Do you find taking time to be truly present with your children or your spouse, in the midst of craziness and business of life to be surprisingly hard?
I hear you!
Something I’ve discovered lately, is that my eldest son (who still in nappies) often won’t let me start changing him until he had several hugs. This means that the nappy changing process suddenly becomes incredibly lengthy, but it’s one of his ways of demanding my extended attention and affection, in a house full of love, but with many distractions.
I give him some cuddles and kisses, we giggle we sing a few songs, and he gets that extended moment of connection with me – which actually is so much fun -all before I even get to the changing part.
This can be real a challenge to my patience when I have to be somewhere soon, or another child is screaming, or someone is putting their hands into the toilet bowl – then the pressure is on and I have to actively choose to stay attentive, whilst being quick. But at the moment that’s not such an issue.
In seizing this opportunity to extend what is an ordinary moment, I allow it to become something extraordinary – subsequently boosting our connectedness and enriching our relationship with shared experience.
Be on the lookout this week be on the look-out today and the rest of the week for opportunities to really lean in to these moments with your family.Tweet
Perhaps there will be a point when you’re in all in the car, just pulling into the driveway, it’s tipping down with rain and you are longing to get everyone in and dry – at this precise moment, your child chooses to ask you a deeply important question. Or just as you have put them to bed and are about to go downstairs and sit down for the much longed-for five minutes peace – out comes a vast theological question, or a revelation as to why they have been out of sorts (this happens to me all the time with my eldest daughter).
You now have the choice to brush it aside until tomorrow, to leave their room for the night, or decide to put off the moment for escape, but instead sit with that moment, allowing the conversation to extend beyond its allotted time.
Providing nobody is bursting for the toilet, or there’s another screaming emergency coming from downstairs that you really have to attend to – why not pause, and lean in?
These moments are so precious, especially with young children.
Time flies so fast and there’ll come a day, when your child no longer wants to come in and talk to you while you’re sitting on the toilet (although that may be a bit of a blessing), but that season will have past, and you never got a heads up.
Maybe you have a teenager who hardly ever opens up with you, perhaps talk will flow when you’re out shopping, or eating mince pies. Take the opportunity as gently as you would hold a butterfly, don’t force it but a linger patiently and attentively- be willing to read and respond to the moment.
These little moments will pop up all over your day and your week if you pay attention to them.
Rather than fighting – surrender to them, and you will find little moments of joy which can catch you off guard.
They will effect is cumulative, yielding deep, relational fruit.
May your eyes see those connection moments today, and may your heart be prepared to catch them gently.