My Little Pony
Sitting in the child-sized chair of the playroom, I braided the blue pony’s hair. Anna sent her pony flying through the air, with a bouquet of imaginary flowers.
“Here you go!” Anna offered in her best, high-pitched pony voice. “Here are flowers for my friend!”
The ponies then took flying lessons, painted their toenails, and trotted to the Pizza Ranch on the other side of the room for dinner.
My, how long had it been?
How long had it been since I’d just sat down here in this room and played with her? When was the last time I’d picked up a Little Pony?
I’ve been down this road before. Just three months ago, I posted an entry here at GDWJ about the stuff that had overtaken my life. I pledged to be “intentional” about cutting some stuff out of my schedule.
I wrote this entry on Nov. 17, 2008:
“What do I need to change, Lord?” I asked Him. His answer came immediately: You’re too busy.
God’s prompting came through loud and clear three months ago. At a retreat, a pastor friend named Bob asked us to pray about being “intentional.” After the retreat another pastor friend, Ken, suggested I say no to a few things, even “church” things. His words ring in my mind: “There are lots of good things, Jennifer. Choose only the best things.” (Are you beginning to get the feeling that God has placed a few pastors in my life for a reason — just to make sure the message is getting through?)
Another pastor friend, Kelly, once asked me what I was doing to grow closer to God, and I listed for her a series of church activities and Bible studies that I was leading. It was becoming clear that I was constantly approaching God by doing things for Him, rather than just entering into His presence for the sake of the relationship. Something was out-of-balance.
So I committed to make some tough choices three months ago.
But almost three months later, my calendar looked fuller than ever.
Fast forward to February 2009. I asked Anna the other day, “What do you think Mommy does all day long?” Her response: “You work all day and never play with me.”
A four-year-old’s revelation wasn’t so far from the truth. How long had it been since I’d combed Barbie’s hair, ordered a hot dog from Anna’s kitchen, diapered a Cabbage Patch kid?
Which found me in my own pastor’s office last week. Pastor John is a dear soul, and I’m thankful for his guidance. I had just committed to two more ministries in one week’s time, and John called me in to his office: It’s OK to say no, he reminded me. And with his blessing, I backed out of a big commitment, reminded that my main Mission Field is the one at home.
My Mission Field looks like this: It’s a carpeted floor covered with Ponies, and Polly Pockets, and kid-sized Bibles, and Fruit Loops.
I’m also reminded that the little people in my Mission Field are so forgiving. They remind me that God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Anna forgave me so easily.
“Mommy, I love playing Ponies with you.” she told me last night, “And you love playing Ponies with me, too, don’t you?”
Yes, Anna, I do.
You’ll have to excuse me now. I have a date in the playroom with a four-year-old.
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Your post hits close to home! I just read a simular post this morning, http://godspeakstoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/practically.html, is God trying to tell me something?…Hmm
Praying that you will find joy, peace and sweet rest at the feet of Jesus.
It’s hard to cut out “good” things but in reality, if they take away from our personal walk with God, they aren’t so good…
You’ve stepped on my toes, and that’s a good thing. It’s so hard to get busy, and so easy to think that our busyness is in fact good for our family. But it rarely is.
Thanks for reminding me of that.
Yikes! I remember reading that post.
When we live in Christ, one of our first ministries is our families. I learned this the hard way; My daughter, age 5 (close to your daughters age), asked me ‘Why are you so busy with the church?’ It was then that I head God speak clear as day ‘As her mom your ministry is to the church, but to your family just the same.’ Ministry comes in different forms and it’s at home, church, neighbors, etc. So good for you for playing ‘My Little Pony’ and recognizing this.
Also, please check your email today for personal prayer. However, don’t check it until after your time with your loved ones.
We seem to have things in balance – unless of course it comes down to our family, or our church or our work.
Everything’s a priority?
ahhh…sounds like you had a good time with those ponies.
Way to go, saying no!
Just too many good things out there.
Looking forward to seeing you at another good thing coming up!
I am glad you found time to play. My kids are all grown up and I feel some sadness as I remember many times I was “too busy to play”. I am fortunate that God is giving me another chance with my grandchildren. Baby Braylyn wanted nothing today except to be held ALL DAY! I am glad I had the day off to take care of them today so their mom and dad could go to work. I really didn’t play with the boys enough though….so thanks for the nudge! Love, Carol
I enjoyed your post and love finding other bloggers that have chosen to follow Him. I too have a 4 year old (youngest of my 3 kids) and we played Hi-Ho Cherrio! this morning.
As I did this, I thought “there are so many other things I could have been doing right now,” but, of all things, this topped the list. It took a while to learn this and sometimes I am more Martha than Mary, but I’m happy to let the Lord lead me… take care and have a good week! 🙂
OH, THANK you for this post. My selfish nature keeps me pursuing my own agenda, and missing out on God’s best for me… which is drinking in the SWEET smell of baby hair, and kissing sticky cheeks.
needed this today!
Oh Jennifer, I can so relate. I feel like it sometimes takes such deliberate energy for me to rustle up the energy to sit and play, and when I do, it really is so much fun. And it means so much to my daughter. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for reminding me to take time to play with Brigid and Clara as they grow. It’s so easy to get caught up in dishes and laundry and all those church commitments that will soon be looming for the pastor’s wife. I pray God will help me to say “no” and remember my most important mission is also at home. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this! Children sure do bring you to a point of humility… Little life changers they are — sometimes we need reminded of that. Thank you! Jack (my soon 4 yr old son) & I are going for a hike through the woods now 🙂
Blessings & Prayers,