As a mom of quite a few girls (5 to be exact), I used to always hear, “Just wait until they are teens!” Which I think…
In an attempt to make the most of the limited time we have with our kids (it’s flying by faster every year!), we’ve instituted a few new traditions in our home. Namely, a weekly movie and prayer night, and a weekly family breakfast. Both of which incorporate quality hang out time with some intentional spiritual investment.
From a distance our plan sounds so noble and well-thought out, but boy does that feel far from the reality. We’re often rushing into our evening tradition with everyone scrambling to finish their tasks for the day (picture me herding cats…really busy cats). Realistically, it would be far easier to let the day roll into the evening with everyone continuing to complete their to-do list. In the end, the night usually turns out well, but at first it feels more than a bit inconvenient.
Then there’s “family breakfast” — which is often me scrambling to make a special breakfast that I almost forgot about. Meal time includes two loud littles, and very possibly some bickering between any number of children. It’s anything but picture perfect.
Not surprisingly, I often find myself wondering why I even try to make these things happen. Is it really worth it? Are we even spending quality time together? Is any spiritual good actually happening?
As parents, I think we all try things that feel like a fail. In fact the more good things we try, the more we might feel like a failure. It’s simply the reality when you combine unpredictable kids, busy schedules, sinful people, and unrealistic expectations. All it takes is one of those realities to throw off well laid out plans (assuming they are even well laid out!).
BUT, the question is, would less “fails” really be more successful? Would we be accomplishing more by attempting less? Should we be discouraged when our efforts feel anything but picture perfect? I think not, to all of those questions.
All that to say, It’s silly for me to wonder whether any attempt at investing in my children is worth it! Of course it is worth it. I am doing more by trying, than I would be by not trying!
And so are you…
You, like me, probably have lots of ideas on how to invest in your kids. But it’s easy to get discouraged. We are busy, we are tired, investing can be hard, kids can be resistant, and things usually just don’t go according to plan. But whatever ideas you’ve had, know they are probably worth it.
Have you wanted to read more to your kids? It’s probably worth it.
Have you wanted to spend more 1-on-1 time with your kids? It’s very likely worth it.
Have you wanted to teach them a few specific things? It will be worth it.
Have you wanted to develop a better relationship with them? It’s no doubt, worth it!
Have you wanted to pray more for your kids? It’s surely worth it!
In the long run, would you really regret putting off a few smaller to-do list items to invest a bit more intentionally? No way! These are the souls God has entrusted to you for a very short time. You should invest in them. Love them, spend time with them, teach them, enjoy them, pray with them and for them.
Your efforts won’t be perfect, and sometimes, it will all just feel like added chaos. But what I’m reminding myself is: as imperfect as my investments are, I’m still investing more this month than I did the last. And I don’t think I will regret that increase. Nor will you.
As imperfect as our attempts are, let’s keep investing. It may be inconvenient, it may be exhausting, but it will always be worth it.