Because everything else really can wait …

by Kari on July 17, 2013

 

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She’ll only be four this one summer.

Only this one summer will she talk exactly like this, still slipping in that thumb while no one’s looking and smiling her shy smile with round baby cheeks. Already I watch her dance through the yard and wonder when her legs got so thin. When did she shed that baby fat and start looking like a little girl?

Only this one summer will I be teaching her to read. And watching her twirl in her Tinkerbell swimsuit. And combing out her curls while Dutch reads aloud Henry & Mudge.

Back, last month, when I read the book on submission and asked God what exactly He wanted me to submit to, this had topped the list:

You’re waiting for something more dramatic, perhaps?

That’s it.

And that’s exactly why it’s the hardest for some of us, yes?  That’s it

Wipe bottoms, noses, counters. Fill tummies. Teach manners. Correct attitudes (usually our own).  Scrub toilets. Vacuum carpets. Fold laundry. Fold laundry. Fold laundry. Fold laundry. (At least that’s how it feels.)

That’s it

And the world “out there” seems like so much more. More exciting, more fulfilling, more adventurous. Out there we’re more appreciated, more stimulated, more educated. The facebook feed reminds us how dull our days are compared to everyone else’s. But that’s where we’re tricked.

There’s so much more going on within our walls than we have any inkling…

When we get down low, close enough to really listen, we’re laying the foundation of a child’s confidence. She will grow up knowing she’s valued, loved, cherished.

When we crawl under those covers to snuggle, patiently soothing instead of shushing up and slamming the door, we’re squelching fears and showing tangibly the love and patience of a tender Heavenly Father who calms every storm and commands evil to flee.

When we discipline that child for the eight-thousandth time we are instilling in them a lifelong confidence that actions have consequences and God’s way IS truly the path of life and peace.

When we laugh we fill their love tanks with just a bit more joy.

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When we stay near and just “waste” time together, we tie those heart-strings together, tethering trust through time. 

These little years require our time and attention. 

Because in just a few years someone will show him pornography. In just a few years some punk kid will whisper in her ear, “Just trust me.” In just a few years the onslaught of humanism will overwhelm their world like a flood–be more, do more, perform more. Be sexy, be powerful, achieve, dominate, control. Do what feels good, reject authority. God is boring, the Bible’s outdated, Christianity is for idiots.

I will blink and they’ll be there, waging war.

And whether they listen to us then depends on whether we listen to them now. Their stories. Their songs. Their heartaches and hurts. Their interests and ideas.

Ten years from now my writing career will still be here. Hobbies will still be here. Work at the church will still be here. The poor, the homeless, the needy will still be here. (And all my housework will most certainly still be here!)

But my little ones will not be here. 

I only have about five minutes to completely convince them of my and God’s love for them. It may feel like a long race right now, but it’s not. It’s ridiculously short, and 18  years is barely enough time to fill their tanks so brim full of love and gospel-truth that nothing else can empty their sacred souls. Sure, we’re all in different places. It’s not a SAHM vs. working mom debate.

But if we have littles in our home, one thing is for sure:

Everything else really can wait.

 

{Praying supernatural strength for you as you nurture those Littles and bring them up in the ways of the Lord. Keep on keeping on! You are running a good race. Be encouraged, sister. We’ll never regret the time we pour into our kids. Thanks for reading.}

 

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Ebenhack July 17, 2013 at 4:09 am

Kari, I am so blessed by your heart. I face the same choice you face.Thank you for your example and reminder!

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Thanks, Jennifer. Love your site, by the way! Bless you as you pour into those littles!

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Jennifer Ebenhack July 18, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thank you, Kari. I’m honored that you stopped in! I thoroughly enjoy your writing and your passion for Jesus. If Florida wasn’t so far from Oregon, I’d have invited you over long ago. :-)

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Catie July 17, 2013 at 4:18 am

This is so encouraging and so true. Thank you. :)

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Thanks, Catie.

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Melissa McGovern Taylor July 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

Yet another reminder that I needed. Thank you for letting the Lord use you, Kari.

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you, Melissa.

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Suzanne July 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thank you so much for this. As a mother of four ages 6 to 14 I get discouraged and look out at the world and feel like it is all passing me by sometimes. As they get older, I start to feel guilty for not working too, which doesn’t help! What an encouragement this was today. :-)

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Oh girl, if you have 4 kids aged 6-14 you are CERTAINLY working! Working your tail off, I’d say! :) Thanks for your kinds words. So glad this was timely for you today.

