Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cultivating Souls

Earlier this week, I wrote about a new book Desperate which has really touched my heart. The past month, I have found myself struggling internally between stopping to engage with and enjoy my kids as they explored their new environment, made artwork or played a make believe game, when I really needed to unpack and get our new home set up. Sarah Mae's quote really hit the nail on the head of this internal battle of mine.

"Choosing to enter into the mundane with our children, who see playing ponies as anything but ordinary, is a sacrifice of love. Choosing to enter into a project that will probably turn into a training session is also a sacrifice of love. We will have to choose patience and kindness over frustration and giving up. We’ll have to choose to take time to train and teach and perhaps discipline. The choosing to engage means choosing to do the hard work of loving through our actions.

It means taking the time to cultivate the souls of our children. Cultivating has much to do with playing ponies, doing crafts, getting wet socks in the snow, watching a movie when you have something else you want to do, staying in their bedrooms a little longer even though you’re exhausted . . . I believe these acts of love and sacrifice pay off in a child’s heart. Because it shows them we care, and we want to be a part of their worlds. I think it also shows them the Father’s love."

My goal is to harvest a memorable and meaningful life for our family. In order to reap that harvest, I need to embrace those moments for interaction and training as they become available regardless of the "work" at hand. While stopping what I am doing to play a matching game or color is not always possible, I need to be acutely aware that these opportunities are exactly how God wants me to earn their hearts and to train their souls for Him.

A clean, organized home is important but not more so than a confident, loved, listened to child.

Do you struggle with the decision to get things done or stop and engage with your child when you hear "Mommy will you play with me?"