Living Life With Children

There is wonder, awe and plain cuteness in little children. There is unbridled curiosity and a wise one will follow it without restraint. And there is fullness of living in what they teach us and what we teach them.

I love living life, soaking up moments and getting my feet wet in the puddles of daily life. It’s so easy to miss…so much competes for our attention and time. Most of our days are ordinary, aren’t they? I’m not talking about the poetic life-is-gumdrops-and-lollipops kind of living that pretends the floor isn’t sticky and the noses aren’t messy.

Living life…the real life. That’s what we miss so easily yet the ordinary moments are what, added together, make up a lifetime.

I was sanding a door yesterday–an old french door we bought dirt cheap for our screened-in porch on our new house. Mallie (5) wanted to help. The great thing about distressing stuff that’s already distressed is that the little ones can’t mess it up; they are perfect for the job. I love these projects where I can hand ’em a brush and see their faces light up.

So she pulled up a stool and we sanded and painted and stained and rubbed the wood with a rag. Turning something old into something usable again. (Will she remember the lessons of being resourceful?)  And we talked. Not really about anything important, but I listened, and watched her face contort when she got to the “important” parts. And I got to say, “Isn’t it neat, Mallie, that God has blessed us so much and we get to work together to build another house? I like being with you.” And I got to see her connect another dot between her small, tangible world and the great big God that runs it all.

Side by side, living life, talking, sharing, smiling at each other. Just being here with them…I’m thankful in a thousand ways.

And even when we’re not smiling…when tempers flare and we say the things we shouldn’t. Praise God for days that don’t go well! Praise Him for the thousands of chances we have to live forgiveness! To show them that messing up doesn’t mean losing favor…that forgiveness is there again and again. No, I don’t like it either at the time but it knits the gospel into our hearts, makes us humble and reminds us of our constant need of a Savior. What could be more important?

So many lessons to learn in the ordinary. So much living to do in a day.

18 Responses to “Living Life With Children”

  1. 6 arrows says:

    Beautiful! Don’t you just love those quiet, one-on-one moments with a child?

    I had one of those moments with my three-year-old today. We were just sitting and talking, just the two of us, when she asked, “Are all babies born in a manger?”

    Just love those times! Thanks for a very refreshing post, Kelly.

  2. Ginger says:

    The thousands of chances we have to live forgiveness. Amen! The Lord is granting my prayer for humility through this gift of parenthood. For some reason it is just much more humbling to ask forgiveness from a child than an adult. Because my kids bounce back so quickly, I falsely think I’m going to remind them of the wrong attitude I had, as if they had forgotten. But children are always so quick to forgive, unlike many adults who prefer to hold grudges.

  3. Joy H says:

    What a precious post! Thank you for this.

  4. Natalie says:

    This was very encouraging and beautifully put. Thank you for sharing it Kelly.

  5. This is a much-needed reminder today of all days lately. God’s timing is so perfect. After a difficult week (for reasons completely outside of the kids), I woke up this morning wishing so desperately that today was Saturday and my husband was home to help, not sure I could make it through one more day of nursing, changing diapers, fixing meals, reading the same books over and over again, etc. It’s so precious to be reminded of the sweet blessing that simply BEING with my children can be. I may not end up being all that “productive” today, but we will cuddle and play and “talk” (as best as a 2 year old and 10 month old can talk) and just love on each other. They certainly are experts at that!

  6. Kim M says:

    Beautiful!

  7. 6 arrows says:

    LOVE the picture that’s up today! How adorable!

  8. Molly says:

    Beautifully written ~ I enjoyed that!

  9. Jasmine says:

    Kelly, living life with our children is such a gift. Thank you.

    P.S. Your Formative Foundations ad space appears broken.

    Blessings,

    Jasmine

  10. Kristen says:

    Thank you for the reminder, Kelly. We added two little girls to our family yesterday bringing our total number of children to 5. It all happened rather suddenly and many of the responses I’ve gotten from people have been of the “oh, that will be so much more work for you” variety. But, we believe children are a gift from the Lord and these girls are beautiful. The two year old, even today, was helping me put clothes into the ” -chine” as she says “washing machine” (her language is very much behind). Yes, they are work, but God is already showing me how they are His blessings and His reward.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Kristen,

      Congratulations!!! One thing that’s funny about the allusion to “so much work” is that everyone works at something but if you work at raising children it’s…a waste of time? Weird? No one ever says to the woman who has a home AND a full time job…”Boy you sure do have your hands full!” It’s just an interesting thing to think about, really.

      • Kristen says:

        Kelly, I have been mulling over your words these past several days. I never thought of it like that before. When people in the work-world get a promotion that requires them to work more hours and acquire more stress they are congratulated and envied and looked up to. I get two more children and people look at me like I’m crazy. I guess that’s the way it is in God’s economy, right? Everything is turned upside down.

  11. Renee says:

    Beautiful post, melts my heart!

  12. Kelly L says:

    so sweet and wonderful!

  13. Melissa says:

    loved the post!! =) On a side note, I live in East Texas and we have sooo many wild fires going on right now, I know this blog has many prayer warriors reading it, and wanted to please ask for prayer for our neck of the woods!! my home and family is safe right now, but there are 4 fires around us in the some 1,000 acres of land that we live in the middle of! Also we have friends and families being evacuated from their homes left and right, in just 2 of the fires alone almost 10,000 acres have burned and some 500 structures destroyed! PLEASE join me in crying out to our Father for protection for all of the families and all of the men and woman who are volunteering their time to fight these fires! THANK YOU!!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Melissa,

      Please know we have all been thinking of and praying for you all! If there was any way possible right now, I think my husband would be making a bee-line to help out there. Praying for rain for you soon…

  14. Melissa says:

    Thank you sooo much for the prayers Kelly! They have most of the fires in our immediate area contained %80 or more, with the exception of one HUGE fire that is over 2 counties right now and headed I believe to a 3rd! We just continue to lift up all the volunteers as many of them have worked for days on these fires! But we are praising God, the winds were down last night and the temp this morning was in the upper 50’s low 60’s!! =)

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