Some days all God is calling us Mothers to do is ignore the checklist and cuddle your child.
At the end of the day the dust will wait, the dishes will have their opportunity, the phone calls can be returned; but these moments that are so fleeting, so irretrievable, more precious than gold or silver – these moments when your child needs you; needs to be known and loved right where they are, tears and all – these moments when the foundations of their hearts and minds are being shaped for their whole lives ahead of them – these are the moments that can’t wait. The moments that can show our little ones that they will be always and forever deeply loved, and never alone. The moments that build life-long confidence and security and trust as they snuggle up to my chest and learn the sound of my heart beating.
Time. Time is our most valuable asset in this world where not only is time money, but it is irreversible and ever ticking on. I want my children to know that I will spend all the time they need with them in love – that they are my most valued priority second only to my marriage. That it’s okay to need attention and love, and that their needs will always trump the menial tasks of the day.
Because these aren’t dishes or dust, business transactions or fleeting friendships; these are the little souls and hearts that have been entrusted to my care, and the love, honor, respect, awareness, and compassion that I show to them is the best tool to teach and demonstrate to them of God’s love. The way I teach them to view themselves (by way of how I treat them) will best help them know the way God views them. If I don’t show them how valuable they are, they will forever struggle to believe they are valuable at all.
So today I put down the broom and the dishcloth and I hold my daughter and tell her how beautiful and loved she is. She may not mentally remember it tomorrow or in 10 and 20 years, but her heart – her psyche- will forever be conditioned by these moments of love. Just as each harsh and angry voice, each unkind word, each unloving ignorance will also stick with her forever. So I work – I work for the most common experience she has to be one of love and compassion, time invested and physical touch, to show her and condition her to believe that she is inherently valuable in her identity as a creation of Christ, a daughter of the King, and her Mommy and Daddy’s priceless gem.
Our highest calling is not to get the housework done and have the best and brightest things, but to Love, and to Love sacrificially when it’s not convenient.