I'm linking this up over at 152 Insights to My Soul.
From Kristin: #ThreeWordWednesday is simple, really. I know we're all busy with life and kids and jobs and parents and friends and church and whatever else it is that occupies our time. Some weeks I'm not sure what my post will be about, but knowing people will show up here on Wednesdays is good motivation to write something. #ThreeWordWednesday is a chance to pause and hear God. Sum up what you're hearing in three words. Those three words are enough. But stories are good too.
Enjoy this Life
I started dreading days with my kids. The same thing, every day. Cleaning, cooking, sibling fights, begging for tv - I was over it. I felt like a referee or a drill sergeant barking orders. I wasn't enjoying my time with them!
Now, I know not every day is going to be amazing or even good. I know that parenting can be hard and that there will be times when I feel drained over everything I need to get done and all the demands of young kids. But shouldn't there be some joy? Shouldn't there be some fun? I had gotten so wrapped up in managing their behavior - telling them what needed to be done, pleading with them to get along, on edge waiting for the next outburst - that I wasn't soaking up the wonderful stages that they are in.
A few weeks ago I set down my manager hat. I removed my referee whistle. I joined in the games and the fun. Instead of waiting by the sidelines to oversee them and watch for fouls and indiscretions I got in on the action. We ran in the sprinkler and wrestled in the grass. We laughed big belly laughs. We slowed down to explore and investigate.
And my heart bust with joy and broke with sadness all at the same time.
I had been so wrapped up with breaking up fights and ordering them to behave and get along that I missed these fun moments for the last several years. I haven't been as enjoyable as a mom as I could have. I've stood back, convinced that they needed to learn to play without me, instead of getting involved and making memories with them.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon writes, "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God." (Ecclesiastes 2:24). God wants us to enjoy the work we are doing! My job right now is my home and my children and that is where I should find joy - these precious gifts that have been entrusted to me from God. Yes it's hard work, it's our "own toil," but that doesn't mean there isn't good that comes from it.
I'm making it a point to find a way to really play WITH my kids each day. To take some time, even just a few minutes, to laugh, giggle, be silly, slow down, and enjoy them. And a funny thing as happened by doing this - I'm less crabby! I'm no longer barking orders. My tone has softened and my patience is greater. Being conscious of my actions for play has bled into so many other areas of my life and it's wonderful to not feel guilty at the end of the day for being the "crabby mom" once again. I don't like being that mom!
I challenge you, as a tired, worn out, stretched thin mom, to slow down, join your kids, and enjoy this life. See what they see. Find what makes them giggle and laugh right along with them. Notice what makes them light up and come along side them to discover more. Play a game, be silly, and explore their world. You won't regret it.
Do you make a point of playing with your kids or do you stand along the sidelines? Will you accept my challenge to join in? What's your favorite way to play with your kids?