I love to rock my babies. It is a luxury I have been afforded as a stay-at-home mom. Naptimes and bedtimes are coveted parts of my day, and I try to take the opportunity to sit and rock my babies to sleep as often as I can.
Sadly, I realized this week that in the process of rocking my youngest, Tenley, to sleep I have fallen into a bad habit. For the past few weeks I have routinely taken my phone with me into Tenley’s nursery. When I know she is sound asleep, I scroll through Facebook or check my email until I know she is ready to be put in her crib.
I know this sounds harmless, and in reality it probably is, but lately I’ve started to feel that something’s not quite right. When I juggle these moments with Tenley with time on my phone, the payoff is not fulfilling. Instead of leaving her nursery feeling refreshed, rested and satisfied, I feel hurried, anxious, and kind of icky.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook just as much as the next person. I also know how helpful and sometimes important it is to stay up-to-date on what’s landed in my inbox. But this time with my girls is sacred, and using it to consume myself with these venues of social media seems to squander the glory of these moments.
With this in mind, I held Tenley in my arms yesterday and consumed myself with the sight of her. Instead of using my phone to check into the world of Facebook and email, I used it to take pictures of what I like to call “Tenley parts.”
The curve of her upper lip…
The tiny red veins that trace her eyelids…
The soft pink dust of her cheeks…
Her scrumptious legs, elbows, and hands…
The delicate wisp of hair that just barely brushes her ear…
These are the sights I used to savor when she was a newborn infant. When did I let Facebook trump the awestruck wonder of her?
It’s an important question, especially on Mother’s Day.
Tenley, my “baby,” recently turned eighteen months old, and my oldest, Aletheia, is four. Aletheia out grew our rocking days quite some time ago, but thankfully she still loves to snuggle. Most days, at naptime she asks me, “Mama, you want to snuggle with me?” and I am afraid I have fallen into the habit of missing these moments too.
Concerned with what’s next on my to-do list, I convince myself that I don’t have time. What I fail to remember is that this time with her, right here, right now, with Alethiea at age four, is All. I. Have. This time, this moment, will not happen again.
What could possibly be more important, more urgent, than soaking up the God-glory, God-beauty, and God-wonder that is found in my girls? And isn’t it true that Facebook, email, and to-do lists can never rival what God is giving now?
It all comes down to a choice:
A choice to savor the babe in my arms and the golden haired girl that squeezes in tight under rose colored covers, or focus my attention on the hurry, the rush, the chatter, that fills up time but leaves me with nothing.
How easy it is to forget, in a world of Facebook, email, grocery shopping, eighty hour work weeks, and the almighty to-do list, that our children are not just children, but tiny image bearers of God. And when we miss them, when we miss the moments we’ve been granted with them, we miss Him too.
The last thing I wish to do is ladle guilt on hardworking, never stopping moms. Motherhood, in general, requires that we give everything we have, to everybody, at all times of the day. I know that valid responsibilities demand our time and attention and that it is hard, sometimes impossible, to let our focus and time linger on naptime snuggles and bedtime lullabies.
But when the chance is given, when the choice is ours, these moments, these days, are not to be wasted, and what I hear God telling me on this Mother’s Day, and in these moments is, “Do. Not. Miss. This.”
Mamas, on this Mother’s Day, gaze at your children as you gaze at the stars and find in them, the glory, the beauty, the wonder of God.