“Mommy, will you color with me?”
Again? (that’s what I’m thinking)
“Um, sure, ok…just let me finish these dishes.” (that’s what I’m saying)
As I sat next to my four-year-old at the table, I carefully selected a shade of orange from her assortment of broken and peeled crayons, so I could properly color Cinderella’s skin. Instead of relishing the moment of interaction with my daughter, my mind raced through all the housework and blog-writing I intended to accomplish that day. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to pay attention to my daughter. I love my daughter. I know she is more important than mopped floors and current blog posts.
But I also understand that my role as Wife, Mother and Primary Manager of the Home does not always afford me the luxury of playing all day. On this particular day–a day I purposely set aside for specific tasks–“coloring a princess picture” was very low on my list of priorities.
I tried to act interested and engaged. I admired the lovely shade of blue she chose to dominate Snow White.
But, secretly, I was watching the clock until five full minutes passed. If I color for five full minutes, I can step away from the table guilt-free and move on to mopping.
But God had other plans for me. He took the opportunity to initiate a little chat. In an unexpected God-moment, I heard the voice of the Lord whisper to my heart, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me. (Matthew 25). Me, Sandy. You are doing this for Me. If I asked you to color with Me, would you only give Me five minutes, sit there frustrated, and watch the clock the entire time?”
Goodness. God certainly knows how to get straight to the heart of the matter, doesn’t He. See, every single morning, I sincerely pray for God to help me make the most of every opportunity (my focus for 2010). To help me use every second of the day for His glory. To be as efficient as possible—not so I can get a ton of things accomplished (though, I thoroughly enjoy that), but so God can use me in some way to advance His kingdom. That’s my prayer. Every single day.
Before God whispered, this coloring-moment was not much more than a little intrusion into my well-planned day (and a revelation that it’s time to buy Elliana new, unbroken, unpeeled crayons.) But suddenly, with God’s voice and Spirit to guide me, this moment transformed into something Sacred, Anointed, in His perfect will. Not just a task to distract me from my long list of REAL duties. Not something that insulted my intelligence or wasted my college education (am I the only stay-at-home-mom who sometimes feels this way when she’s coloring princesses?), but a genuine opportunity to serve God in an intimately meaningful way: Loving God by loving my daughter. And not just performing the task so that she would be satisfied and quit asking me to color, but doing so fully engaged, with a willing and joyful attitude.
Funny how we can fool our children, but we can’t fool God. He’s always looking at the heart.
Since that God-moment at the kitchen table, I’ve considered the other “previously intrusive segments of my day” and imagined what God might think of them…
Dirty little boy socks and underwear picked up from a cluttered bedroom floor (You do it for Me)
Miles driven to and hours spent in carpool lines (You do it for Me)
Multiplication flash cards flipped, and flipped, and flipped (You do it for Me)
Gentle and repeated reminders to brush teeth, make beds and turn off lights (You do it for Me)
Healthy lunches purchased and packed, when it would be so much easier to let them buy the gross school lunch (You do it for Me)
Standing in the doorway of the grocery store with a cart full of melting groceries while my daughter rides the horsey “just one more time.” (You do it for Me)
I know every moment I spend doing things for my children is precious and meaningful. But sometimes I forget that God is just as pleased with me during these ordinary and mundane moments as He is during big, life-altering moments. I pray this week I will remember, I’m not just doing it for them…I’m doing it for Him.
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