Recently my family and I were sitting in church and the pastor was talking about resolutions. She identified the resolutions we have for ourselves in relation to the resolutions that God makes for us in the coming year. My five-year-old daughter turned to me and said in her (relatively quiet) church voice, “Mommy, do you know what my resolutions for this year are?”
“No, what are they?” I whispered back to her.
“My resolutions are to run more, read more, and play more. That’s what I want to do.”
As I leaned back to listen to the choir, I thought about what she had said. Would those be the resolutions that God would set for her in the year 2009? Would those be the resolutions that God would set for me in the year 2009?
Being a wife and mother, I pride myself on keeping a (mostly) organized home, getting my kids to school and playdates on time, and keeping them all healthy and happy. But I often feel that I fall short on what I was put on this earth to do. Yes, I’m doing the things to keep my family and home in check. But am I doing it well? I don’t think so. Sure, I keep my kids healthy. But do we dance around the living room often enough to break a sweat? Not usually. And yes, I keep my kids happy. But what about their emotional happiness? Do I spend as much quality time with them as I should (notice I said “quality” and not “quantity”)? Do I give them enough hugs and kisses to communicate how much I really do love them? Not quite. And as for my marriage, it could use a little attention as well. Spending every night on the couch with the television blaring isn’t conducive to real communication.
And sometimes the things I take pride in, such as keeping all the laundry caught up and the sink clean, come at the cost of spending that quality time with my family. It comes at the cost of giving those hugs and kisses and cuddles during these precious few years when my children really need them and want them from me. It comes at the cost of sitting down with my husband and chatting about anything and everything. And I can’t afford to lose any of that.
We’ve all heard the phrases “the dishes can wait” and “the laundry will always be there” and they are so true. But I’m usually nodding my head in agreement while folding a heaping pile of towels and unloading the dishwasher. It’s time for me to take action and put my head in the same place as my heart. God put me on this earth to be a wife and mother, and while He knows that I am not perfect, I’m sure He could be happier with my job performance.
So I have decided that I will adopt the resolutions that my daughter has set, and set them for myself as well. In the year 2009 (and beyond), I will resolve to:
1. Run more (while playing tag and hide-and-seek with my children).
2. Read more (Curious George, Dora, and Fancy Nancy are all at the top of my book list).
3. Play more (Candyland, Uno, and Sorry will be worn out by the time the year is over).
Because pretty soon, I will have all the time in the world for the dishes and the laundry. But I won’t have the insight of a five-year-old to keep me in check.