I learn a lot over the summer and holidays. As a home schooling mom,my school year is totally focused on teaching and training the children. During the holidays or summertime, it’s Mommy’s turn to be taught.
On a picture-perfect summer day, our family pace is slowed. We are not rushing to complete math pages or dashing to yet another activity. It feels different. We feel rich – and enriched. We take our luxurious time.
We have the privilege to linger lovingly – over the smallest bug or the most spectacular fireworks, over the most magnificent Christmas tree or the most humble manger scene. We take time.
We have the blessing to linger lovingly at the table. We pray longer and harder and savor our simple meals. The chatter of children swapping stories and their attacks of infectious giggling ring in our ears long after bedtime night silence. We take time.
We have the honor to linger lovingly in conversation with our children – to learn their thoughts and concerns and to wonder at the development of their fine minds and the machinations of their incredible imaginations. We take time.
We have the delight to linger lovingly when we gaze at their beautiful faces – to see their increasing maturity and growing character mirrored in their eyes and expressions. We take time.
We have the blessing to linger lovingly with our spouses – sitting contentedly in the yard watching the children play against a backdrop of flickering fireflies or an inviting winter fire. We take time.
Mommy’s lesson over summer and the holidays is to remember to linger lovingly when the pace picks back up – to keep a less harried perspective during the harried school year.
One recent summer I had the privilege to linger lovingly at the bedside of a critically ill sister. Each heartbeat was a gift, each breath through the machine was a major effort. As she inhaled, I prayed, “Lord be with her.” As she exhaled I prayed, “Lord be with us. The hours I spent sitting vigil at her bedside were times of deep, prayerful contemplation. With each pulse of her precious life, the Lord was again teaching me to linger lovingly. Each moment could be the last. (Indeed, she passed away shortly thereafter.)
More recently, my oldest daughter went in for a routine endoscopy and, while emerging from sedation, began to have grand mal seizures. They continued at the rate of 25-30 per day for nearly a week. We remain mired in a diagnostic haze, looking for answers and solutions.
I continue my education as I watch my husband’s metastatic cancer. He faces each day with strength and courage, cherishing and lingering at every opportunity.
After these hospital visits, I would go home to my noisy, messy house which was bursting with life, excitement and noise. With each child’s greeting cry of, “Mommy!
Mommy!” I would linger lovingly to plant a kiss on each forehead, on each healthy, happy hand and whisper my prayer of thanksgiving for the precious privilege of life and loving with all its ups and downs, joys and sorrows.
Dear friend, are there tensions in your relationships? Are there words unspoken, or words which you wish you could suck back into your mouth? Take the time to set them right. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you.
Linger lovingly over the precious gifts the Lord has sent in the form of family and relationships.
Linger lovingly over your blessings and cherish them. For THIS is the day the Lord has made – not tomorrow, or after the holiday, or when the economy improves. Rejoice and be glad TODAY.