“Get your head down and stop swimming like an old lady,” were the words I heard come from my kids swim instructor this week. As I sat on the back porch of our swim instructors house enjoying the scenery, the ability to just sit, and some adult conversation, my attention was snapped to the pool as I heard the “old lady” comment float through the air. I laughed! Not just because it was a funny statement but because of how much I identify with that statement.
I remember every swim party that I went to as a kid, the adult women would either sit on the patio furniture chatting and refuse to swim or if they ventured to get in the pool, they would send out a warning call, “Don’t splash me, I don’t want to get my hair wet!” I never understood why women did this, but as a little girl, I told myself that I never wanted to be like that. I didn’t understand why the women even got in if they were just going to yell at us to stop enjoying the pool!
I want to delight in my kids! One way that I can show my kids that I delight in them is by deciding to fully enjoy the things that they enjoy -without conditions. I used to do this pretty well, but somewhere along the way I got to the point were I started putting conditions on the time that we spent together. For example, playing a boring game (to me) over and over to the point that I start avoiding that game, or going swimming with my kids after they have patiently waited for me to join them and then telling them to “give me space and don’t splash me.” It didn’t seem to matter that my kids just wanted to experience my love though connecting and playing with them. No, I started making things about what I wanted.
Yes mom’s, I know parenting is hard because you give so much of yourself daily. We all just want some time to ourselves, by no means am I against this, but maybe we are giving and distracting ourselves with the things that really are not as valuable as we think they are. Maybe you like me, have lost sight of the the treasures that God placed in your life because your perspective is blurred. We just need some balance…
My friend Laura once said, “I pray that when I’m a mom, that God will give me the ability to keep the little things little.” I want to add to Laura’s statement by saying, “God help me to keep the little things little and the big things big.” What I’m asking, is for God to give you and me the perspective to see what little unimportant things have been blown up to important in our minds and to see which big important things we have minimized.
You see it’s not really about my hair getting wet, it’s that I have a conditional attitude with my kids. I have lost sight of what is truly important. It doesn’t matter how annoying that T.V. show is, it’s that my kid’s want me to sit and cuddle with them while I get to know the characters they like, so we can have a conversation about it. In doing so, I delight in getting to know them, that’s important!
I have been asking God to tech me how to parent like He parents me. One thing He has taught me is that there are no conditions on the time I spend with Him. He doesn’t make me only sing the songs that He likes or only come at the time that’s good for Him. No, He actually enjoys all of the songs I sing to Him, even the off key ones, and there is no bad time with Him. God doesn’t make our time together conditional. God shows us what is truly valuable in the parable of the Hidden Treasure, (Matthew 13:44) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.” We see it again when Jesus died on the cross, Hebrew 12:2 says, “…for the joy set before Him endured the cross” people are His treasure. You and I are His valuable treasure, we are His joy. Look at the extreme He goes to to delight in His treasure, it’s amazing love!
My prayer for you and me is that God would give us a value for unconditional time with our kids, that we would let loose and just enjoy them! I pray that we would stop acting like old ladies and get our hair wet! Look at the big picture, fixing your hair again is really not that important but doing a cannonball that makes your kids think, “Wow, she likes doing what I do because she loves me!” is more important! Like my friend Kayla says, “We just need to embrace messy hair!”