Here in Ohio, our winter has been incredibly mild this year, and we were all really happy with that, minus not having a white Christmas. However, the last few weeks have brought the cold, snowy weather that we are more familiar with for this time of year.
Only this year, we’ve got a little boy in school. Once the real winter weather arrived, Elijah quickly figured out that snowy weather could not only potentially mean fun outside, but if you’re lucky, it might mean a day off school, too!
He began looking forward to a snowy forecast in hopes of a snow day, and in all honesty, so did I. Not only because I like having Elijah at home, but also because a snow day MIGHT mean we all get to sleep in a little bit. 🙂
Then came last week’s winter storm, a stomach bug, and another winter storm this past weekend. Elijah had three snow days in a row, followed by a sick day, and then two more snow days the beginning of this week. Wednesday was his first day back to school since last Monday!
Normally, Josiah and I have a pretty good routine during the day while Elijah is at school. He helps me do things around the house, we play, he naps, we go get Elijah.
So, what did I do when two little boys were begging for my attention all day?
Either I could let the boys entertain each other while I got some housework done, or I could embrace the extra time with my big boy at home and set aside some time to enjoy my children.
While I did my best to maintain our home, do some laundry, and load the dishwasher, for the most part, I spent time with Elijah and Josiah. Just looking at how quickly they have both grown and changed in the past year, I know it’s important not to miss any opportunities to be with them.
It can be hard for me, though, to step away from my to-do lists. I want an orderly home with clean floors and tidy rooms for my boys to play in. (Of course, once my boys have played in them, they’ll need to be cleaned up again)
There are so many things that I could be doing FOR my family that I sometimes have to remind myself to let it go so that I can be WITH my family.
It’s kind of like Mary and Martha in the Bible, where Martha spends so much time making everything nice for Jesus while Mary spends that same time enjoying Jesus.
Luke 10: 38-42 tells us, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’
And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’”
It says that Martha was “distracted” – that means she wasn’t focused on the right thing. She was missing out. I know there have been days where I’ve been distracted from interacting with my boys, focusing instead on the housework (there’s never an end to it), working on my blog (writing, planning, sharing on social media), or something else that can wait.
My boys are growing up every day. If I spend my days with them distracted by other things, I’ll miss out, and there’s no getting those days back.
Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen the good part, the one thing that is needed. In the New Living Translation, verse 42 says, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it…”
Of all the things in my home, what’s the ONE thing worth being concerned about over anything else? My family.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I should neglect our home and never take care of it. Nor does it mean that I need to be at my children’s beck and call every minute of the day as their constant source of entertainment and diversion. They NEED to be able to play on their own.
However, I don’t want to be so distracted with my to-dos that I’m missing the good part. I want to spend time with my boys, making memories that “will not be taken away from” me or them.
So with these snow days, that’s what I did.
With the first storm, the wind chills were in the single digits at points, so our outdoor time was limited to a very short adventure in some very fine, powdery snow. Stuck inside, Elijah and I taught Josiah how to play “Go Fish,” we did paint with water projects, and Elijah practiced his reading by doing story time for us each morning. One day we spent several hours making rocket ships out of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, foil, bubble wrap, lots of tape, and tons of imagination.
With this last snow, it was a bit warmer, so we braved the slushy roads and spent an entire day at a snow day playdate with my nephews, where the boys all worked together to make a snowman.
Since Elijah was so good at rolling snowballs and since the boys hadn’t had time with Daddy out in the snow, on Wednesday when he got home from school, Brad and I took the boys outside, and we created the biggest (and heaviest!) Lape family snowman to date.
Sure, I could have stayed inside to work on dinner while my hubby supervised the boys, but these last few snow days have been a sweet reminder to me: Just like the snow, my boys’ childhoods will pass quickly.
I want to focus on what’s worth being concerned with, so I chose the good part, put down my to-dos, and put on my boots and gloves.
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