Say No to Say Yes

Do you ever get so busy that you forget to let your kids be kids? You know what I mean. Your planner has no open space and there just aren't enough items checked off on your list. You have no food to cook for dinner (not even frozen chicken nuggets - you used those already), twenty six loads of laundry to do, photos to edit, and really grumpy kids that keep asking for the same thing over and over again. You definitely don't have time to facilitate activities - go use your imagination.

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Sadly, I have these days quite often. Confession: I've come to the conclusion that I'm addicted to busy. It sounds crazy, I know. But it's real, friends. Don't get me wrong - I am blessed to get to do some amazing things: women's ministry, our ad agency, photography, our car club, blogging, etc. And I love them all so much. But you know what? I too often let them fill my days (like, all of them), leaving very little time for my kids to just be kids.

Kids need to roam, explore, adventure. They need to dig, get dirty, fall down, and be allowed to take. their. time. Don't you ever feel like they're just forced to tag along and adhere to your busy life... and quickly?  We've all done it. None of us are perfect. And here's the thing: sometimes there are things that truly need to get done. Errands, grocery shopping, paying bills, building your business, whatever it may be. And that's ok! But what isn't ok is being addicted to busy, which in turn prioritizes lots of other things over our kids. Hi, I'm Tamara, and I'm totally guilty of this. I have a really hard time saying no to busy and yes to these four little crazies that call me Mama. Who here knows that when we say YES to one thing, we say NO to something else? So when I say YES to busy (as in, things that I don't actually have to do, but choose to do), I say NO to time with my kids.  

There's something magical about seeing your babies roam, isn't there? Something beautiful about seeing them play with rocks and sticks and flowers, exploring God's creation. It's moments like these that stop me in my tracks, slap me in the face, and remind me WHO my priorities are, and also who God has called me to be. 

I want my boys to know that I put them before being busy. I want them to understand that I say NO to other things so that I can say YES to them. I want them to feel what quality time together is, and I want them to see me being intentional about making it a priority. I want their childhoods to be spent exploring, adventuring, and discovering - not stuck in a car or watching a screen. We'll drive, yes. And we'll watch plenty of movies, too. But I don't want them to look back and see those things as their childhood. I want them to remember our family time, whether it's playing a board game or being on a crazy adventure. The quality time.

I thank the Lord for His grace and the constant reminders He gives me to take a step back and re-evaluate my priorities. I'm far from perfect, and I'm sure I'll find myself here again. But may this be a reminder to us all to stop, breathe, and let. them. be. little. 

What will you say NO to today, so that you can say YES to them?

Until next time,
Tam

Facing the Giants

I'll be honest - I was nervous about him starting Kindergarten.

Admission: At walk through, I couldn't help but notice the other kids talking. It wasn't what they were saying, but how they were saying it - clearly, intelligible. My mommy panic set in and I started listing reasons in my head why he's just not ready for this. He's not like them. He has delays. He struggles with transition! They'll make fun of him. He'll feel inadequate. Run!

The first few days of school didn't help. He cried every morning, begging me to take him home. He'd eventually settle in, but I left the classroom crying every morning. I knew he wasn't ready. But, every afternoon at pickup his teacher would tell me what a great day he had. He's making friends, playing well, loving school.

And today? Today he walked straight to his classroom, got in line, turned to me with a wave and said, "Bye Mama! I love you!" Then he turned to his friends and started talking. WHAT? But! No, you're not ready for this!

But... he is.

Friends, do your insecurities and fears for your children ever do this to you? I often allow my anxiety to take control, holding me back and preventing me from embracing their journeys alongside them. What my kids need is a mom who will stand tall and challenge them to face difficult and uncomfortable situations, not give them reasons to step back or quit. They need a mama who will teach them to transfer their dependency from her, to Him.

Today it's kindergarten, but tomorrow it's bigger, stronger giants. And I want to raise Davids.

My big boy, so courageous and strong. I want to be brave like you, Zavi boy.

 

Until next time,
Tam