Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One of the Greatest Gifts I Can Give to my Children

I finally finished reading Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home by Gregg A. Granger.  A family of five spent four years sailing around the world.  At the end Gregg is reflecting on his time aboard Faith and says, "From its conception, our voyage on Faith is a gift from God--For Lorrie and me to give ourselves to our children instead of giving them stuff generated from our productive capabilities."

That one line has been dancing around in my mind ever since.  As I sat in my living room having my prayer time this morning and looked upon my messy living room (blocks, marbles, books, and cars scattered around).  As I fixed Hubby's coffee in my slightly messy kitchen (books, random toys, kids artwork, a few stray dishes from late night snacks).  As I sit at my computer in my slightly messy office (toys, books, kids artwork).

I usually look upon this "kid" clutter and think to myself--we have too much stuff!  I need to purge!  Today I thought, Do my kids have too much stuff because I'm giving them things instead of me???  That's kind of an ironic thing for a homeschooling mother to ask.  I spend all day pretty much every day with my kids.  I teach them.  I take them to the grocery store with me.  I can hardly even go to the bathroom without one of them desperately needing my attention at that exact moment.

Yet too often I use homeschooling as an excuse to not spend quality time with my kids.  I spend all morning teaching them.  By the afternoon I have housework to do.  After that I just want to sit at the computer or read a book until it's time to make dinner.  The kids ask to go to the park, or on a walk, or to make a messy project, and I tell them no because I'm tired.

The latest fort

The words just keep echoing through my head--"give ourselves to our children instead of giving them stuff."  So today I took the time to help them build a fort under the piano.  I came up with a messy craft project the girls could do with their friend who is coming over later.  I read the long book my children requested last night before bed instead of the shorter one I wanted to read.

The coolest (or just longest) marble run ever

The finish line

Stuff is just stuff.  It gets messed up, broken, tossed around, thrown away, forgotten.  But when I give of myself, when Hubby and I take our kids to the nature center for a hike like we did on Saturday, when I help them build a really cool marble track, when I take them to the park, help them build a fort, all those things that take time and require effort on my part, those are the things that my children remember and love.

My time is the one of the greatest gifts I can give my children.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, keep it up! You are inspiring me! :)