “to do’s” to connect with my children through their love languages. Truth be told, the pressure of the day’s needs can take top priority over my sweet one’s; too many days and I realize we are going through the motions with out captivated hearts.
As we drove to town I thought about what this girl of mine would like out of these few short hours. What would feed her soul?
I want to dive right in and talk about things that matter and “pour” into her but I knew that was not what this little needed.
So I listened to the stories that mattered to her. How she had seen a new episode of her favorite show while on holidays, the funny things that happened at church or exactly what she was going to order at the DQ drive thru on the way to the pool.
If there is anything that “feeds” this girl it’s a little ice cream all by herself with mom, LISTENING.
I tend to want to make the most out of the situation. To be intentional about our time together and although that isn’t bad, this 6 year old just needed to be “it” for a few hours.
As I listened and played with her in the pool, I began to fall in love with this great kid in front of me. I began to see her with my heart.
Of course I love her, of course I think she is great, but when life is in full swing and my expectations and burdens begin to rest onto her shoulders, I loose sight of the amazing person God is molding and transforming right before my eyes.
Isn’t that how the saying goes, “You can’t see the forest through the trees?”
Meaning I was so focused on all of the details of our life, her life, shortcomings, things we needed to work on, school that needed to be done, that I wasn’t seeing the whole person that was standing right before my eyes; this beautiful girl who is full of creativity, growth and love.
I wonder when I will learn. Learn to live in the moment, learn to see the good along with the bad. Learn to not parent out of fear but out of faith and unconditional love.
A few short hours in the pool helped me to fall in love with this girl all over again. It was her time and I wanted to be there for it. Learning what was in her heart. Joking with her, encouraging her, telling her how great she is.
Laughing and actually looking long into her eyes while she told stories, brought this mama into her world and with out saying a word made this little girl feel like the queen of the castle.
With out the distractions of life’s “to do’s” I was able to live more freely into the call to love her.
God granted us a gift in those few short hours of hearts realigning and grace fleshing itself out as we walked hand in hand to the parking lot, knowing this was one experience that rekindled love’s flame.
Seeing our kid’s the way God sees them is often a tricky thing for us mamas. Here are a few ideas to help you fall in love with your kids all over again…
1. Jump on any opportunity to have one on one time with your kids. Sally Clarkson has some great advice regarding this. Have a special date in your bedroom with one of your kids. Make hot chocolate and cookies (out of a box works too!) and invite them to come have a few special minuets with mom.
2. Speak their love language. Figure out what your kids love language might be and then go for it with more intentionality for a certain period of time.
3. Ask God to show you how to connect with your kids. Ask him if there is something specific you are doing that is hindering your relationship with your kids.
4. Take some time to have FUN!
As Ann Voskamp reminds us, “Life is not an emergency.”
By God’s grace may we slow to the wonder of the gifts that have been given to us in our children and let love lead.