This summer has been somewhat of a whirlwind for our little family. Ever since Grant has been in graduate school, it seems we do a very good job of packing our summers as full as we can with family visits, work conferences, and borderline insane travel itineraries for three children five and under.
The past few days we have been winding down and experiencing some normalcy at home. I have been tackling organization projects and trying to catch up on laundry and ironing and unpacking the mound of clothes in the girls’ room.
Tonight as Grant finished up a little work, I put the girls to bed and I was feeling the exhaustion from how hard I had been pushing all day. “Can you read us a Bible story?” the girls chimed in together when I was ready to turn out the light.
Now THAT’s a difficult one to say “no” to. Fairy tales, no problem. Stories of when I was little, also easier. But a BIBLE STORY, well that’s problematic.
“Girls, Mommy is SO very tired and it is WAY past your bedtime. Let’s do a story in the morning.”
“Mommy???” AudreyKate sweetly and cleverly countered, “How about we tell YOU a Bible story?”
I teetered on the edge for a moment, in my head saying “no,” but instead out came something like a “Yes.”
“Well,” AudreyKate began, “Once upon a time there was a man named Noah. And the people were very bad and didn’t love God. So God told him to build a boat and he did.”
Her face lit up as she began to recall the details of Noah’s construction of the ark, the flood, and the forty days and forty nights they were all on the boat.
“First, he sent out a black bird and it just kept flying and flying. Then,” her hand gesturing the bird’s flight, “He sent out a dove and it kept flying. Then he sent out another dove and it brought back a tiny piece of leaf, and then he sent out one more dove and it never came back and Noah knew there was dry land.”
As I listened, I couldn’t believe with what accuracy she relayed Noah sending out the fowl.
I even went and fact-checked it in Genesis 8. Surely she had added an extra bird in there.
I kissed her face, which was now satisfactorily delighted by her apt audience (of two). I felt no less tired, but my spirit was lifted somehow.
As I closed the door I thought to myself, “I’m SO glad I made time for that.”
I never feel like there are enough hours in the day to complete the tasks I want to accomplish. And I don’t even consider myself a very busy person. I’m not solving the world’s problems. But I am thankful when God gives me the grace to make time.
Taking a few moments to stop and pray for a friend. Jotting down a Bible verse to meditate on throughout the day. Writing a quick thank-you note or a text to let someone know I’m thinking of them. Packing Grant a lunch or sitting down and listening to my little girl tell me a Bible story.
Sometimes I think that I must be refreshed and my schedule must be clear to have time, but if I wait for that, I will most likely never have time.
I don’t always know what the right things are to make time for with my kids (I do believe it is good for them to hear no). But I do know this, I will probably never be less busy or my schedule more laid-back (if I am doing what God has called me to). I will just be busy with different things. Less diapering, more of something else.
Of course, in my busy moments of taking care of a home and little ones, I often think about how busy Jesus was in his earthly ministry.
The cares of the world. So many needs around him. No time. And I don’t say these things lightly.
He was on his way to die (on the road to Jericho), when blind Bartimaeus cried out to him, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many told Bartimaeus to be silent.
But then those next words, Jesus stopped.
So many people. A cross to bear. A world to die for.
He must have been under intense stress. I can’t even imagine it. He was going to suffer and die by the hands of evil men.
And yet He stopped.
This wasn’t the only time He did this. It is one of the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry – making time for individuals.
So busy and yet all these moments. He didn’t heal everyone. But He made time for so many.
And because Jesus stopped that day, Bartimaeus regained his sight. There was such a big thing to do, and yet the little thing mattered. And it was no little thing to Bartimaeus.
But I so often think that just the big things matter. All I see are my goals or the “next thing” that I just need to do.
But the little things on the way to the big things matter too. And sometimes those little things are life-changing and soul uplifting!
And they can make the world of difference in the life of a child.
“Remember when you used to wrap me in towel and swing me in the air?”
“I love it when you sing the toothbrush song.”
“Remember when I used to fall asleep laying on your chest?”
“Mommy, this is the best day ever.”
The big things matter. The work matters. But so do the little things along the way.
Because He stopped.
And everything is changed.