When our children were single-digit ages, I could pretty readily tell when one was about to do something that needed redirecting. Often my back was to the child or I was in the next room within earshot as I said:
Don’t turn on the TV; let’s head outside for a while.
Don’t interrupt your sister; she’s focused.
No more snacking; it’s almost suppertime.
Stay away from his stuff; he’s told you not to touch it.
More than once, I overheard the disappointed-almost-fascinated murmur, “How’d you know!” Once, one of the boys actually approached me smiling mischievously, “How do you always know?!”
Tickled with this, I laughed, “It’s a gift that moms have.”
“Really?!” (I’d love to know what flashed through his mind in those seconds…)
“No.” (Swallowing a tempting ‘yes’.) Then in that random moment in the middle of the afternoon, surrounded by stacks of to-do’s, God got my attention. He was handing me a seed to sow.
Not moving from my spot in the kitchen yet now facing my intrigued son, “I’ll tell you how I know. I love each of you so much that I watch you and listen to you so that I know you really well. That includes what you like to do and don’t like to do. I know the things I want you to do, and I have an idea of what you could do. (We both smiled.) But there’s one more thing I do. (Pausing as though I was about to reveal a secret – to insure his attention was held.)
“I pray for you. I ask God to help you listen and obey. And I pray for me. I ask God to help me be your Mommy. He sees everything and helps me know how to teach you.”
What happened following those 10 sweet minutes?
My energetic little boy went outside to play.
And I smiled large inside and out. God got my attention – and He captivated my son’s for those minutes. More than that, I knew that God was working an ongoing plan in my child, in me, and in our relationship.
One seed. Planted.
Then watered with prayer.
God gives growth.