Coloring & Motherhood

DSC08288It’s another new day, and God is still good.

Weird, right?

Not really. It seems that, no matter how much I struggle and fail, He is faithful to pick me up.

I love that.

Last night, I sat down at the table and colored with the kids. We were going to play Yahtzee, but crayons and coloring books got the best of us.

I still have a couple of Precious Moments coloring books I bought years ago, before I was married, I think. I keep them stashed for coloring emergencies.

It’s the little things in life – like the feel of crayon on that rough coloring book paper – that make everyday life better. I should color more often. It’s so relaxing and fun to transform a black-and-white image into something pretty.

Plus, the kids thought my coloring was just way beyond amazing. Yay for a cheap ego-boost! Okay, not really. I just really, really had a nice time being with my sweet kiddos. I don’t do that enough. Yes, I’m with them basically 24/7, but it’s not often that I play with them or just do something fun. There is always schoolwork to supervise, chores to do, squabbles to referee, battle wounds to dress, and behavior to correct.

Sometimes, it feels like it’s a never-ending stream of bossing, instead of mothering.

Last night woke me up a little. Everyday, I’m going to be working on it. I can change. I can be more open, more available, and more of a friend to them. Not less of a mother–God forbid! I know my primary job is not friendship with my children, but I do believe that it is one of them.

Motherhood is, primarily, a relationship with my kids. A relationship of godly authority and guidance first, but friendship too. As long as I don’t get the order wrong, then I hope that my children will be among my best friends once they are grown. If I am not a friend (a friend who speaks the truth in love, sharpens them as iron sharpens iron, and loves them unconditionally), why should I expect them to come to me for guidance and help as they begin to navigate the tough times of adolescence? If I don’t want them turning to their peers (who don’t know any better than they do), then I have to earn that through godly friendship.

I hope to build that friendship on being a good example, faith, godly correction and discipline, and unconditional love. In addition to that, I intend to spend more time on coloring, board games, movie nights, and entering their world whenever I can. After the schoolwork, life skills, chores, and corrections take place. The hard work has to come before play–like I keep telling them–but play is still on the list, and is still important.

I don’t want to forget that.

Just a thought I have this morning. A thought I didn’t even set out to share. I literally just sat down and started writing…weird what comes out when my fingers start moving. How do you view friendship with your children? Why?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

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6 thoughts on “Coloring & Motherhood

  1. First, I agree on the coloring, it’s a wonderful thing we really never outgrow 🙂
    Secondly, my mom truly is one of my best friends in this world. There is definitely a delicate balance of being a mother first, but it’s amazing when you get older and suddenly realize that your greatest confident and wisest friend is your mother. I hope to have that same relationship with my own kiddos someday.

  2. Ooooh you remind me of one more thing to add to the want list for tax season. Giant, huge, enormous box of crayons. We need more colors 🙂

  3. Oh, it would take a whole post to answer your question! I sometimes played with them, of course, but usually in the context of P.E. And my husband and I would play board games with them and I would color in their color books, if invited. I applauded their inventions with Legos and later with a big battery and bunces of wound-up copper wire. Sometimes I would show them how to make a toy: the button twirler on a string, the origami joke/fortune teller, the wax paper/comb kazoo, etc. Sometimes they helped us play OUR games: giant jigsaw puzzles, races to the mailbox, birthday present treasure hunts, etc. Sometimes we helped them play their games (we always knew a great new hiding place for hide and seek.) I think, though, that friendship with parents includes the authority, and our laying down that authority to play with them is what makes our play so valuable. When Mom starts a rubberband war and running through the house is permitted for just a few minutes, what a hoot!

    • Exactly! That’s what I want – that friendship WITH authority. Love exemplified through motherhood and friendship. “Let the little ones come to me.” I don’t ever want them to feel like they burden me. That our relationship is cumbersome to me. I want them to know that I take delight in them and their play as much as I love teaching and rearing them.

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