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Bob Weaver July 17, 2013 at 10:10 am

I just saw my Granddaughter Megan married, this weekend, I concur with how short is the time we have with our children. Thank you Kari for reminding all of us to walk daily with our Lord and Savior, Train up a child in the way he should go.

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thank you, Bob, for so faithfully reading!

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Chanie July 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

My sister-in-law forwarded this to me. Thank you for writing. I needed remiding of what the most important job is as a mom.

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thank you, Chanie. So glad your sister-in-law sent this. I love God’s perfect timing.

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Dawn July 17, 2013 at 11:47 am

Just what I needed today…

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Praise God!

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Chelsea July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Your writing truly spoke Gods words to my heart today. I made a very hard decision this week which seems bold and crazy to most I’m sure. I am reminded that above all else my son is much more important than all these worldly distractions in my life. Thank you friend for writing raw honest truth, this tired weary mama needed to hear And be encouraged by it today!

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Good for you, girl!!!

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dad July 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Mom…As your children’s grandmother, I can attest to the truth of these words and I thank God for your integrity as a mom and the sacrfciial life you lead..

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

:) xoxox

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K D July 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

So true, all of it. My baby will be leaving for college next month and I’ll miss her terribly but I am glad for all the time I spent with her the past 17-1/2 years. I love the person she is today and still try to fill her with love every day.

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Kari July 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thank you, KD. I can’t even imagine yet the feeling of having one leave for college. Wow! Well done!

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Kristen July 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Thanks so much for this.I needed to read this tonight.Its so hard to not compare our lives with those around us and think “what am I doing?” All the while our kids are growing up and passing us by. I am a stay at home mom of two kids and I sometimes struggle with feelings of being inadequate because I am not out doing anything even though I know this is where God has called me to be and my kids are so very important to me.Your post is very encouraging.Thanks again:)

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

It IS hard, Kristen. SO true. I’m so grateful this could be encouraging today. Bless you, sister!

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Janie July 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm

The most important, humbling and satisfying task given a parent is to parent, and to do so prayerfully. Thank you to you and Jeffrey for embracing that for my grandchildren’s sake. Bless you.

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 7:59 am

Amen, Momma! Thank you for all the years you poured into my wonderful husband. I enjoy the fruit of your labors. :)

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Alice Swartz July 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

At the end of the day when I was raising my children, I reminded myself that “Today I raised a human being.” That helped me put my day in perspective.

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 7:59 am

Amen! Thank you, Alice. You have encouraged me over the years!

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Vicky Lyashenko July 18, 2013 at 12:24 am

Oh my goodness! I needed this so much today! Why is it when they are in bed – sleeping do I notice their innocence? Thank you so so much for writing this. It is so prophetic. I need to read this daily. Thank you for doing what God has called you to do. <3 Blessings to your beautiful family.

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

Praise God! Haha, yes there are some things I need to read DAILY also. All the best to you, sister!

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Jennifer July 18, 2013 at 6:17 am

Thank you, thank you for this. I am expecting my third child and I was just reflecting the last few days on how everyone/thing around me is talking about how much having children ruins your life. This was exactly what I needed today. Thank you for filling my heart with hope this morning.

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

Well yes, children WILL ruin your life! They’ll ruin your pride, your ego, your selfishness. :) I pray you are encouraged as you carry this little life and bring up all three in the love and ways of Jesus. Bless you, sister!

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Katie July 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

Very encouraging!! Thanks for your words!

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Thank you, Katie.

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Tara Stewar July 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Yes, Yes, YES!! I am so very Thankful for the ministry of writing and speaking of truth that we all need to hear and be reminded of daily!!! We “know” this truth but many other “things” compete with this and we “forget” what is important. I relate with the Jews in the OT that often “forgot” the Faithfulness and instructions from the Lord and wandered into other areas that seemed more faithful or would give us what our heart needs. I often forget His ways are better and His Plans for my life and how I raise really, “His” children will always work out better if I simply Submit my self to His ways..THANK YOU for this very TRUTHFUL Reminder!!!

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

:) Amen, Tara! So excited to minister together with you! :)

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Emily July 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I’ve been a lurker for awhile, never commenting, but I just HAD to say THANK YOU for this post. Exactly what my mama heart needed today.

