The Twirl Factor

How do you like to go up in a swing,Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, River and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown-- Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!

by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Under-dog me!" "Please Mom!  Under-dog meeeee!", they holler, standing in the shade of the tree from which two swings dangle beneath it's branches.

"Okay!  I'm on my way!" I call back, smiling.  "Just let me _______ (insert household task) really quick and I'll be right there!"

It's not my intention to brush my children off.  I love pushing them on the swing.  I love watching them shine their faces to the sky, eyes squinting in laughter as they swing higher and higher, then fall back down towards my outstretched arms and hands that catch them, then send them off into the sky again.  No, its not that I don't want to push them on the swing.  It's just that little voice in my head that tells me how much more I will enjoy pushing them once the dishes are done, or the sidewalk is swept, or the clothes are switched from the washer to the dryer, or... the list goes on.

Why does it take a conscious effort to put chores aside to play with my children?  Why isn't the opposite true?  Why does it sometimes take a note on my daily to-do list:  play with your children.?  Just as pray. and  read God's word. often headline that never ending, always growing list.  That I have to be reminded daily to do the things that bring me the most joy and peace in my life seems so counter-intuitive to me.  If only there were more hours in the day, I often think.  But would I fill them as I should, praying more, playing more, or would I take up ironing and make my windows sparkle?

Over the past year, I've taken to dropping to my knees when I feel the nudge to pray for someone.  I used to put it off, I'll pray after I finish getting breakfast on the table. Or, I'll pray before bed tonight.  But then, one thing would lead to another and the thought would be gone.  (My apologies to those who were on my prayer list during these times).  A change came when I started listening to these nudges and responding, dropping whatever I was doing: brushing my teeth, making coffee, sitting on the floor: in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and spending time in prayer.  Immediately, I felt a deepening in my relationship with Christ.

I pray the same will hold true as I look to deepen my relationship with my children.  To listen to those little voices calling for me, asking for my time, and to respond immediately, not after ____.  Because if I remember correctly from my teenager-hood, the tables will someday turn and it will be me begging for windows of their time in the years to come.  Psalm 39:4-5 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath."

About the Author: Christine is a mother of two, speech pathologist, and a wannabe farmer.  She blogs about her faith journey, parenting debacles, and fear of all things critter at