May 4, 2012

A Gift in the Mundane {Parenting in the Now}


If you have a child strategically climbing up your leg as you read this, or if you've stealthily poured a cup of coffee and tip-toed to the computer to try to have a quiet moment before the kids wake up and the chaos ensues, this post is for you.

This post is for me too.

You see, before I had kids I knew that I would spend a lot of time wiping noses and cleaning bums and saying no for the hundredth time in the grocery store checkout candy store.  Or at least, I sort of knew.  I knew it wouldn't be easy.  I knew I would be tired (although I don't think I knew what tired really was!).

Dirty diapers, sleepless night, mushed up banana bits on my sofa. I thought all these things were side effects of parenting.  But we had kids anyways, right? Because in the end they will be far more rewarding than cumbersome, right? 

Right?

But I had it all wrong.

These things aren't chores standing in the way of life.  These things are my life.

I believe that children are a gift from God. Or at least, I mean to believe it.  But sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to survive today that I forget that they are, not will be a gift from God.

The gift doesn't come when they start sleeping through the night or learn to use the potty or grow up and start families of their own.  The gift is standing right in front of me holding a breakable bowl with her slippery fingers, asking for more oatmeal.

Do you see what I'm saying here?

This is it.  This is parenting.  The supermarket tantrum, the midnight feedings, the eleventy-billionth load of laundry....these are all part of the gift that God has given us.

The gift is now.  

When our children are young, us moms are often told not to wish away these days. One day we will long to have these days back.  I think we need to hear that often. 

I need to hear it often.

Don't wish away today.  One day, you will miss these precious days full of little hands reaching out for you.

I need to write this on my heart.  And maybe on my hand as well.  These children are a gift from God. And maybe then when my two year old is squirming and screaming on the kitchen floor because I filled his cup with water when he wanted juice instead, I can be reminded of the truth that can be so easy to miss:

This is the gift. Today.  Right now.

Friends, let's not wish it away.

Lord, help me to see these children as You see them.  A blessing, not a chore. Help me to love them as you love them. Amen.

53 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting! I'm a mom to three little ones and I too need to be reminded of this OFTEN from different sources! <3

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  2. AMEN!

    'Baby' number one gets her M.A. in two weeks, and 'baby' number two is 11. It happened in what feels like the blink of an eye.

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  3. All the way from Australia, thank you for reminding me what a great blessing I have in my two beautiful children. The milk on the carpet will fade....the marks on the wall will be painted... and at some time in the future Mt Washmore will be conquered

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  4. Thank you, what a fantastic reminder, I needed to be reminded of this today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

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  5. Very well put. I think ALL parents need to be reminded of this. Also a big thanks for being real and admitting you also need this, many bloggers make things sound soo perfect; its so nice to be reminded we aren't the only ones that aren't perfect and don't have a completely smooth running household! Great Blog I really enjoy getting my emails of new posts, thanks again!

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  6. I have been following your blog recently and it´s so nice.
    But this post has really made my day! That´s what I try to remind myself all the time with my 3 year old girl and my 20 months old boy. I´m a full time mom. They are angels for us.
    Congratulations on your great work! God bless your family.
    Marcella, from Brazil.

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  7. Your heart's message has brought tears to my eyes!Thank you for this.

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  8. Thank you for this message. I'm the mom who stealthily poured her coffee only to have it go cold while getting my two daughters our of their cribs this am. I'm also the mom who dealt with an entire bowl of spilled cereal this am (no use crying over spilled milk). And I'm also the mom with the naked two year old asking for a shirt because she's cold. Off to enjoy my day with these two blessings!

