Quality Time {and Counting Gifts}

I am rocking in the new summer morning, bathed in fresh rain. I am breathing in the clean air. Son is on the other rocker, nose in his iPod, playing a game. With enthusiasm about to make him burst, he erupts, “It’s my favorite game! Ooh! Ooh! Can you guess? Can you guess what it is called? It’s starts with Mine.”

I heard “mind”, and had no idea — so I said so.

He gives me the answer, “Mine Craft! Can I show the world I made?”

I ignore the question. Phone in hand, I have my YouVersion Bible app open. I am ready to read day 44 of the Bible in 90 days. At that moment, that is what I want to be doing. The setting could not be better. This picturesque morning. Resting peace. Light rain falling. Cool breeze blowing. I have a moment to myself. Time to read. So, I thought.

He remarks, “This is nice.”

Yes, I reply. “The breeze is refreshing, and I love to listen to the rain fall.”

Without taking his eyes off the screen, he speaks an unsolicited endearment straight from his honest, open-heart, “No. Spending time with you.”

The breath is knocked out of me. I am here with him, but I am not present with him. He gets it, and I don’t. I am with him in the flesh,  but my mind is elsewhere — preoccupied. Day 44 needs a highlight, marked-off complete. My heart is wishing he was still asleep so I can be alone. Alone, to miss a moment to parent as God parents?

A child’s words snap me out of my self-righteous, religious world. Jesus isn’t found there. He’s with the children. <— click to tweet this

So I leave mine and enter his, “Yes, show me your world.”

He’s standing next to me by now — rambling about goat traps and castles on mountains he built. He’s showing me the game, but not really. At the angle he holds the device, I cannot see the screen. It doesn’t matter really, because I see now, what I need to.

He continues on about big rooms, and the white chickens fighting off not-so-scary blue zombies. I am staring up at the contours of his soft round features of his baby face. I notice he has developed a few dozen more scattered freckles since summer began. I mark in my memory how cute his 9 year old button nose is. I drink in how he loves this mama — his mama who after all these years feels she should know better, and be further along.

He doesn’t seem to notice all those things I fuss and worry over. He pulls Toddler Baby Girl’s rocker over to sit and stay close. He’s content with just being near.  He continues to play his game. I grab my camera, which is never too far from where I am. I snap a few shots, trying to capture this moment, still. My memory fails me. God reminds me.

I wonder so often, through out my days, Where’s time to do it all? God replies, “When your priorities are in line with Mine, you will have time to do My will.” <— click to tweet this

As I am almost done filling Son’s love tank with “quality time”, this mama knows without any wonder, I have the time for this “God thing” I am doing.

I am thankful for… #606-633

– how he loves this mama.
– Son content with just being near.
– Son’s unsolicited endearment straight from his honest, open-heart.
– children doing chores without being reminded.
– eldest beauty sharing stories, as she is beginning to see the least of these as He sees them.
– learning about our new writing program so I can teach my children, the lost tools of writing.
– keeping up with the Bible in 90 Days.
– love, support and prayers from my husband.
– beautiful blogging friends I have made.
– God speaking.
– friends that never cease to encourage.
– friends whose words fill my heart soul rich.
– family sleepover with a most beautiful, generous, Godly family.
– spending the evening on the beach with them.
– rising early for pancake breakfast at the springs.
– Son sharing dreams of owning snakes that make snake babies.
– Son’s deep pondering deep of life’s issues, when he is supposed to be taking out the trash.
– time to write.
– home church and a friend came.
– the new pastor speaking convicting truth about the heart of Jesus.
– Jesus and pastor teaching to leave the 99 sheep to go after the one lost.
– clarity of mind.
3 gifts of enthusiasm
– Pastor Brian Houston’s Message “Better than Average” — because there is nothing average about God.
– those who out-do me in eagerness, passion & zeal, and challenge me, and stir the dreams inside.
–Toddler baby girl in her princess shoes.

My eyes are wide open — in counting — my eyes are opened wide.

Do you count gifts? How has it helped you?
I’d love for you to share in comments, the answer.

  • http://gg-notesonthejourney.blogspot.com Glenda Childers

    Ah, focused attention … kids always need it and love it.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Yes, it just makes my heart full when I see their eyes light up from it :)

  • http://theemptynestexpress.com/ Kathleen

    This was just so, just so…. Awwww…….! So darn sweet and God is just so good. And you get it. Which is awesome.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you :) God is so faithful and so good!

