Hearts Drawn Close
Lesson Two: As We Sit
You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house… Deuteronomy 11:19
We moms have been duped. We have believed the lie that the more activities we sign our girls up for, the better women they’ll become. What we’re really doing, though, is wearing ourselves so thin we’re not available to our daughters in the ways they need us to be. When we’re rushing around to get everyone ready, fighting traffic, and sitting in waiting rooms without them, we’re not using our best time and energy in direct relationship with them.
In her book The Mission of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson tells of a time in her family’s life when she thought she was offering her children many wonderful opportunities outside the home. Her nine year old son asked to have some quiet time with her because he was having a hard time with some friends in his activities. Sally made time amidst the chaos of the household to listen, share Scripture and pray with her son. The real blessing came later that night when she was tucking her son into bed. He said, “You know, Mom, when you spend time with me and talk to me and encourage me, I want to do the right things and be what Jesus wants me to be. But when I’m lonely or having a hard time, and you don’t spend time with me, I’m really tempted to want to do wrong!”
Think about that. Mom, spending time with your daughter encourages her to be the person God made her to be.
God tells us to teach our children His Word as we sit in our homes. In order to do that, we must create sitting time. We need to carve out time for just sitting together in our homes—like we do during winter snowstorms.
When you’re unable to leave your home during a snowstorm, how do you make the best of it? When you set aside your to-do list and ignore the dirty dishes, what brings you joy? Cocoa? Board games? Needlework? Painting? Reading? Crafting? Do you invite your daughter to join in the fun?
Over the next month, let’s create some “snowstorms.” Let’s set aside time to ignore the telephone, cancel outside activities, and enjoy special time together at home. While you’re making yourself available to her, look for opportunities to share God’s Word with her. You will create memories to last her whole life through.
Consider making some of your “snowstorms” permanent. Last fall our family was running in a dozen different directions and we weren’t making any time for sitting together in our home. As a result, my husband and I were preoccupied with driving all over and too tired to share God’s Word much with our children. We called an Activity Fast for December. It turned out to be a wonderful month! We crafted, played games, read books, and got ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth. We renewed our relationships with one another.
When it came time to resume our extracurricular activities in January, the children asked not to continue in them. They asked if instead they could extend our special sitting time together! Now, instead of running to dance and piano and karate—as fun as they are—we spend our time writing stories and putting on plays, building boxcars and huge lego cities, learning teamwork and building new skills. And all throughout that time, my husband and I are able to share the Word of God our children.
[a few questions to mull over in your own heart]
How can you create “snowstorms” this month? What activities can you put on hold temporarily (or cancel permanently) which will provide more “sitting” time for your family? How do you like to sit? Do you enjoy board games? Reading? Needlework? Watching movies? Cooking? Writing? Assembling puzzles? Crafting? How can you invite your daughter to join you in these activities? What would it mean to hear heart if you invited her to share this special time with you? Look for opportunities to share God’s Word with your daughter as you sit. I find ample opportunity during board games (do everything in love), video games (if your brother takes your coat, give him your shirt), and snuggling time (prefer others above yourselves). Think about a time you recently had the opportunity to share God’s Word with your daughter while you sat at home. What kind of an impact do you think that time made on her soul? Do you think that time together and God’s Word helped her to be who Jesus wants her to be?
[storing God’s Word in your heart and soul]
Ask God to help you choose your memory verse for the month. Craft it, post it, and memorize it. You will recite it with your daughter at your next Sonflower Sisters group gathering.
[ideas for your mother-daughter journal]
Idea: Share a good memory of sitting at home with your mother (or other special person) when you were her age. Why does this memory stand out to you? How did you feel about the sitting time you had as a child?
Idea: Share your favorite sitting time with your own daughter. What memories are you making right now that you hope she remembers the rest of her life?
Idea: Encourage your daughter to share her favorite sitting activities. Share your favorites with her. Try to come up with a list of new sitting things you’d like to try together.
[ideas for special time with your daughter]
Idea: Roam your house looking for new sitting spots. Try to find a quiet little corner you never considered before. Take a book to read aloud or your favorite board game and get lost together.
Idea: Make pillows to pull out for special sitting times.
Idea: Decorate matching t-shirts or night shirts to wear during your sitting times.
[what comes next]
After you read the teaching and choose your memory verse, use the questions, ideas for journaling, and ideas for carving out special time with your daughter as God leads. Remember, discipling is not checking off a list, it’s developing a relationship. If you are hosting the next group gathering, make sure to schedule your planning session for about two weeks from now. Your leader will email the next Participant Guide and Hostess Guide to you.
Lord, give us Your vision for our lives. Show us how and when to sit. Reset our internal rhythms and guide us in planning our schedules. You alone know the plans You have for us. We want to live according to them. Reveal to us what we need to know now and help us to make changes according to Your direction. Thank You for loving us enough to answer our prayers. Please speak clearly and guide us continually.
In Jesus’ Name.