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  9. Thank you! We all need this reminder form time to time. This post for me is timely, I don't know if you read Diana at Hormonal Inmbalances but her post yesterday was about losing her twin boys at 19 weeks. I'm taking the liberty to post her link here so we can read it and not feel sorry for her but feel sorry for us if we are not appreciating all those moments we DO have. http://www.hormonal-imbalances.com/2012/05/fearfully-and-wonderfully-made/

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  10. THANK YOU FROM THE bottom of my heart. Tears on my eyes.
    Sometimes I see my little boy (14 months old) like a chore and I wish he was older and more self sufficient.
    I know I am tatally wrong, I know that but sometimes it is so hard!

    THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR THIS PRECIOUS POST and for beeing so honest and not pretending to be the perfect mum!

    Francesca

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  11. Thanks for a little perspective. I just got my 10 month old twins down for morning nap and am taking a moment to relax, this post gave me the boost to get going and embrace my day and my wonderful babies! Maybe I should read it again tomorrow morning.
    Thanks
    Mary
    Adayinthelifeofthekuesters.blogspot.com

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  12. Totally writing on my hand each day, that's the only way I remember things lately! I'm a working mother of 5 children ages 10 and under...enough said.
    Thank you for taking the time to remind us all.
    Mary
    onerealisticmom.blogspot.com

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  13. We're expecting our first little one in a few short months. This simple post brought me to tears. Thanks for the pep talk momma! :)

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  14. Beautiful! Thank you!!

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  15. I love your blog, and thank you for today's post, that's just what the Dr Ordered, I have only one so far, but she is spirited enough all high of her nearly 3 to make a mess for 2 or 3.
    Thans for reminding me that one day I'll long for days I have to rescue her talking toys from the kiddie pool and make them talk again, and the tantrums she throws when I don't meet her every demands...I'm sure there will be one day I will look back on these fondly :)

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  16. My daughter just finished her first year at college. There's not a day goes by when I don't picture her as a three year old again, and wonder where the years went. Enjoy every minute - one day, even the sleepless nights might seem a good trade!

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  17. My baby turns 11 next week. She's 5'4". She wears a size 11 women's shoes. She plays basketball and soccer and goes to little 5th grader parties and spends her allowance on teenie bopper magazines with posters of the latest in cute little celebrity boys, she fixes her own hair and matches her own outfits and is WAY too cool to sit on mommy's lap or give me a hug or a kiss in public. I don't know where the last 11 years went, but I sure do miss my crazy, snuggly, little, bald-headed, blue-eyed baby girl.

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  18. Such a beautiful way of expressing "the now"! Thank you!

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  19. i was reminded of a song by Darius Rucker (yes i like country) its called 'it won't be like this for long'. my son is only 5 months old but ever since i brought him home whenever i get up to feed him when i'd rather be sleeping, get peed on or worse when he sneezed during a changing and pooped all over the opposite wall. that song pops into my head and i almost cry, sometimes i do. although i love the new quirks he is learning i already miss the past few months. you're right kelly and you put it so beautifully/comically that children really are a gift from god.

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  20. "Don't wish away today. One day, you will miss these precious days full of little hands reaching out for you."

    ^THAT. That is the line that got me. I got all choked up at that line. Thank you for posting this. I needed to see it today.

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  21. thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. just the reminder i needed. i have an 8 week old daughter and a 22 month old daughter...days (and nights) are rough, but you're absolutely right...no matter how rough things can get, they are a gift from God!!

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  22. I am here reading this as I just finished putting all the kids to bed, and then put the (almost) 2 year old back to bed, only to have the 4 year old just come out again, and it seems like maybe she has disturbed the 2 year old...Yup...

    Great reminder! Thanks for posting this, it IS so long and hard some days, but as I was calling around today to inquire about driver training for my oldest, I couldn't help but wish I could have one more day with her when she was tiny! Driver training!!!

    I love your blog!

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  23. Thank you for this beautiful post. You are so right.

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  24. As one of my friends told me at my very first baby shower ten years ago, "The days will last forever but the years will fly by." It's so strange that that's exactly how it feels. I have three under 10 and it is so easy to get caught up in what I want to accomplish (trying to sell the house, pack, garage sale, etc.) instead of appreciating my time with them. Thank you for this post, which choked me up.

