The Magic of Playtime

 Sometimes when my girls are fast asleep I like to sit beside them and take in every bit of them.  Their tiny hands and rosy lips.  I'll run my hands through my hair and whisper things that are true about them in that very moment in time.  When all my daily tasks are complete and all is quiet it is easy for me to soak up all of their present selves.  I got to thinking the other day, though, that I am letting precious time slip by in the midst of the chaos.  I am a stay at home mom but I am also a full time student, a freelancer, and a clean freak.  I will be the first to admit that some days its easier for me to sit my girls in front of the tv while I do homework or clean up the last mess that was made.  Now, of course I do have these responsibilities and they do in fact have to get done but I find myself, a lot of days, being consumed by them resulting in spending the bare minimum of meals, diaper changes, and bath time with my girls. 

 It brings me to tears to say this but Ezrah (my oldest) begs me to play with her almost every single day and many of those days I turn her away.  So recently I had to step back and take a look at my big four year old and my almost nine month old and I thought, "wait a second, wasn't I just pregnant with these two!?" Time is moving quickly and I need to be there for them in more ways than one.  I came to the conclusion that I need to take time with them every single day to play.  I have to be able to step aside from all the responsibilities to imagine with them, to build forts and make believe that they are castles, to cook with them, to just BE with them presently.

 When it comes to my work and school life, I tend to be efficient almost to a fault.  I try to get two or three assignments ahead so that I can rest and then once I reach that point I think to myself, "wait I can get even further ahead if I just work a little longer." I completely cancel out any time for rest that I worked for.  I have come to realization that it is completely OK to rest.  We were created to actually need rest (Just a few examples:  Genesis 2, Exodus 20) and God wants us to delight in it.  I believe in many forms of rest and of course now I am talking about playing.  When I take the time to intentionally play with my girls I feel so much less stressed and so much more joy!

 By choosing life over tasks I get to experience more belly laughs and smiles and sweet moments that I will get to cherish for the rest of my life.  And not only that but it's a way for me to show my girls how much I absolutely love them!  One of the ways we can raise our children up in the Lord is to emulate his character.  When their mommy takes the time to play it blesses them, reminiscent of the way our Father loves and blesses us.

Mamma's, if you are reading this today make no mistake, I know you have responsibilities and I know that they can ride heavily on your shoulders.  I am with you, daily.  But I still want to encourage you to take the time to play with your babies.  Talk to them in funny voices, let them take your food order and cook you "dinner", tickle their bellies, let them chase you around the house.  Pay attention to their smiles and really listen to their laughter.  It is so life giving to them!  If you feel so overwhelmed I pray that God would begin to show you that he is sufficient to grant you rest!

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of both productivity AND rest!

(I also wanted to quickly point out that that is 100% a miniature whisk featured in the above photo, and who doesn't want to pretend to cook dinner with a miniature whisk?!!)

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