We've all been there. After a day or days filled with non-stop activity, or caring for family in a myriad of breathless ways, you long for a respite.
A dreamy illusion of a bubble bath with soft, relaxing music in the background fades. So you go for the next best thing: an excursion to the store-and maybe a little splurge on a coffee drink as a treat by yourself. All you yearn for is a few minutes away from the beckoning voices and drama. Yes, it is an errand-but it's a few moments of gather -your- thoughts solitude. There might even be an opportunity to sneak a peek at some article of clothing or cute piece of dinnerware that usually gets a glance as your attention is diverted by securing the items that were actually on your list.
In my life this is what really happens.... After announcing of my impending departure to the store, my teen occasionally follows me as I walk out the door. "I'm going to come along."
I try to explain that, really, I'm just going to pick up a "few things" (including that coffee drink) and I'll be right back. But my response is not met with success.
He persists, "I don't care. I'm bored."
The voice in my head argues back, "I just wanted to go to the store by myself."
But saying those words doesn't feel quite right.
And, despite my best efforts to escape by myself, I find myself giving in. When your teen son wants to tag along with his mother, that becomes a sacred moment. In this phase of life, a few stolen moments with my son are hard to come by-especially if they are initiated by me.
My son tends to open up in the car-about everything. His normally quiet demeanor transforms into a verbal conversationalist on all kinds of topics. Those thoughts that have reserved space in his mind and feelings in his heart let loose. Burdens are shared and a heart, which often pushes away helpful pieces of wisdom from his "you-don't-know-what-it's-like" parent, opens up to receive.
I am reminded of the generations of mamas who have experienced similar tensions. Maybe the venue was different. Perhaps, it was a matter of finding those sacred moments in the field as they gathered crops or walking to the market.
It's into those moments that God spoke:
" Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night." Deut. 6:6-8 (The Message)
These sacred moments provide the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to take the word of God-if even for a few moments-out of our mouths and into their hearts. In addition, we are able to model the incarnate Jesus, who often exuded the love of God by listening and asking questions. Those opportunities don't always arise at the most convenient times in our agendas-but sometimes what we really need, we don't always recognize. And that is when I am thankful that the Holy Spirit gives me a nudge (sometimes it's more like a punch.)
There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. There are times when escaping to your oasis of choice is the absolute best thing for you and those around you. But also remember, that God answers our prayers in ways we don't often expect. It may come in the form of running to the store.
Where do you find your sacred moments with your kids?