intentional living

Anytime I write about my children it is like putting my heart, the good and the ugly, out on the table for the world to see. I write about my children because they are a huge part of me.The love for my God and my family are why I wake up, why I  write, and why I do what I do in my every day. My desire is to intentionally live along side of these gifts I have been given on a daily basis.

The past 15 months has been hard to choose them. Life has been very distracting and in the back of my mind and heart I knew that there was a cost to my distraction. A cost to the lack of eye contact time, a cost to my busy. But, I have a God who redeems.

Eye contact time was a concept introduced to me when I was a new mom. An older wiser woman in my bible study shared with me that our kids crave eye contact time. All they want in this world is our eyes transfixed on their eyes just for a few moments a day. This tells them they are heard, loved, wanted, valued, important, and chosen. It sounded easy and was easy when they were toddlers. I was able to spend time with them and read books, play games, and do all the things young moms dream of doing when they first have their little ones. Shad and I also looked forward to our had reoccurring dates with each of them on a bi weekly basis. It was such a sweet time. This one on one time was just part of our routine of showing our love for them. Even though we lived along side of them in our every day of life, what we learned about them were things only these moments would reveal. Things like what happened on the playground, who their favorite friends were and what they wanted to be when they got “big”.

Time flies and they have gotten “big”. As our treasures of our children have gotten older, I have found that life has gotten busier. I thought I was busy with two toddlers, but having two olders means they now have schedules to keep up with, extracurricular events to attend, and their school work demands have increased. This sadly all has equated to less eye contact time.

The past few months my oldest has been asking me to go on a date with her. I would always respond “Sure honey, when things slow down.” Well, they never slowed down, yet thankfully, she persisted. She actually planned the date and was relentless in reminding me of the day and time. She was so patient with this over-scheduled mama. I can list “why” I have been so busy, but I won’t. Nothing is ever more important than time with her.

She asked all day if we were “still on” and even was dressed and ready before dad was done with work. She worked hard all day in school knowing our date was waiting for her as her self appointed reward. I have never seen her more excited about time with me. I have to admit, I was distracted with feeding the baby, making dinner, cleaning up our school and dinner mess, that I almost did not notice the important. At a moment I stopped in my tracks and listened as this beautiful girl whispered to me as I wiped the table. She was sitting in a chair right next to where I was bending over and she whispered “Mama, I have so much to share with you.”

This girl. She is quiet, compassionate and rarely ever pushes to get her way, but this, this was so different. She needed this. She craved this. She was making this date happen and she was going to let me know that it was very important. At that moment I knew I needed to stop, grab the keys in one hand, and grab her hand in my other. It was time.

She asked to sit in the front seat so we had as much time to talk as possible, she started talking the minute we got in  the car. Her heart seemed to overflow with thoughts she had for over a year. She covered all that she could and as quickly as she could. My heart melted as I listened. Mom guilt tried to creep in as I realized we had not had this kind of “talk” since our Hume Lake trip. Instead, I chose to praise God silently as she talked to me. I chose to bring her remarks and thoughts to him. I thanked him for her open authentic heart. I thanked him for being a mom to this amazing child. I praised him for the relationship that we have and prayed it would never end. I am so grateful for this girl. This treasure.

I look back on that night with gratitude that she made time for me when I was too distracted. I struggle with the busy. I am so thankful God met me in my busy and orchestrated such a night and used my daughter to plan it. Living intentionally is so important in our lives, but got pushed aside by the busy. The busy I put in my life.

I am recommitting to taking time to be present and make eye contact time with my children, even for just a few minutes. What is important is that they know that they are loved by my time, not my money, or activities that they are in and not me being one of their teachers, but by the me that I give them. This is what I remember. I remember the time my loved ones gave me, not the stuff. The stuff in life gets thrown away, but intentional time given shapes the human God gave me build.

This  post is of a 31 day series called Empower Your People. You are invited to join us and empower your people.

Today’s call: Give Eye Contact Time to Your Child or a Child in Your Life.

Go here for the entire list of calls as well as to join the empower your people project.