Posted by: spaghettipie | December 4, 2007

Stewardship Living Idea #7: Children

Today, I got up, turned on Curious George for my daughter and checked my email and blogs (yes, plural.)

By the time I looked up, we were half-way through Clifford, the Big Red Dog. I helped my daughter get dressed, and then left her watching Super Why while I went to change.

We left the house to run an errand, and then we headed to my mother-in-law’s house. I helped her start cleaning out her house, while my daughter basically entertained herself for the next four hours. We stopped to eat lunch somewhere in between (at least I remembered to feed her!), but otherwise my attention was focused elsewhere.

The rest of the day passed quickly with a visit to a friend, no nap, and our normal evening routine.

And now I’m sitting down here to write a post about how we’re supposed to be good stewards of our children.

I feel like a total hypocrite.

I know that’s only one day, and sometimes serving others is a necessary priority in our lives. Certainly we cannot make it a habit or a lifestyle to put everyone else before our family, but on a day here or there when someone needs us, we sometimes do. Is my daughter going to be scarred for life because of this one day? No. Am I a negligent parent because of this day? Of course not (although I feel that way right now.)

Realizing that we are stewards of our children is both an enormous responsibility and freeing. Knowing my daughter is not my own – that, in fact, she’s the daughter of the King – feels like a lot of pressure. I’ve got to be a perfect parent so she turns out okay, and I have no clue how to be that. I’m still amazed they let us walk out of the hospital that day with her with no parenting degree or application process. At the same time, realizing that in the big picture her future is in the hands of the sovereign God of the universe is a relief. Her protection is not ultimately up to me. She has been entrusted to my care, but the bottom line is I am not solely responsible for her; God is. Thank goodness! That freedom allows me to focus on being a good steward, rather than being super-parent.

I’m really excited to explore this aspect of stewardship with you this week. In my life, I’m trying to take small steps in these areas of stewardship. With my daughter, I’m trying to intentionally focus on the following:

1) Look her in the eye, often getting down on her level, when she’s trying to talk to me. If I catch myself typing or reading my computer while she’s talking, I make myself set it aside.

2) Try to plan one activity a week that just she and I do together and that is focused on her. Sometimes that’s just painting or playing in her play room. When the weather’s nice, it’s a trip to the park or a zoo, with just the two of us.

3) Limit her television watching time. I’m much more lenient than many parents I know, but I do try to limit her time watching tv. But honestly, that’s more about forcing myself to interact and spend quality time with her (as opposed to letting the tv entertain her while I’m “getting stuff done.”) than it is about television being “bad” for her. I’m also teaching her to turn off the television, rather than me doing it for her.

I have lots of other grand intentions, but for now I’m working on these little steps. For a preview of our Stewardship Spotlight this week, check out my friend Llama Momma. She is such an encouragement to me as a mom!

What do you do to be a good steward of your children or the children in your life?

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Responses

  1. We all have those days, my friend! 🙂

  2. T,

    Thanks for sharing so honestly! I agree that we all have days like that, though I don’t think we have to be perfect parents to turn out OK. I think I turned out pretty good, and my mom’s not perfect. =)

    Great ideas for being intentional!

  3. I struggle with this too! On the one hand I think I’m doing okay because I’m homeschooling, but all too many days by the time I get done with work (online, of course) there’s no real “schooling” done. And the TV – ugh, don’t get me started. At least I choose educational shows, right? ha.

    Thank you for sharing your situation – I often feel like I’m the only one trying to do the WAHM/homeschool/military wife/ etc etc etc. This reminded me I’m NOT the only one dealing with the final issue: needing to become a better steward of the kids!


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