The Birds are Already Here

A few nights ago, while my husband was away, my kids convinced me to eat dinner on the trampoline. It’s not my favorite thing to do, and it takes a bit of effort to get the food and drinks in place. I admit I was pleasantly surprised by the change of dinner scenery. We laughed and ate with a little bounce in our conversation. And then, the most joyful thing happened: a tiny red-winged friend came for our viewing pleasure to dine on our very own bird feeder! If this seems like an overreaction, you may want to read the previous blog entry. As we sat quietly watching our visitor, my gaze shifted to the sweet birdies before me; my children. Their smiles and wonder brought me more joy than any actual bird ever could.

I thought about how often I pour out my gifts to the world outside and forget the little birdies inside my walls. God gave me two beautiful children who are desperate for birdseed, for my attention, my focus, my love. My priority should be pouring into them, but I often feel conflicted. 

Our current culture shifted over the past several decades. Priorities changed, and unfortunately, the interaction with our children falls further down on the list. There are crazy expectations for moms to do it all. It used to be enough for a mom to stay home with children. The new normal is for you to also have a job, get groceries, clean the house, help with homework, do the yard work, plan a girls’ night, volunteer, have a following on social media, and ...insert the rest of your list here. I’m not saying that good mothers have to stay home. I know plenty of working moms who rock. It’s about how we order our lives.

Jesus showed us how he felt about children many times. He is often portrayed in pictures surrounded by kids. His disciples, on a few occasions, tried to prevent kids from wasting Jesus’ time. They had more important things to do (ugh, that hits home). Yet, Jesus reminded them of who and what is important to God.

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’  - -Matthew 19:14

God sent me a little birdie that night to remind me of the two little humans before me. I recognize the energy I spend on everything else at the expense of being with my kids. And sadly, I miss out on really getting to know them, hearing them, and understanding how incredibly unique and beautiful they are.

I may will have to sacrifice to make them my priority, but I believe there is so much joy that awaits when I focus on putting the birdseed in the hands of my very own birds inside my home.

  1. Evaluate your schedule. Take a moment to really look at the things on your calendar. What are some things you can postpone or eliminate to enable more time with your kids.
  2. Make meals count. Meals are a great time to pour into your children. Find ways to interact in a creative way at the table. We usually play a game of some sort (would you rather is a good one) or have a conversation starter. Breakfast is a great time to pull out a devotional. Here are a few we have used: Indescribable by Thomas Nelson or I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God by Nelson
  3. Pillow Talk. Some of the most important time with my kids is at night. I love to read to them and have a "ask me/tell me anything" time. I make it a priority to be home at bedtime most of the week.


JL McCarthy

August 4, 2020