So much of motherhood is about just surviving today. I can have patience today when my toddler throws a fit. I can manage to get the kitchen mopped today. We can make it through the grocery store without incident today. At the same time, so much of motherhood is about looking forward. When will my child reach the next developmental milestone? What supplies do I need for the upcoming school year? What vacation should we plan to take this summer?
As we’re surviving today and planning for tomorrow, we often find ourselves unable to focus on and savor what is happening today. Over the past couple of weeks, the Lord has been highlighting to me why today (and every day) is so important for our kids.
Today we can put Deuteronomy 6:5-9 into practice.
God’s Word makes it clear that parents have the responsibility of teaching their children about Him.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
When are we supposed to pass along to our children knowledge of God and His commands? When we sit at home. When we walk along the road. When we lie down for bed and rise from bed. When do we do these activities? Every single day.
It is in our daily activities—as routine and monotonous as they may sometimes seem—that we are able to practically apply Deuteronomy 6:5-9. Today we can read to our children from Scripture. Today we can teach them to pray. Today we can model for them how to love and give.
Today we can teach our children to be faithful in the little things.
Because we must complete so many tasks each day, we have innumerable opportunities to teach our children how to be faithful in the little things. Whether we’re doing laundry, cleaning a bathroom, or making dinner, we can show our children what it means to complete our work with all of our hearts (Colossians 3:23). We can teach them that by being faithful in these little things, the Lord sees that we can be trusted with larger things (Luke 19:17).
Today we can make memories that we will treasure forever.
This last point seems somewhat pale in comparison to the previous two because it is less consequential. It is, however, still important. You’ve probably heard the saying that the days are long, but the years are short. I don’t think there is any time that this is more evident to us than when we have young children in our homes.
Somehow, in what seems like the blink of an eye, my firstborn has grown from a tiny, helpless baby into a little girl who is becoming increasingly independent and can voice many of her needs. Years from now, when she’s a teenager or even when she becomes a mother herself, I want to remember the precious moments I’ve shared with her. I want to remember the sound of her laughter. I want to remember the way she loves asking “What’s this?” as she points at every object she sees. I want to remember the silly ways she dances when we sing songs.
I don’t want these memories just for me. I want them for her. I want her to remember laughing with mommy and daddy. I want her to remember that I patiently answered her questions. I want her to remember dancing as we sang songs.
These types of memories are made when we take our kids to the park, play on the floor with them, and invite them to work beside us as we complete our tasks. Don’t get me wrong—it’s good and right for us to complete tasks that require our children to play on their own. However, it’s also critical that we take time each and every day to engage with our kids so we know what is happening in their lives, they know how much they matter to us, and we can make these memories.
As we work to survive today and plan for tomorrow, let’s not miss today’s opportunities!
Do you find it easy to focus on today or are you often in survival mode? How much time do you spend thinking about and planning for what comes next? In what ways do you take advantage of today’s opportunities to teach your children and to make memories?