By Hannah Benac
In the days of mothering young children there is a rhythm not a schedule. I wish someone would have told me this when I had my first baby. There are tasks to be completed but no deadlines. There is unending need but no accolades for meeting those needs. Your time is in no way your own. This concept of managing time has been hands down one of the most challenging things about motherhood for me. More times than not, I finish the day feeling restless and like I accomplished nothing. This used to frustrate me and often still does…how is it possible that I never sat down once today yet when my husband comes home and asked how the day was I can barely name one thing that actually happened?
Right in the middle of this question of meaning…of wondering if my days matter… is when the words from scripture invade (if I will let them) and somehow began to make the mundane sacred.
Deutoronomy 6:5-9 says
. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Slowly but surely God has been faithful to shed light on how to foster healthy rhythms in my home so that He is glorified. I have heard these verses many times and have always been challenged to teach my kids about the Lord but have never thought about setting up our days to allow opportunities for teaching these principles to naturally occur. Do you notice verse 7? It specifically names a rhythm to the day but does not name a schedule or list of things to accomplish. “Talk about them (the commands of God) when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” If I had to put words to the days with toddlers that pretty much sums it up…waking, feeding, walking, driving, sleeping and repeat (plus throw in lots of wiping and tantruming). However these verses don’t just describe my days at home, they add eternal value to them. The five short years before my children get in school are the years I have the most say over how we spend our days. I am the keeper of time in my household. Some may hear this and feel pressure to maximize every moment of the day. Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t say this to add pressure to your days but to add freedom. Freedom to not have your days fully scheduled from beginning to end but to structure them so it allows for plenty of time together to teach the ways of the Lord. This doesn’t mean sitting them down for an hour to teach a theology lesson, I’m simply saying we allow time enough to be present, to hear and answer our kids questions. I’m suggesting we take time to point out things that God made when we are outside or make time in disciplining to teach a principle of how God desires us to live. In other words, we live with a vision to see teachable moments and capture them for kingdom purposes, and most importantly to be available to listen without distraction. As the keeper of the time I have the opportunity to build strong relationships with my children, to foster their relationships with each other and most importantly to teach them the ways of the Lord. These are the things that are lasting and the things I need to protect.
Our days are hard but oh so valuable. Lets take moments today to look for opportunities to impress the ways of God on the hearts of our children and pray fervently that the result would be that they would love the Lord their God with all their heart. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14), He will be evident in our homes if we invite Him in.