Laundry piled up. Children needing fed. Dishes waiting to be washed. Floors needing cleaned. Rushing through the day, I try to accomplish so much. Each evening exhausted I drop into my chair. I sigh as I have to rouse myself to comb the tangles out of just washed hair. Another child asks for a book. "Not now, mom's too tired," I plead. "Off to bed quickly," but it's never quick enough. Peace and quiet at last. But, no, someone's out of bed again. "You're fine, now get back in bed," is my harsh reply. Then adding as they disappear up the stairs, "And don't even think about waking me up in the morning, either!"
Oh, Lord, please forgive me. It is these simple little things with the children I would miss if I could not be with them. I won't miss the piles of laundry, dishes, and cleaning-- all those things that I make a priority to accomplish each day. What I will miss are the very things that often get squeezed out of the day. Cuddling on the couch reading a book with warm little bodies tucked in close beside me. Combing squeaky hair as the smell of soap clings to soft clean skin. The sound of footsteps coming down the stairs when they are supposed to be asleep in bed. Or the stirrings of life from the other bedrooms in the house in the early morning hours.
The reality of this was brought to my attention when a couple weeks ago the biological parents of our adopted children were invited to come spend the weekend with us. (Maybe someday when the time is right I'll get to share the story about how this has come about.) I watched as a mother who has had only two brief visits with her children in the last five years, tenderly stroked her children's faces. She asked if she could comb Amber's hair. Both the dad and mom soaked in every moment and every word the children spoke. They hated for the day to end and looked forward to the children awakening them in the morning.
My heart hurt as I watched the scene unfold. Regrets shadowed faces. Circumstances, choices, and decisions that can never be changed haunt their lives. Through these moments God gently reminded me to prioritize my time, treasure the moments, and live life without regrets. So in the morning when I hear a toy falling to the floor fifteen minutes before I was planning to get up, I will thank God that we have another day of life to share together. What a privilege to be a mother!