1. nurture

i admit that i'm task-driven over people-driven. this is magnified in my home especially among the little people. as our boys gain independence from me, i naturally pull away towards my tasks, giving them more care and attention. 

my flesh tells me...
tasks produce results faster. people take time. tasks get checkmarks. people need verbal appreciation. tasks i can control. people can be difficult. tasks are mechanical. people are needy.

my spirit tells me...
people matter. most of my tasks can wait. re-prioritize. my little people need me, my time, my attention, my care, my love. tasks can happen and need to happen, but not dominate my day. tasks are temporary. people are eternal.

if there is one regret i don't want to live with, it is this...
that my little people reflect back on their childhood and say, 'my mom got lots done around the house. we ate good meals. we lived in a clean house. we always had clothes in our closet.' 
'my mom gave us a rich childhood by being fully present, listening to us, and caring for our needs.'

Gary Thomas shares this wisdom in his book, Sacred Parenting:

"What our children ask of us pales in comparison to what we ask of God. In our struggles and our weariness, may we never get to the place of self-righteousness, forgetting that God has forgiven us, is patient with us, and endures our own failings to an even greater extent than we do for our children. Most kids live with us for two, maybe two and a half decades; God puts up with us for the full breadth of our lives....He remains patient with us for many times longer than we must exercise patience with our children. He doesn't ask anything of us as parents that he hasn't delivered a hundred times over himself." 

i believe as women, God graciously gifted us to nurture. it's the part of God that we intimately share with Him. yet, it's in our messiness of sin and flesh that we thwart the gift. we put the gift on the shelf. we expect others to use it, not us. we tap into the gift, not using it to its full potential. God beautifully created us to nurture. our children benefit from this gift. our lives are richer when this gift is fully poured out through us. 

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy...." 1 Colossians 1.11