Let’s Be All There

Wherever you are, be all there.

Jim Elliot

 

Before I had kids, I decided to run a marathon. I had no idea what was involved when preparing to run 26.2 miles. Being my first marathon, I set a goal of simply crossing the finish line alive before the race closed and I would be forced off the course before finishing. So, I joined a running group and got a few cute new running outfits and instantly, I was a marathoner-in-training.

Throughout my training, I learned a lot about myself and running, but I also realized I needed to tune in to my hurting aching body. I had to learn when to slow down, when to drink water or Gatorade, when to eat some yummy Gu, and when to take a break. Ultimately, my success was hinged upon how well I listened to my body.

I quickly learned, in order for me to complete my goal, I had to be all there.

Raising kids is a lot like running a marathon. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other. We must tune in to our body and know when we’re dangerously low on caffeine or just need a little nap. But most importantly, we, as parents, need to be tuned in to our kids.

We must be all there.

Wherever I am, I want to be all there.

If I am building a Lego set for the thirtieth time today, I must be all there.

If I am having lunch with my kids, I must be all there.

If I am taking a night walk with my family, I must be all there.

If I am listening to my child’s story about Wipeout again, I must be all there in the impossible qualifier round! (Yes, we are in that phase right now. Anybody else?)

Though mundane on many days, if not me, then who?

(Side Note: This is not a post about spending twenty-four hours a day with your children. We, as parents, need to make time for ourselves every day! We must find time to put our feet up, read a good book, have a cup of coffee and just “be” in order to be the parents we want and need to be.  All I’m saying is, when we do spend time with our children, Be. All. There.)

But let’s not stop there. Let’s Be All There with Intention.

Have I stopped to think about what is it I am hoping for at the finish line of my parenting race? What am I running towards with my children?

One of the goals I want for my children, is for them to be lifelong learners.  I want them to see the world as an exciting classroom and they are the lucky student waking each day to see what it has to offer….even when they are 92!

Like training for a marathon, I have to have specific ideas as to how to mold my children into lifelong learners. I have to have a plan. I have to know where I’m going. I have to be intentional with my children when I am with them.

If I am building a Lego set for the thirtieth time today, I will be all there talking about all the exciting possibilities that we could build together while watching and learning how my child thinks and comes up with ideas and creations. I will be thinking how can I nudge him further along here?

If I am having lunch with my child, I will be all there talking about our Halloween costumes and guessing what all the crazy cousins will be dressed up as this year. Will they be scary, funny, or just downright embarrassing?

If I am taking a night walk, I will be all there listening to the sounds of the seasons with my kids. We will be oohing and ahhing at all the neighbors’ front porch decorations talking about what holidays are coming up soon that we get to celebrate. We will be looking up at the moon and stars and talking about if we had a rocket ship, where would we go?

If I am listening to my child’s never ending Wipeout story I will be all there first telling him to stop jumping on the couch, but then I will listen and interact asking what’s next and how did he do that? I will want him to tell me the greatest most legendary Wipeout story ever!

In a world with so many distractions, we parents have to become more intentional.

Learning doesn’t happen by accident. Learning happens with daily intention.

Let’s Be All There.

For more ways to be intentional with your child, be sure to look at our Family Corner page. Next week, great ideas for November will be on there!

 

 

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