Taking time for your children
March 2, 2004
Editor’s note: This is the final part of a three-part series entitled “Supporting the Purpose of Yoor Child’s Life.”
Busy. Does that describe you? The important question is, are you busy about the right things? Jobs are important, but relationships are a priority. How you spend your time tells your children what you love.
Here’s a journal entry of a day in my life when I took my daughter with me on a trip. It was a busy time for me, lots of “stuff on my plate.” The business trip would require a couple of meetings each day and the rest of the time would be free for Mackenzie and me to “hang out.” We were gone for about three days and it was great.
Mackenzie went with me on a business trip to Denver. It was a blast. Non-stop fun … except for those business meetings. We laughed and talked a lot. Eight year-old minds are fun to explore, and more and more I’m amazed at how she can so easily wrap me around her little finger. When we got on the plane to return home, we were scheduled to sit in different rows. As an eight-year-old she was a little uneasy about not sitting next to me on the overbooked flight. As we boarded, I assured her everything would be fine. She was located about five rows in front of me seated between two men. Almost every five seconds she would turn around to see if I was looking at her. The seat next to me was empty, which encouraged me to start praying, “Lord let this seat remain empty so she can sit next to me.”
A minute later the doors closed and the only empty seat on entire the flight was right next to me. I immediately called her back to sit with me. I was amazed at how the Lord had answered my prayer and cared about such a little thing. Throughout the flight we talked about how God cares about the little things. And if He cares about such little things, He must really care about something big, like what you do with your life. When we arrived home it was great. I saw my wife and my heart jumped with excitement. When we hugged, I didn’t want to let go. Each day I get a better glimpse of what “becoming one” is all about. The whole family went to a restaurant and had a feast. We shared all the things that happened while we were apart. There was never a break in the conversation. In fact, we interrupted each other a lot in natural family style. Coming home has never been better. But it will be. While we’re here God continues to care about the little things in our lives. But when we come home, our hearts will jump at the sight of Him. We will understand oneness with Him like never before and we’ll feast and talk, and talk, and talk, in supernatural family style.
As I write this article today, my daughter Mackenzie is 16. That journal entry was written eight years ago. I decided to let her read it, and after I did, she said, “Dad, I’ve got something to show you.” She went into her room and after a few minutes pulled out one of her old journals. She turned to an entry — the same day. She had written about the event too. Why? I think I know. Because when we as parents take time, our kids remember. When we take time, it’s noteworthy to them.
I’m sure you have a lot on your plate today. Deadlines, “to do” lists, appointments, your calendar is probably full. Let me encourage you to look ahead in your appointment book, pick a day (or three), and plan a trip. Spend some time with your child, just the two of you. Don’t let anything get to those dates, block them out now. Intentionally plan to pass on some principles, talk about purpose, show them your unconditional love and continual support of who they are and why they’re here. Oh, and get your journal ready…it will be a noteworthy day. (Tom Hufty is the Vice President for Collegiate Affairs at Hannibal-LaGrange College.)
March 4, 2004