Dating Our Children

Every Saturday, the children and I head over to my mother-in-law’s house for a visit. When possible, I drop off three of my children (who excitedly run into the house and announce they are ready for fun and food), then the fourth child and I head on out for a date.
When on our dates, I usually allow my children to decide what they would like to do. Sometimes we go for a walk or visit antique stores. At other times, we have gone for fancy tea parties or ice cream. It doesn’t matter where we go, what matters is that we are spending time together.

I think one of the greatest joys of our “dates” is getting to know who my children are. I am often surprised by their observations and questions about life. I have learned so much
about their dreams, their fears, and their struggles. We often share how we’re each doing in life, how we could be praying for one another, and what the Lord has been teaching us through His Word. Here I can focus on just one child for that limited space of time, assuring them they matter and are remembered.

I pray that the Lord would use these days to strengthen our relationships and unify our family. That He would use these times to teach me about my children and how I can better minister to their needs. I pray my children will look back on these days fondly, remembering all the little things that really meant nothing and yet everything.

“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”
~ Ephesians 5:19

We’d love to know… How do you “date” your children?

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I’m Running Out of Time

Running_Out_of_TimeToday, we’re doing a little photography for a homeschool project. Tomorrow, we start our next school year, have a yearbook meeting, and will probably have an afternoon activity. We’ll be swimming with friends later this week; going to a party this weekend; and don’t even ask to see the calendar for July, it’s probably almost filled. Why are we so busy?

Perhaps I’m silly, but I want to make the most of the time I have with our kids. I want to go roller skating, swimming, and hiking. I enjoy planning yearbook parties, park days, field trips, baking days, sewing projects, and more. I like being able to spend time with our kids. Before I know it, they are going to be grown and doing these things with their own families. For now, it’s my time and I’m enjoying it.

When our children show interest in a particular area, my husband and I do our best to be involved. If they participate in any activity, we want them to experience it to the fullest. So, we plan, prepare, and volunteer to help (if necessary).

Not everyone understands this. Our need to know where our kids are, what our kids are going to be doing, and our constant involvement bothers some people. Why can’t we just drop our kids off like all the other parents? They don’t seem to understand how much we cherish this time with our kids. The thought that we don’t want to be away from our kids confuses them. We like being with our kids, spending time with them.

When we’re not out-and-about having fun, we’re enjoying time together at home. Many days you can find us relaxing on the couch, taking in a movie. We watch movies together; we lounge-about, reading; we cook; we garden; we play games; and many other things.

This is about creating wonderful memories and building our family relationship. The activities we plan are not empty, created to take up time, but meaningful opportunities with family and friends.

Wanting to soak up every moment I can with my kids isn’t silly; it’s good parenting. I love my kids and I want my kids to know that. I want our children to leave our home with fond memories, a strong sense of family, and a solid foundation built on Christ. What better way to do that than spending as much time together as possible?

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:3-5

🔔Time to Chime In: What is your family’s favorite activity to do together?

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Play With Me, Mommy

As ridiculous as it might sound… I was sitting at this very same desk, intently focusing on my computer when my husband walked in the door. “What are you doing, hon?” he asked. “Oh; just researching ways to spend time with ‘T’.” was my reply. “Seriously? She’s sitting at your feet, playing with blocks! Just get off the computer and play!!”

Yes; yes, I know I was being silly. At the time, however, it seemed like the right thing to do. I mean, play time was supposed to be memorable and meaningful. I couldn’t just sit down and play without a plan; I might have missed something vital I was supposed to be teaching her.

I’ve finally come to the realization, with a little help from my husband, that we are both right.

There are times when I need to just plop down on the floor, no game plan in mind, and let the moment take us away. Who knows where spontaneous creativity might lead? On the other hand, I also want to make a point of picking purposeful activities and events to partake in. Afternoon tea time, field trips, large art projects, and thoughtful conversations might need a little ground work and preparation.

Play With Me, MommyNo matter the situation, I need to make sure I take several moments out of each day to just be mommy and play with my kiddos.

Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in the problems of life. I have laundry, dishes, and house keeping that need to be done; our learning day needs to be completed; errands need to be run; ministry which needs to be planned for; and numerous other “hats” I need to don before the day is out.

While these responsibilities are necessary and beneficial to my family, I also need to remember it is just as important to stop and enjoy my children’s company as it is to provide for them.

It doesn’t need to be grand, it doesn’t even need to take mass amounts of time; I simply need to make a pointed effort to stop what I’m doing for a short while and let them know I’m invested in them. For that moment, I’m not the housekeeper or the teacher; I am mom and I’m always willing to enjoy their company.

Besides, those dishes will sit for five more minutes.

Please Note: I am not suggesting we switch out one for the other, responsibility and spending time with the kids. My husband would go nuts if our house was a mess, no matter how much time I spent with our children. No; I think, with a little effort, there is a way to do both! We just need to be creative, thoughtful, and organized. 

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27