I lay there under a giant oak tree, whose branches stretched out like a canopy above us. The sound of rustling leaves and the warmth of the sun soothed my soul. Closing my eyes, I let the last hour of my life replay in my mind.
Sitting on the wooden porch, blowing bubbles, rocking in a rocking chair, chit-chatting about everything and yet nothing at all.
A picnic lunch where Tucker’s smeared Oreo face brought our whole bunch into a fit of laughter.
Swinging on the tire swing, giggles and squeals filling the air.
No stress. No screaming. No list of things demanding my attention. I wanted to soak up every moment until somehow it was part of me.
Life, in all its grandness, is simply a long string of moments. Moments of laughter, of pain, of doubt, and of hope. Moments that are fleeting and moments that forever define who we are. Here, hidden away from the world, I couldn’t help but wonder if I ever had a more perfect moment than this.
Its perfection came from its simplicity. This moment consisted of just me and the three kids I was investing my life into every Saturday. I was not working to entertain them. There was no glitz and glamour. It was just us enjoying each other, talking about the things around us and in us, the things that all bear witness to who Jesus is and the freedom and joy we have in Him.
I remembered the words of Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador: “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Escaping the mentality of doing and achieving is no easy task. We are always aiming for bigger and better, looking ahead to the next thing. I want to be intentional with every opportunity I have to invest in the lives of children around me. Intentionality is not always doing, though. Sometimes, it is just being still. It is stepping out of the hustle and bustle to just soak up time together, to “be all there” with your kids. In these simple moments, life happens. Faith talks are birthed. Memories are made that, like this moment, become part of who we are.
Never underestimate the power of a simple moment. God can use it in powerful ways. Get down on the floor with your kids as they play. Take a picnic. Lounge around in your PJs and have good conversations over a pancake breakfast. In all your doing and serving, don’t forget to teach your kids what it also means to rest and enjoy each other. Working for God flows best from a heart that has learned to first and foremost worship and walk with Him.