I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and put together a theme party for little Jellybean. I do not mean to say that coming up with ideas and implementing them is something I'm not good at... it's the people organizing that I am a little rusty on. The creative planning is actually my forte.
I am an idea person. Visual. I can take paper or fabric and make stuff happen with it. But I had a shock recently when I realized that my littles don't really know this about me.
The week before the party, I was working on the living room floor with a poster board, a pencil, a sharpie marker, and watercolor pencils. My efforts were directed at drawing a large image of Miss Suzy with which we could play "Pin the Party Hat on Miss Suzy" at the birthday party. I had a small book image to use as a model and a short amount of time to work with. I wasn't particularly concerned about the time. I know what I can do.
The funny thing is that the little kids didn't know what I could do. I was rather surprised to hear my 7-year old say, "Mommy, I didn't know you could do stuff like that!" And I wondered why that was. I know. The older kids know. My husband knows. Aren't we all living in the same household?
The truth is that spending so much time running around like crazy on behalf of the children has made me a tad dull. Not inside. But outside... and seeping into the inside. And I don't think that's good for me or for them. Dishes have to be done. Errands have to be run. I'm not thinking of those tasks as I write. I'm talking about the hours and hours in the gym and on the road. "For the kids"
And the question that keeps coming up in the late night conversations I have with Chief is: Is this the right way, the best way, to live for the kids? Is this the best way to live out the will of God in our family life?
I read this quote today on the Camp Creek Blog and although I didn't read the rest of the article, this alone gave me plenty to think about today...
While you think you're giving your kids everything, they often think you are bored, pushy, and completely oblivious to their real needs. But let's look at this very simply: if you're willing to give up your own life and identity, what is the message you have sent your kid about the value of other people, mothers in particular? ~ We are all Helicopter Parents
I don't want our family to be child-centered, parent-centered, activity-centered, homeschool-centered, or success-centered... I want us to be God-centered. The fact that my little girl didn't know I could draw a giant copy of Miss Suzy in 15 minutes doesn't initially seem to indicate that we aren't properly oriented. But after some reflection, it occurred to me that it is clearly an indication of an imbalance.
The word from the quote above that really nailed me in the gut was identity. We all know that true identity isn't about what we do but who we are... and how we live reveals that WHO. I am a child of God. I am made to love and be loved. I have been given blessings and gifts which I am called to use for His greater glory and love of His people. My kids should know these things about me and I should be teaching them how to unwrap their own gifts.
It's time to slow down. Praise God.
**The complete rundown of the Miss Suzy Party to come soon.**