A Time to Refrain
“The season of young children is a time to refrain. Refrain from most outside activities, even some church activities. Now is a time to be faithful in discipline…it’s the springtime of mothering. Redeem the time, don’t waste it.” -Sono Harris
I just came across this quote today, but this is the way I’ve been living for about the last year (since we moved farther away from church and I couldn’t find it in me to drag the kids along for the 35 minutes drive each way for midweek Bible studies, etc.) However, lately I’ve felt nagging doubts, like maybe I was DEPRIVING them somehow. So I found it reassuring that someone else felt the same way.
The truth is our priorities are revealed by our schedules. There are a lot of “good” things out there that could fill up our days, but I try to use discernment to only commit to what is “best.” My children will only be little for a short time. I believe my most important job as a mother of little ones is to be laying a strong foundation for the years of discipleship ahead of us. Right now the best way I know how to do that is disciplining them (and teaching them self-discipline), helping them become familiar with the Bible (and praying they develop a lifelong love for God’s Word), encouraging a hunger for learning, and sharing God’s truth with them through literature. All those things are easiest to accomplish at home.
If I were to go out and do all the things I might like to do (Bible study, bookclubs, playdates, etc.) it would be hard to find time to do our “schoolwork.” That’s not to say we never go out. And it’s not to say that our way is the right way for everyone. But I know it’s right for us. I honestly don’t relate (at least not yet) to moms who say it’s normal to feel “overwhelmed.” I get tired, yes, but for the most part I just feel content. And joyful. And oh so blessed. I don’t think I’d feel that way if we were running around town. So for now, we pretty much only go out for church (Sunday and Wednesday), one shopping day a week (often combined with a trip to the library), and an occasional doctor’s appointment or playdate (usually about once a month). I see this season as “a time to refrain,” trusting that God will bring abundant fruit as a result of these early years of sowing.