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Kari July 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Haha, lurking welcomed here! But I’m so glad you stepped out and said hello. It’s a joy to meet you. ;)

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Emily July 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Thank you so much for sharing God’s truth in such a real, vulnerable way. Your words have touched my heart and encouraged me greatly!

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jen shoemaker July 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

“I only have about five minutes to completely convince them of my and God’s love for them”
That line is exactly how I’ve been feeling the past few days! I looked at my 6 year old jumping off the dock into the lake this last weekend, and thought “where did that skinny boy come from?! Where’s my fat baby?!” As we were “relaxing” in the sun (as relaxing as it can be with 4 kids ages 6 and under around water), my mind was racing about how much I needed to teach them. I was near panicking in my head. But alas, we have a God who hears our cries. Thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit to guide us in this parenting adventure!

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Elizabeth July 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Thank you for the sweet reminder.

You bless me. :)

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Emily July 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Kari, I’m pretty sure you are reading my mind each week. Only, you write things so much more beautifully than I have ever thought them…. Every day my husband and I marvel at these little people we are raising. What a tough, wonderful, discouraging, amazing job we have! I am so thankful for a God whose mercies are new every morning. I definitely need it. Thanks again for the gift of your words!

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Tara July 19, 2013 at 5:09 am

Thank you for this today! I really needed this message.

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Katie July 19, 2013 at 6:06 am

Thank you so much for pouring your heart into this article and speaking truth into women’s lives!! I was so blessed reading your article and try to encourage moms in the same thing you just wrote.

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Gayla July 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

Thank you so much. I never wanted anything more than to be a wife and momma. But, too often I allow myself to get discouraged. With four kiddos,
ages 8months to 8 years,life is busy and full. The Lord has really been speaking to me about embracing what He has so blessed me with and serving with joy and heart of love. Oh how I need His help, guidance, and strength. Thank you for sharing.

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Melissa July 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

This is such a great reminder and encouragement. I hope so many mommas read this, believe this, and know that it is okay to be “just” a stay at home mom :-) That this is a calling by God for us to be doing what we are doing every single day. What a joy to understand that we don’t need more…more acknowledgment, more praise, more pats-on-the-back…that we can be fine in knowing what we are doing is worth doing and the only one that matters, He sees it and that is enough!

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Anna July 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Thank you for writing this. I have a 1 1/2 year old boy and a 9 day old daughter, and this is a great reminder! The repetitive nature of my life can really get me down sometimes. But I was also thinking the other day about the significance of bringing a little one into the world and playing a part in training them and bringing up another person who can glorify God forever. Everything else really can wait.

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Christine July 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I LOVE this. There is so much freedom and life in this post, and thank you for reminding us of how short and valuable this time is. Truth and perspective truly changes the heart. (hugging you!)

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Elissa July 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Will tuck this wisdom in my pocket for the days ahead. ;) Thanks Kari!!

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April July 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm

AMEN!!!!!!!!

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Erica July 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Chanie forwarded this to me, thank you so much! I was just fretting about my messy house (I have a 40hr a week job besides trying to be a Titis 2 and proverbs 31 woman). Instead of cleaning when I get home from work I think we will go for a walk and play in the sunshine today. This time does go fast, too fast!!

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MParker July 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

This is beautifully written and something I think about constantly. I am a homeschooling mama of a 6, 5, 3 and 1 year old (I claim all parents are homeschoolers from birth…some of us just continue longer than others:)) and am trying so hard to be still and enjoy all of these beautiful moments…and they are still going by too quickly. Thanks for being another mother who is strong enough to remind the rest of us that this work of mothering (parenting) is the most important work we have to do today. And it is enough! This is so off the subject, but I often notice the divide between what you called SAHM and Working Mothers…I wonder if we would be less divided and more united as women and mothers if we started with one simple move…and stopped calling one group “stay at home moms” and the other “working moms”. Maybe we are telling women who choose to be at home with their children full time unintentionally that what they do isn’t work…while promoting unintentionally that work out of the home is somehow more important and needed…something we are missing out on. Once we all recognize that ALL mothers work hard every single day, but divide their time different and have different challenges, we will raise both, and divide less. Words are maybe more powerful than we realize at times? Thanks for your thoughts! M

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Lacey August 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

Yes, yes, yes… LOVE this, Kari! Thank you so much for the encouragement! I have been feeling this way for quite awhile now and reading it in your words has helped drive it home even more. <3

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erika September 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

love this post! thank you for sharing! :-)

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Lisa Littlewood September 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Kari, this is soo spot on and the reminder I needed tonight…weary from the day and feeling a little bit discouraged about the lack of time to pursue my own passions to write and teach in the midst of raising our three girls…

I LOVED this,
“And whether they listen to us then depends on whether we listen to them now. Their stories. Their songs. Their heartaches and hurts. Their interests and ideas.”

