“Mom, will you show me how to do that?”
“Sure, in a little while.”
“Mom, can you play a game with me?”
“Not right now, buddy. Maybe later.”
“Mom, can we take our bikes to the park this time?”
“Huh? Oh, hang on…just a sec.”
“Mama, can we read this book together?”
“In just a minute.”
Sound familiar? These are all responses I hear coming from my very own mouth all too often with my four sweet boys. And I ask myself if I’ve checked out for the day or is this some kind of stalling tactic meant to further the element of surprise when I finally do decide to say yes!
What is it that causes us to check out even when literally faced with a child begging and pleading for our attention? I must admit, I am, in fact, so famous for saying, “just a minute…” to my kids, that it’s not uncommon to hear them say, “Mom, before you say just a minute, can we ____?”
We love our children and want desperately to love them well. But often, I’m spent. So, I hold my proverbial cup out in front of them, fully expecting them to fill it up. I walk away feeling like the cup was drained, or worse, broken. Our sweet children will never be able to fill our cups properly. Only God can do that.
And so, when I hear myself being a “no-mom” instead of a “yes-mom”…when I see the disappointment on their faces yet again because I’ve put them off for a few more minutes without really ever hearing what they asked for in the first place, I know I need to heed the warning sign that says,
Sweet mama, your cup is empty. Time to fill up on Jesus. Just do the next one right thing and pray!
Living and loving our children well doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes courage and humility, and a willingness to say yes to Jesus each moment of the day, so we can readily say yes to our children instead of retreating into our own selves. A mom’s greatest strength is the ability to admit her own weaknesses because this is where we can finally come to the end of ourselves. This is where our high calling as mothers, no matter what our circumstances, meets the sweet and loving grace of Jesus. We cannot possibly be yes-moms without first allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us up so we can then pour into our children’s lives with intention and a Love that is greater than our own.
Ephesians 5:18 tells us to “be filled with the Holy Spirit…”
Notice the action in this verse…Be. Filled. In order to do this, we need to seek God daily.
So, moms, are you tired of finding yourself at the end of a day knowing in your heart that it was a “No” kind of day? I know I am. I want to be the kind of mom that lays herself aside so she can actively listen to her children. The kind of mom whose automatic response isn’t always “No,” but “Yes” if at all possible. After all, I’m pretty sure Jesus never says, “Ummm, can you wait a minute while I finish up over here?” Jesus loved serving His children. He still does. I want to be like that!
Are you relating with me on this? If you are, I have a bit of a challenge for us: (I will be doing all of the following)
1. Pray and admit where you are weak. Ask God to stop you dead in your tracks every time you’re about to say “No” or “Just a minute.”
2. Find some way to serve your children this week that does not fall in line with the normal day to day care of your child. Take the time to do something for them or with them that would really bless them. You could even wash their feet as Jesus did in Matthew 20:16. Speak words of love and affirmation to them while doing so. I actually did this once with my children in our backyard to teach them about serving one another. It was beautiful and so powerful.
3. And lastly, will you check in here in the comments below or on Facebook to let me know you’re joining me in this effort? Women walking together in the name of the Lord while encouraging one another does make such a difference.
Praying for you, sweet Sisters.