Perspective in the little years

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During the girls’ naptime, Samson’s imagination and independent play run wild. Today he created an elaborate party, complete with kid snacks at each of our places at our wooden kitchen table, games like “bobbing for apples” set out (my stainless steel mixing bowl full of water on the kitchen floor with a lone apple floating, etc. so sweet!)

When I walked upstairs, I asked him about these five pictures. Samson said they were our family – the “guests” invited to the party – “this is dad, this is you, this is me, this is Esther, and this is baby Hannah.”

We don’t have a perfect family by any means. I yell at the kids. We have a lot of crying. Samson and Esther fight every day. LOL! But family is something wonderful. Family is our foundation, even from a young age. Samson draws pictures of our family often. Three-year-old Esther draws pictures of our family often, as well.

I don’t think it is by coincidence. I think children feel secure and safe in a family. So maybe you messed up a little bit today parenting. Don’t worry. Your children are going to be fine. They know they are smack dab in the middle of the family where they belong. And belonging to a family that loves you is one of the greatest gifts you can offer your child.

(PS watching Samson bob for that Apple was the best part of my day – his proud dripping face with a big apple in his mouth. These are the happiest days of my life!) #stopandsmellyourchildren

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So I’m plowing through my day as a mom of three little ones, busy busy busy. Running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, changing a diaper, slapping together a PBJ sandwhich and slicing it into small sandwiches like a ninja warrior mom, wiping a bottom, etc. Real glamorous, this real mom life. But then my mom will say ONE SENTENCE to me in her soft, feminine voice during our daily phone chat and BAM life is jolted back into perspective.

I was cleaning up after we had some friends over, and telling her how happy it made me to have people at my house and see them relaxing and being refreshed. Then she said, “Leah, when you get to be my age, you look back on your life and suddenly you wish you spent your time doing things that mattered. Really mattered in light of eternity. And serving others is something you will never regret. We have so little time on earth, and it’s so easy to spend time being busy with things that don’t really have any eternal significance. But remember, relationships are the only thing you are going to take to heaven.” We made a little chit chat, then I hung up the phone.

I looked out the window at the day that used to be long and dull until Dave got home, but now seemed short and precious. How I hope to live my life eternally-focused, and eternally-driven.

How I hope to be like my mom each day – to see the value in people and service. We have this one life to live. Give us grace, Father, to focus our efforts and time on things that MATTER to YOU.

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I am a mom of three children, age five-and-under. Every day I feel behind. Every day I feel a little overwhelmed. Every day I feel like I didn’t get everything done. BUT, in the chaos, I get to have sweet little companions by my side. Little shadows everywhere I go. Little feet pattering after me if I leave a room. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. ❤️❤️❤️

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If you look closely, this is a special Transformer, created by transforming five different Transformers into one big “Bruticus” Transformer. Samson has wanted him for a long time, but Dave said he had to do certain chores cheerfully, and without being told or reminded, each day. And at the end of each week, he could buy ONE of the five prized Transformers if he did his chores. Today he finally got to go with Dave to snag the final Transformer. ?

We’ve been reading Laura Ingels Wilder’s book Farmer Boy in the afternoons when the girls nap. Samson was inspired by Almonzo’s good work ethic – rising at 5am to work the farm in the cold! I am grateful for books that inspire my children toward good character. I love how Sally Clarkson says if you read stories like this to your children, they will emerge from your home picturing themselves as heroes and heroines in a dark world, doing right when no one is watching.

My favorite part tonight, though, was watching Dave slowly following the 82726251 steps to transform all five into one robot – and there was Samson, with his white hair and blue eyes, silently and intently studying his dad’s every move. It reminded me of a sentence in Farmer Boy we read: “Almonzo was sure that Father was the smartest man in the world, as well as the biggest and strongest.” I love my two daughters something fierce, but a daddy/son relationship is PRECIOUS. I LOVE BEING A PARENT!!!! These are the best days of my life!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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My mom calls these little “love marks” from dirty, fat baby hands clutching their mama while being held on the hip. I will miss these end-of-day “love marks” someday! ???❤️❤️❤️#stopandsmellyourchildren

 


Want more like this? Order Leah’s new Amazon Best-Seller book Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years now on Amazon here or on her site here.

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