In my 5 1/2 years of being a mom I am happy to say there are a few things I have figured out. Not that I do these things well all of the time but it isn’t a point of confusion or mystery to me anymore. One of these things is how to help my kids be emotionally full and content. I look at it like they have gas tanks inside their little beings that need to be filled up each and every day. If/when I take time to engage them by getting on the floor and playing with them, imagining with them, talking, listening, asking questions, speaking truth to them, encouraging them praying with them etc. their cups get filled, they overflow. When I take a chunk of uninterrupted time to give them my full attention, give them eye contact their tanks go to overflowing. And I see a difference. They are satisfied and content, they treat others with kindness, they have joy and are more content to play by themselves. But when I try to put a drop in here, a drop in there in the midst of checking email, making phone calls and doing laundry it doesn’t work as well. I’ve learned that when those tanks get low or empty it is not pretty. Things go badly quickly. I ultimately want them to find their full satisfaction and contentment in Jesus. My desire is for them to be overflowing with Him. But in the mean time my prayer is that along with building my relationship and having fun with my sweet little kidders I will point them to Jesus.
I have not mastered this by any means. It is a continual balance of filling myself first with His Spirit so I can then fill them up and point them in the right direction. If my tank is not overflowing I surely I cannot fill anyone else’s. It takes discipline to put my kids needs before meaningless busyness “when I just don’t feel like playing Star Wars or babies” one more time. But as their mom I am called to lead them, build them up and pour into them. Even when I don’t feel like it, or when it’s not convenient my desire is to “fill ‘er up”!
(repost from 11/29/10)