For the past couple years, a friend and I would meet up and walk periodically at night. Our group of two grew to three when I was pregnant with Caroline and we became much more consistent. We have continued to multiply and now have up to six girls that will meet to fellowship and exercise several times a week. Sometimes it's a little tough to coordinate everyone's schedules (especially since there are quite a few kids we have to work around), but it's always a great time and well worth the effort.
While the exercise is fantastic (I definitely believe the consistent walking contributed to a great labor and a very easy recovery with Caroline), the conversations we have are often the best part (they range from convicting to downright hysterical). Last night was definitely one of those nights. We got on the benefits of being a stay at home mom and talked about all the things we would miss out on if we were working and someone else had our babies all day long (I know that not everyone enjoys the blessing of being able to stay home; I know moms who can't and they work unbelievably hard to make sure they have special moments with their children in the evenings.).
I can't imagine not being with my kids all day, every day. There are definitely times when I feel like I need a couple hours to myself, but I can't fathom missing the little things I get to experience on a daily basis. Who would get the hugs I get all day long? Would I have gotten to see Riley's first steps? Would I get to hear her call donuts donkeys? Would someone be teaching her Bible verses? Who would be kissing boo boos and eating the special cupcakes that Riley "makes"? Who would cuddle with Caroline and wipe up her spit up? Would I have missed her first huge smile? What a blessing it is to be home with my kids.
With great blessing comes great responsibility. After we talked about all the perks of being with our kids, we started talking about the huge responsibility it is to raise our children for the Lord. We discussed the importance of being consistent and the fact that what we're doing now is going to have a life-long impact on these little people God has placed in our care. Our conversation encouraged me to reevaluate my goals as a mother; to pray even more about this sometimes daunting task that I do on a daily basis. So I do crafts with Riley every day and that's great, but am I spending as much time on spiritual things? So we draw with sidewalk chalk and blow bubbles, but am I teaching her enough about things with eternal importance?
If my walking buddies are reading this I have to let them know I'm thankful for them. Our chat last night made me stop and think about my parenting and reconsider some things in my life. Thanks for being willing to discuss weighty topics and help me become a better parent, friend, and Christian.
As iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.