I am not in control. Life happens, children happen, much of this happening includes mess and extra work. Sometimes these happenings conflict with my plans and I fight to regain control, it’s control I never had.
“I just need to get this done…”
“Why is it so hard to do this one thing?”
“Is it really that important?”
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; (Romans 12:10)
A few weeks ago I was standing in church reflecting on how blessed we are to have such great kids. Most Sunday’s my hubby and I arrive a couple of hours early to rehearse for the worship team. Our kids come along in their pj’s, eat brekky on the floor then just potter around while we rehearse. They love it.
And so, I was having a quiet moment of thanks to God for them and how much they love church.
In the background, God had begun to tug on my heart about my desire to ‘do’ so much on the days when we are at home. I am learning to ‘do’ less and just ‘be’ with them. To watch a movie with them, to draw, to paint, to play.
“Oh if they could just play quietly for a bit so I can get this done...”
The heavenly nudge would come: “get out of your doing and go and love on them.”
I have been trying to respond more to the heavenly nudge. To go, to be, to love.
I am learning to serve them, to prefer them and at this age that means becoming a sort of funmaker to them. To make their day. To invest into us having a friendship that will last our lifetime.
Ok, back to church.
As I stood there thankful for them, I felt like the Holy Spirit took what I was learning at home and applied it to church.
Serve them. Prefer them.
Generally they are one of the last to be picked up from kids church. I am generally ‘busy’ doing adult stuff; talking to people, enjoying church myself.
Meanwhile there is a jumping castle that awaits.
Serve them. Prefer them.
“Just for today, why not put your own needs (wants) second and go and get them early and let them jump.”
“But I won’t get to talk to anyone…”
“You can trust that I will have the right person for you to talk to at the jumping castle.” [smile]
This revelation has begun to permeate our Sundays.
I want our kids to love church because they love what we do together as a family. I don’t want it to be ‘mum and dad’s thing’ I want it to be ‘our thing’ as a family, together.
Since the jumping castle moment my hubby and I have tried to come up with some Sunday traditions…
We thought of McDonalds, we could financially commit to that every week. Maybe…but probably not. We are still working it out.
Last week at the end of a big Sunday we sat down and watched Paw Patrol together while we ate dinner. Prior weeks would have seen us rush to put them to bed so that we could have some adult time. Instead we wound down together and it was nice.
We preferred them.
I caught myself saying today “no I don’t want to watch Dora, I don’t like Dora. I’ll watch Paw Patrol with you though.” Again I felt the nudge…
Who is this about anyway?
Ok, sometime in the next week I will sit and watch Dora with them.
I want to be involved with what they are doing now and stay involved so I am not disconnected later.
I realise that this is a bit of a mum post and well… I am a mum. In this season of my life this is ‘my job’ most days of the week. It’s my everyday ordinary and God is using it to speak to me.
To prefer another is to put our own needs and desires second in place of another, even at times when they will never know.
In my job (as a primary teacher) it looks like turning up to my playground duty early (I am not nailing this one yet but I feel it).
Last night it looked like being the one to get out of the comfy warm bed to turn off the light so my husband didn’t have to.
Tonight it looked like doing an extra trip to the grocery store to make a meal for a family member who needs some help.
Tomorrow it will look like driving the extra distance so someone else won’t have to.
Preferring others will be choosing to watch Dora and enjoy it.
Maybe its learning a new hobby or skill to draw closer to a loved one.
Choosing to work late so that someone else doesn’t have to.
Actually you probably know what it is for you.
I thought preferring others was about them but it turns out that it about me.
The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:24-25 MSG)
Preferring others is setting my controlling nature free.
You can hold me accountable to watching Dora in the next few days ha!
In the meantime:
How can you prefer others?
Who do you prefer?