  • http://shortybearsplace.blogspot.com/ Denise

    Sweet post.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you :) Only by His grace…

  • http://lholmes79.wordpress.com Lauren Holmes

    What a beautiful story about your son! I love spending quality time with my two year old as well. :) I hope you’ll join my link up on Wednesday over at Loving Life – I’ll be giving away a $25 Wal-Mart gift card! Blessings, Lauren lholmes79.wordpress.com

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you :) I know I am late in replying to comments here. I got behind :)

  • http://www.godsamazingblessings.com Elise

    My oldest is 5 and doesnt play Mine Craft, but does play Mario Kart and he is only allowed so many minutes a day, but lately (with summer I think?) hasnt had any desire to play! Praise the Lord! Great post on taking time to sit with your son and get into “his” world. Being interested in what they do and like to do is so important too. Love your list of thankfuls as well.

    Elise at Gods Amazing Blessings http://www.godsamazingblessings.com

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Yes, Son has been asking for an XBox. I just do not have peace about saying yes to that. Mario Kart is a family favorite :)

      Thank you for your words of encouragement :)

  • http://tuningmyhearttopraise.blogspot.com/2012/03/god-reveal ro Elliott

    Oh yes…continue to let God define how to worship…how to spend time…how to honor Him…so many times they are very different than our rote way of trying to find Him. And I have seen His faithful ways…as I give up my ideas…time…”getting with God”…He multiplies these moments back to me 100 fold. Michele…it is such a blessings you are learning this while your kids are so young. Have a blessed Monday~

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Your comment went to spam. I rescued it! Beautiful words of wisdom as always. Thank you! You are a gift :)

  • http://everydayordinarydawnings.blogspot.com Dawn

    I love this. Partly because I had a similar experience of being present with my own son this week. Thank God he opens our eyes to see the things we need to see, huh?

    You captured the moment digitally and with words.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Oh, those precious moments are God’s gift. We do not get to choose the refining tools, but I am so grateful we are in the gentle hands of our Master. Thank you for your sweet words and for stopping by.



  • http://redemptionsbeauty.com Shelly Miller

    My son is into Mine Craft too – big time. Love the way he said he enjoys quiet time with you, so sweet. Nice reflection on keeping priorities, hearing His voice over our good intentions.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I am still very new to the game, and I am not even quite sure I know what it is about. But, I suppose that doesn’t really matter, because Son just wants to be near me. He doesn’t mind I don’t know how to play Mine Craft :) Thank you for never ceasing to leave such encouragement here.

      Blessings to you, my friend,


  • http://jana-janascreations.blogspot.com/ Jana

    Beautiful moments. Thank you for sharing ♥

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you sweet friend…

      Blessings and love to you,


  • http://newlifesteward.com Mary Beth

    I have to remind myself frequently to just stop and take in the moment with my little boy! It’s so easy to get caught up in crossing things off the list that we miss the most important things!

    Mary Beth @newlifesteward

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Mary Beth,

      Oh, yes. It is too very easy to miss these beautiful moments, that are true gifts from God. I am a slow learner. :)

  • http://embracinglife-rose.blogspot.com Rose @ Walnut Acre

    This is one of things I constantly have to remind myself of – to be present with my children in the moment. Beautiful post!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I still have to remind myself — daily. God is still rooting out selfishness, but I am thankful for the work of transformation by a most gently loving God.

      Thank you!

  • http://abundant-life.me Marianne @ Abundant Life

    Ahhh! My kids love MineCraft too. And I love those moments when all is peace around us and we can communicate love freely and naturally. Don’t you just love little boys? Blessings to you!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I do so love little boys, and I would like another. We are prayerfully considering adopting. It’s always been a dream of ours and we really desire for our only boy to grow up with a brother :) God has a plan! Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

    What a wonderful morning shared with your son and Our Father! Precious time!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Yes, it turned out to be most wonderful :)

  • http://www.messymarriage.com Beth

    My youngest son loves Mine Craft too! But what’s really great is that your son enjoyed being with you more than anything else. Sweet post, Michele-Lyn!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      It’s amazing to me, these games they play. I don’t get them, but I am glad that they have ones like these where they can use their imaginations to create :)