Several years ago, I was sitting with a friend on a busy morning.  I was five month pregnant with my second  child and my son was about a year and a half.  My friend had two young kids with one more on the way.  Fighting the nausea and exhaustion, she expressed a very simple desire.  She said, “I just want to be a fun mom.”  

And as I thought about that, I thought not just in terms of dealing with young children in the midst of pregnancy, but how busy we tend to be in general.  I began to ask myself, “Am I slowing down enough to be a fun mom?  Am I focusing on that relational side of mothering or just trying to get through my TO DO list for the day?”

Being very accomplishment driven, I love TO DO lists.  I love making them look neat.  I love using fun pens and pretty writing.  I love rewriting my lists when they get too messy.  (Yes, it’s true!)  And I really love crossing an item off when I get it done.  But I have noticed that if I did not get much done on a particular day, I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything.  Then by evening, I feel rather unsettled because I have nothing to show for my day.

In Luke 10, Jesus visits Mary and Martha’s home.  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to everything He said.  Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with all preparations to be done.  When Martha questioned Jesus on this, He answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:41-42)

Busyness is everywhere.  Everyone is busy.  Martha was so busy that she didn’t slow down enough to even enjoy Jesus being at her house.  What a missed opportunity!  The building of her relationship with Him was secondary.  Sitting at His feet to learn and grow was secondary.  Jesus said that Mary chose what is better.  What a great reminder of the importance of slowing down to seek God and to grow in relationship with Him.

As a mom, I need to be focused on doing this with my kids as well.  Even if I don’t get much done on my TO DO list, I raised my kids today.  I spent time with them.  I built relationships with them.

In my house hangs a photograph of my sweet babies.  On the mat, are their hand prints and an excerpt of a poem by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep. [1]

So I have decided that busyness can wait.  My TO DO list can wait.  The time I have with my little ones will pass too quickly.  I won’t miss the opportunity.  I will play choo choo and sing silly songs until the Play-Doh is gone from my fingernails.  I am going to build strong relationships with my kids.  I am going to enjoy each and every day no matter how exhausted, how busy or how tested I feel.

[1] “Song for A Fifth Child,” by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton, adapted by Wendy Lyn.This post is linked with:  Encouraging Words Wednesday