The plea came from a crowned princess, just before bedtime: “Mom, can we have our shaving cream bath now?”

Who could resist Her Royal Highness?

For this very purpose, we purchased a 14-ounce can of “Personal Care Extra Thick Shave Cream — Regular.”

Atop her head, I piled cream, like soft-serve vanilla. She spread the cream on the shower wall, and wrote her name in three-inch-tall letters. With pointer finger, she traced out shaving-cream numbers, 0 through 9.

Beside her, Big Sister practiced spelling words: “sheik” and “kimono” and “barbecue.”

Tonight, messes were allowed, even encouraged. Tonight, there were no parental calls to “hurry up; it’s time for bed.”

Tonight, they would tarry.

Twenty bucks worth of fun in a $1.06 aerosol can.


In these last months, rest has been scarce. No time to tarry, for there was another student paper to grade, another project to complete, another ministry to tend to. All good things, mind you, but they had begun to crowd out my priority mission field: the one here in our home, with our two girls.

“Come unto me,” He calls, “and I will give you rest.”


Our children have much: a room full of Barbies, a child-sized kitchen, cribs for babies and approximately 563 stuffed animals. They could get lost in Webkinz World on the laptop, or Mario Brothers on the Nintendo DS.

But the commodity they desire most isn’t packaged by Fisher Price. They want one thing. Just one.

It costs nothing, but has measureless worth. Time.

They want our time.

Time. Stolen moments in cream-covered bathtubs.

Time. Minutes on pavement, drawing Hopscotch patterns with “chalk rocks.”

Time. Sunset Hour in harvested fields, unearthing nature’s gems.

Candlelit dinners
with Kraft Mac & Cheese.
Saturday morning
picnics, with Honeycomb,
on living-room floor.
Treasure hunts, tractor rides
tick-tack-toe and tuck-ins.


Just now, outside my window, a late-season blizzard has begun to blow — on this spring day in Iowa.

Nowhere to go. No appointment to make. No phone call to take. No meal to deliver. No project that beckons.

Only this: children’s sweet laughter calling in the room next door. And a mother with time to share in it …


This post is part of the writing project by Laity Lodge Family Camp in the Texas Hill Country. The lodge is sponsoring a Family Fun Time Giveaway at their lodge. Bloggers are encouraged to write a short essay with Family Fun Time tips, and then link to this page:

Join in! You can post anytime from now until April 8. Click the link above for details.

I meant to share tips in this post, as we were encouraged to do, but felt this story rising to the top instead: a story of a heart seeking rest and finding it alongside her children.

May you find true rest in Him today.

by | April 4, 2009 | 9 comments


  1. Billy Coffey

    Oh, my friend, there ARE tips here. Of the most important kind.

    We often equate the quality of our lives with our level of busyness. The more we have to do, the more good we're doing. And while that may be true with some things, it isn't where family is concerned. No, the less we have to do, the more we can get done.

    And candlelit dinners with Kraft Mac & Cheese are the BEST.

  2. Lyla Lindquist

    My 12-year old son crawled into my bed this morning while I was in the shower. I came back to find him snuggled there under the covers, talked for a little while and then told him I needed to go take something for my stuffy head. “Just ask God to take care of that for you,” he said. “Then you can stay here with me instead.” Amazing how, even as they get older, they still want the time. Great stuff here, and I’m sure your girls will love having those bathtub princess photos on display come graduation day. 🙂

  3. Wickle


    We spend so much time trying to “do something,” when what really counts is doing something together.

    Going for a walk, playing ball, etc.. It’s so much less complicated than we make it out to be.

  4. Red Letter Believers

    Now being an empty nester, i so long for those days.

    Savor them.


  5. Deb

    This is a good reminder for me … I’m the one that says “not now Mommy has to work” … well if not now when? We colored Easter eggs today and rode bikes … and had a fabulous day! Enjoy!

  6. Alleluiabelle

    I long for those days again with my chidren, but now I get to share the best of times with my grandchildren. It’s beautiful, so beautiful.

    Thank you Jennifer for the sharing time with your girls. The simplicity of it all is what makes it even better and sweeter.


  7. sharilyn

    not having children of my own, i have to snatch these kinds of fun with my friends’ kids. i have two young red-headed boy friends with whom i go to the movies. the oldest (who is 8) tells people “I have an adult friend!” and tells it proudly! we have great fun… you must treasure those little kid moments and give them as much TIME as you can … they really do grow up so very fast!

  8. hope42day

    My sons are 6 years apart. When my youngest was born, I would take my oldest to Taco Bell at midnight. We would order, sit in the car and have a leisurely snack. Recently I brought up this memory. My youngest said, ‘Mom I don’t remember you doing that with me.’ So one night, we went. This time to Mickey D’s. Once in a while, my 21 year old will say, “It’s time for family time.”
    Time is a commodity that can’t be taken back, affecting the here and now and the future.
    Love the pics of your daughter! So cute!

  9. Carol

    I have always found that my kids and grandkids were most happy and enjoying the moments without all the purchased toys and gadgets that kids think they must have. The shaving cream is a great idea and my grandsons will love what you have taught me today. Hope you are taking some more time today in this blizzard. Love, Carol


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