Ohh how that got me…and how true it is!!! Thank you for this.

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Felicia October 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

I am so thankful for this post. It came just at the right time and as much as I tried to hold it all it my tears just started flowing when I came to “I have about five minutes…” Just this morning I was telling my husband that I’m really wondering if the decision to homeschool my daughter was the right one and I’ve been feeling the guilt of not doing enough for her on the homeschooling front due to housework, child care etc. I am at the brink of sending her to a Montessori Kindergarten next year but it just didn’t feel right enough. Now I know why, I need that five minutes with her and everything else can wait.

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Kari October 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Amen, girl! Amen. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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Carla B October 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I loved this post. What a great reminder, and one that God knew I needed. I’ve been really strugging with the “my kids are missing out on something…more stimulating, more exciting, more fun” worries lately. Five kids in one little house can make a mom question what on earth she thinks she’s doing by keeping them home. ;) I really love your relaxed method of homeschooling. This is our fourth year and the longer I do it the more I realize what works for us and what doesn’t.

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Karen Harris October 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I have been asked why I don’t send my high school aged homeschoolers to take college classes, and I always respond that I only have them for 18 years and I covet every moment. I am the mom of 9 children from 19 to 2. I spend my years teaching, cleaning, and doing their laundry with talk about our God sprinkled on it all. Thanks for this reminder…

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Elissa Teal November 3, 2013 at 3:04 am

Yes, yes and YES! Great post!

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Linda Wilson December 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thanks Kari for your encouragement. I, like you, am a woman in ministry. We are homeschoolers also (homeschooling our two youngest boys, 8 & 10) and we also still have our two young adults still at home. How do you find balancing mothering and ministry?

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Kari January 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Oh goodness, I don’t find the perfect balance a lot of times. I get up really, really early, then the kids have quiet time from 2-4 for reading, coloring, puzzles, etc. That’s my work time! It’s still very tricky but I love it!

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Heidi December 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

What an encouraging website! Really enjoyed reading through some of your posts!

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Kari January 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Oh, thank you Heidi! Welcome!

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Kim February 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Very insightful for a young mama. Lord, help us everyone to live it.

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Leah February 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Kari,
I am grateful to you today for this reminder. It is soooooo easy to forget how preciously finite this moment, this day, this year is with my little boys. I should read this post every morning. Maybe I will.
Also, I want you to know that, while I am not particularly religious any more, and I certainly don’t pray and read the bible as you do, I am still inspired by your spirituality, and I still value your sharing your trials/loves/days. I feel that you speak of God and the world in such a human way, and I enjoy reading it. Even though we do not hold the exact same beliefs, your sense of love, spirit and joy still speaks to me. I value that – inspiration from a clearly different personal belief system – perhaps more than inspiration from someone who clearly shares my beliefs. It helps me feel so much more connected to the world, humanity, parents and women. It reminds me that love and kindness and respect transcend religion, politics and the many other walls our society raises. So thank you.

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Jamie February 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Hi there! I happened along your blog this week when a good friend posted this article on Facebook! I just loved it and I have now read most of your stories! I love the way you write, I feel like I am right there with you in it! Thanks for sharing your heart and faith here, I will definitely keep reading :)

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Krista April 2, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Thank you so much for this– my heart has definitely been convicted. I will be leaving my dishes in the sink and sitting down on the floor to play tomorrow. I appreciate your heart felt words!

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Marci April 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Thank you so much for a beautifully written piece. It is just what I needed to read today as I was nursing my newborn fourth child and wondering how I’m going to get it all done. Thank you!

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tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations July 14, 2014 at 3:10 am

Thank you for this reminder. I have a 4 y.o. who wants to play My Little Pony all the time. I am always meaning to make time for her but I get caught in the craziness of life. Got to get off this train and play my Little Pony today! :)

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