We started back to school last week so my days are full of¬†homeschooling and lots of time WITH my kids. I’ll keep blogging as I’m able, but if you ever wonder where I am, now you know. ūüôā I was reminded of this so I thought I’d share again. Enjoy…

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…and lo, I am with you always…

Matthew 28:18

“Mommy, will you be with me?”

Next to, “Can I have something to eat?” this is the most common request I hear, on a daily basis. Besides food, really all my children want is me.

They don’t care what we do, they just want¬†me.

There are so many parenting philosophies and educational models, and my heart and hope is always to share simple guiding principles without offering a certain prescribed method to follow. In fact, what most powerfully influences my schooling and parenting decisions is one simple word:

With.

Looking back at my own childhood, I see this powerful force at work as well. Sure, my parents weren’t perfect, but what marks my childhood and makes me recall it with pure joy and fondness, what makes it continue to be a source of strength and confidence for my adult-self, is that my parents had an unwavering dedication to be¬†with us.

We did everything together. Yes, my mom homeschooled us, we spent every day together, we cooked together and cleaned together, we played and read and learned and ran errands — with¬†her. But we weren’t isolated from the world. We took trips and did science fairs and field trips, we served¬†people and explored.

With her.mom photo

My dad was an NCAA referee for 20 years. We all loaded in the car and traveled to¬†countless college basketball games, sometimes up late and sometimes eating *ahem* fast food¬†for dinner. My mom didn’t stress about bedtimes or burgers — we were¬†together.

Wherever he went, we went with. 

As we grew older Dad stepped away from college games so he could ref and coach us instead. My brother and I played 7 sports between us through our high school years and my parents never missed a game.

They were with us.

My aim here is not to guilt y’all who can’t be with your kids every second. I get it. The last thing we need, as mamas, is a guilt trip about not being everywhere at all times.

But sometimes what we need isn’t to do¬†more, it’s to do¬†less,¬†but with them. This can apply to every educational method and model, to every country and culture.¬†2015-06-21 08.54.57

I see it this way: I get these kids for about 5 minutes, in the grand scheme of things. I’m going to blink and be 50 and they’ll be gone, flying on their own around this world. My time with them is so short. There are a thousand other things I could be doing, but¬†this is one thing no one else can do.

No one else can Mama my kids.

No one else has the fierce love for them like me. No one else can know their hearts like me, can see that look in their eyes and know exactly what it means. No one else can show them the heart of God, can identify their love language, their motives and fears.

A couple years ago, I asked God to give me wisdom to help guide my Sacred Mundane with my kids. The word¬†with came to my heart. Because I’m nerdy and like mnemonic devices, I turned it into an acrostic, to remind me every single day of how¬†to be WITH my kids in intentional ways:

W: Work. How can I work with my kids, giving them skills and training them as we go?

I: Inspire. How can I inspire faith in my children today, teaching them to trust God more?

T: Teach. How can I teach my children the knowledge and wisdom they need to thrive in life?

H: Help. Where are my kids struggling? How can I help them to overcome an area of weakness today?

Isn’t this what Jesus does for us? His name is¬†Immanuel:¬†God with us. Jesus comes and lives among us, rubs shoulders with us, then promises that even after He leaves, He will be¬†with us as we carry out His great commission (Matt. 28:18). He’ll never leave us or forsake us, He’ll be with us forever, even to the end of the age.

WITH is at the heart of the gospel,¬†and I believe it’s at the heart of parenting too. This can look so different for every family–that’s the beauty of it! No one-size-fits-all. No template! No cookie-cutters!

You with your children and God with you.

{Bless you, faithful mamas and daddies, as you do life with your kids today. Thanks for reading.}

 *Originally from last fall.

  • Kathryn G

    Thank you for the reminder today! As an introvert with extrovert kids, as well as having a type A personality, I really love to accomplish tasks and spend time alone! I find it very difficult to be “with” my kids unless we are doing a task together, like chores or school work. I desire to follow Christ’s example, but I also know that some of my needs are different than his were as a human being.

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