By Alex Green
My 2-year-old daughter plopped down in the middle of the kitchen floor and opened a book. I was running about, cleaning and being productive around the house when I heard her sweet little voice shout from below. “Seat mama? Read!” I looked down as she patted the un-mopped floor (cue for me to sit). This offer was cute, don’t get me wrong, but I thought to myself, “Ugh, the kitchen floor? I do not want to sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and read at this very moment.” I had a long list of to-do’s running through my mind that was taking top priority of my time and energy. That was until God interrupted and intervened. He spoke so clearly and said, “Sweetie, I always sit with you in the most unlikely places.” It was right then and there when I was confronted with the question, have I been so consumed with circumstances and to-do lists that I have neglected the fact that I’ve been present, but not a presence in my daughter’s life lately.
Trust me, this conviction hurt, but it was necessary.
You see, God wasn’t mad or upset with me that I hadn’t been engaging and interacting with my daughter on the level that I should have been. Instead, He looked down with compassion on His daughter and lovingly used this moment to correct and teach me a lesson about showing up in the most unlikely and likely places in my child’s life, especially when it’s not convenient.
Sweet friends, I don’t have all the answer’s on how to be present and a presence in your child’s life; this is an area that I’m still growing and developing in. I simply want to share what God so graciously shared with me. So, my prayer for you as you read this article is you would leave encouraged, inspired, and motivated to not be only present, but a presence. To be completely engaged, involved, and available with an outpouring of your love, time, and attention into your marriage and children as you sit with them when it’s not convenient.
There are several places in scripture where Jesus sat with people in unlikely places. His selfless example of devoting time and attention to others, even when the people closest to Him thought he should be serving his time and attention elsewhere can give us a beautiful illustration of how we can say no to the background noises of our busy schedules and yes to serving the needs of our children.
In John chapter 4 there is an account of Jesus sitting beside a well around noon waiting for an adulterous woman to show up. Before I continue, I must clarify that Jesus doesn’t ever do anything by happen chance. There was only a 3-year period of Jesus’ ministry here on Earth; I guarantee that He didn’t waste any time being strategic and intentional about the people He spoke to and the places that He went. As mother’s we need to be strategic and intentional about making time for our children when it matters most. Our family is our ministry and raising eternal beings is a high calling that can not afford to be swept under the rug by to do lists, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Jesus took time out of His day after a long, long journey to sit with a woman and speak to her about living water. Being filled up with living water so that she would never have to go thirsty again. How many of us are running out of energy and head space to sit and be completely present with our children? I know that I can not be the only new mother out there who struggles with this. After reading this account, I was reminded that I’ve been filling up on all the wrong things, instead of running to the only person who can refresh my soul and motivate my heart to be not only present but a presence with my daughter.
To turn on cartoons and let your child zone out, instead of interacting with them.
To click on Facebook or Instagram and zone out yourself.
To fill your mind with excuses to justify the “why” behind not sitting down in unlikely places with your child.
But it is just as easy to pick up your Bible, which is the living word of God and sit down with God…that’s exactly what Jesus did.
I imagine that’s a large part as to why you can read account after account of Jesus leaving the background noises of His everyday life to just sit and pray to God. He knew something so vital and so important, that as mother’s and wives we miss in the right now moments; you can not pour out when you are not being poured in. Jesus refused to give anyone sloppy left overs, He made it a point to demonstrate what it looks like to be a son in need of His father. Our children need the presence of their fathers and mothers. We need to set an example of what being open and available looks like because our Heavenly Father is always open and available. He will sit with us in the most unlikely places, dedicating His entire attention onto us. Jesus is our source, our strength, our provider, and our comforter. When the demands of our busy schedules and surprise un-wanted events occur in our lives we can trust, as daughter’s that our Father will come through for us. He is the only one who can fill us up with the right things, so we can pour out the best of us to our own children and husbands.
I made a sincere decision that day to stop the loud background noises of my demanding schedule and inconvenient circumstances to sit first with God, and second my family, and I really hope that you will join me.
Alex is a stay at home mom to one young daughter, while pursuing a bachelor's degree in Christian Ministry. Her passions are, helping women unlock their God given potential and roles in their marriages, children and extended family. Oh, and coffee, coffee, coffee! She resides in Kansas City, MO. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!