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  25. Thank You!!!!! ---> From the mom who just found a dollop of pureed beef & vegetables in her bra... and Dinner was 6 hours ago! (I had no clue)

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  26. Thank you for your post. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

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  27. Thank you for this post. God bless you and your family. My 3 babies are all grown with children of their own now. It really all happened way too fast. I loved this article.

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  28. WOW!! did I ever need to hear that today!! Thank you so much for that reminder. I have three wonderful kids and one on the way and I cherish them every day. Even the bad days (when they are over).

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  29. You are spot on. God calls us to parent our kids with the heart of Hannah who certainly viewed Solomon as a gift from day 1.

    My oldest turns 17 later this month, the same day he graduates from high school as it turns out. He is heading to college a full year earlier we expected meaning one year less than we planned to have him under our direct care. He is heading to Bible college to be a pastor and God has him underwing. Definitely cherish each moment.

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  30. This is so true. Both of my daughters are married and living on their own and how I wish time had not gone by so fast.

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  31. This is my mantra, some days more than others. I know my children are a gift, but sometimes they are the gifts that you might like to exchange. I know how blessed I am, but some times I need some space away from them to remember it.

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  32. I needed to hear this today...we're in the process of moving and all of the mayhem has my almost-nine-month-old very fussy and clingy. I keep feeling torn between the cleaning and packing that has to happen this week...and the baby who just needs to cuddle, read a story, and have some normalcy and reassurance. Good reminder that the cleaning will be there, the packing will get done in time, and my relationship with her will be built or damaged by how I respond to her needs in this time.

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  33. Thank you for saying this out loud! This is something I try to daily remind myself. I agree with you 100%! I found this quote on Pinterest that I love! It says, "Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience. You are raising a human being." While this doesn't necessarily speak to the blessing that children are, and they are, it definitely reminds us to not be so selfish in our frustration, but to see them as living, breathing works of art that have been entrusted to us bring up!

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  34. All I can say is Thankyou.... truly, truly needed!

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  35. I really needed this.. Thank you!

    Found your blog via Pinterest and your 31 Days to an Organized Home.

    Read all the tips and fell in love with your blog =)

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  36. You said it so well! I LOVE this post. Thanks for the reminder, I think we all need to be reminded of this often because our little ones grow up so fast. Now, if you will excuse me I have 3 little boys that I have to go love on :)

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  37. Just what I needed to hear. I have a 4 year old boy and twin girls that are 11 weeks old. It's tough. But, I am so blessed with a beautiful, crazy life!

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  38. Just what I needed to hear. I have a 4 year old boy and twin girls that are 11 weeks old. It's tough. But, I am so blessed with a beautiful, crazy life!

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  39. Beautiful... wise and important words. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

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  40. I so needed to read this today. Thank-you.

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  41. I just read this after reading your top ten tips for new moms and Oh, how I wish I had heard that when I was a new mom! My oldest is halfway through college and my youngest is 8 and yes, it does pass in a blink of an eye. I believe those difficult mundane moments are what God uses to shape us into who He created us to be, but it can be hard to remember. Thank you for such a well put reminder. Bless you

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  42. I love: "Don't wish away today." I think I'm going to make a poster saying that and hang it on my wall so when I get up with my baby girl at 2AM and she won't go back to sleep, I'll take a deep breath and remember that she is a blessing and I couldn't ask or wish for anything better in my life. Love your blog posts. Thanks - Shannon

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  43. So important and a great reminder.

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  44. Such a beautiful blog post! Love it! I need to tattoo every word you've said on my hands!!

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  45. Such a beautiful blog post! Love it! I need to tattoo every word you've said on my hands!!

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  46. I super love you! :) just read your blog for the whole 3 hours!

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  47. Wow! I now have a healthy dose of conviction! Thanks, Kelly :)

    www.shomestategirl.wordpress.com

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