Yes or No? It's a Question of How You'll Spend Your Time, Mama.

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“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
John 17:4

As September approaches, many are busy preparing for and entering into another school year. It can feel a bit like January 1st--a chance to begin something again, to look over our calendars and planners and decide how we will spend our time in this season. Colorado has beautiful aspen trees whose leaves are a fantastic gold every fall, and I know I will miss their shimmering beauty even as I adore snuggling in to chillier Oxford with my sweet family and especially baby Lily, who will experience her first fall this year.

One thing I think many moms find difficult is the fact that every yes is by definition also a no. A "yes" to time watching somersaults in the backyard is a "no" to a phone call, a glance through a magazine, or a bit of alone time. A "yes" to asking friends over for a time of encouragement is a "no" to the free time you might have spent on yourself, rather than cleaning the bathroom, organizing your notes for the evening, or baking cookies to share. "Yes" to the carpool means "no" to sleeping in; "yes" to playing during bath time means "no" to your favorite television show ... and on and on it goes.

As a mom, what we really need is long-range vision! While the decision to draw your circle of direct influence a little smaller than many around you choose to draw theirs might appear to minimize who you are,  the truth lies elsewhere. Think about a drop of food coloring splashed into a cup of water. The more water, the more diluted the color. And so it is with each one of us. When we spread ourselves thin, leaving no time for snuggles and backrubs, Bible study and reading deeply, family vacations and Saturday afternoons at the park, our influence becomes diluted.
So may I suggest something, mama? Feel free to say lots of "yes"-es to your littles, and lots of "no"-s to others. Limit yourself in this season of mothering young ones, and watch your influence grow where it's most important. Truthfully? Your big kids are going to need a lot of your yes-es and time, too!

I have never heard a woman say, "I wish I would have worked more hours while my children were young" or, "I wish I would have read more magazines and watched fewer somersaults." Rather, the longing is for time long slipped away, somersaults tumbled and blown away like so many autumn leaves.