Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lessons from Parenthood: Three minutes

This morning Miles:

  • Took off his own diaper and peed on the bathroom floor
  • Spilled an entire box of 500 toothpicks
  • Took one bite of an apple and threw the rest of it across the kitchen where it rolled underneath the stove which I then had to pull out (and let me tell you the mess under there was shockingly disgusting).
  • Pestered Toby to the point of Toby lashing back at him and pushing him down.
  • Hit me.

All before 8am.  So at eight o'clock in the morning I had a swept up pile of crumbs, hair, burnt food, toothpicks, fuzz covered apple, and two long lost matchbox cars plus two screaming grumpy children and a shirt covered in snot and tears.  Some of those tears were my own.

I literally flung my hands up to the ceiling and said, "I can't do this.  You need to take over."

Then I picked up the crying baby and sat down in my desk chair.  I stretched out my right arm to gather my crying preschooler close to my side and we all bowed our heads each with tears still streaming down our cheeks.  Now my shirt and pants were damp from all the droplets.

And there we stayed for one minute.  Two minutes.  Three minutes.  I started rocking.  The baby shifted positions and laid his head on my shoulder.  He quieted.  Toby looked up at me, wiped his tears and gave me a quavery smile.  I whispered, "I love you."  He whispered, "I know."  And then he picked those crumb covered matchbox cars out of the pile and started to wipe them off.

Miles sat up and said, "More here-ree-all.  Waaah-der, peas." Which means he wanted more cereal and some water, too, please.  I stood up and set him on a chair near the kitchen table. He started singing a tune of happy gibberish while I poured a little bit of Life cereal into a small bowl.

It wasn't until I had dumped the dustpan into the trash can that I realized it was three minutes.  Three minutes.  All it took was three minutes of quiet.  Three minutes in the arms of a loving mama and my children were restored to peace.  Three minutes of heads bowed and hearts bared.

And when the broom was put away my heart wanted to race back to that desk chair.  If my Loving Abba could heal all that in just three minutes, what could he do in an hour?  And how long would it take for my heart to whisper back, "I know" to his ceaseless whisperings of "I love you."  And what lost treasures would I be able to pluck from the crumbs of my life once I had been resting secure in his outstretched right arm?  And maybe I could sing a happy tune while knowing all my needs, bread of life and living water included, were being provided for.

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.

(Words by Fanny J. Crosby, music by Dr. Robert Lowry, 1875)


  1. Oh Jeana what a beautiful song. Isn't it amazing how the Father heart of God reaches out and touches our tender hearts with His whispers of love.

  2. Holy cow. I think this is my new favorite Jeana post.

  3. What incredible insight and beautifully written. Jeana, this is amazing, God is using your talent to inspire.

  4. Such a smart mamma you are . . . you know where to go with your needy kids. You and Jesus make a great team.


  5. What a beautiful post friend. I can not imagine parenting without Jesus. It would be unbearable. Praise Jesus for His special touch on your lives today!

  6. Here I am again, crying at work! Thank you for sharing, Jeana. I have cried many times while reading your blog; most of the time they are tears of laughter, but today they are tears of empathy mixed with an awe of God's greatness. Thank you for the reminder to be still and know that He is God!
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. oh how my children need me to be a 3 minute mama. i can see it in their eyes when i'm rushed, short, harsh. so rarely do i take the time and your exhortation has been so helpful, friend.
    as for the song. wow. i will never forget listening to the episode of "adventures in odyssey" where they featured fanny crosby and her asking jenny if she had been blind by birth. when jenny said yes, fanny replied "ah. i've always been so thankful i was too. that way...the very first thing i ever see will be my Savior's face."
    i think your kids saw his face today, jeana.

  8. Thank you, Jeana. I read this with tears streaming down my face. Thanks for making it to personally relatable.


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