I posted a while ago about back problems which turned out to be a herniated disc. But for the past couple of weeks I have been knocked flat with a kidney infection! The infection snuck up on me while I was taking anti-inflammatory medication for my back, so it was a whopper of an infection! The recovery has been longer than I expected but then I guess for an instant gratification type of person, it always is!
The bright side to all this is....with nothing else to do but lie around, I listened to my children! Now, of course, I hear them on a daily basis but sometimes it takes a period of time in which I am completely removed from all of my projects/responsibilities/interests to really hear them. By this I mean, attitudes behind what is being said. Don't get me wrong, our children are very loving and have good relationships amongst themselves. But, it is so easy for seeds of selfishness to take root. These seeds are often manifested in frustration, anger, unloving attitudes and disrespect of each other. These are "normal" human attitudes but recognized early for what they are (behavior unbecoming a Christian), they can be more easily taken care of. Otherwise, like weeds in a beautiful garden, they grow quickly and take over (bad habits, yet "normal" and expected behavior by today's standards). That is where our parental responsibility comes in - watching over our family, proactively cultivating godliness and rooting out selfishness.
We have to be attentive not only to behavior, but also to the attitudes of our family's hearts. It is so easy to dwell on the "good" activities and let them take precedent over the most important job I have - being a mom. These last couple of weeks have helped me refocus my attention and evaluate the "good" activities vs. the "best" activities in which to spend my time.
I want to encourage each of you to take time this summer (when perhaps you have more time with your child/children) to really listen to them. Be attentive to what is going on with your family, not merely outwardly but heartwardly. Choose to spend your time on what is most important - the "best" use of your time - building Godly character in your family.