Written by Cara Shonamon
Musings of a Ministering Mother
As a mother of three kids under the age of six, there are days where I feel like I’m just waiting for bedtime to arrive. These precious little ones are truly amazing, and I love them all for how God uniquely created each of them. The reality is, caring for little ones is a lot of work, but totally worth it!
There are times when I am tempted to coast through the day, but the pandemic and its forced slower pace have shown me the importance of appreciating the little moments in life. My children likely don’t understand this, but little by little we are creating family history and memories for a lifetime.
“Mom, will you read a book with me?”
“Mom, let’s do a puzzle together!”
“Mom, can we go swing together in the backyard?”
“Mom, can I help you stir the pancake batter?”
The other night I was cleaning up the kitchen and came across a bag of black beans in the cupboard. I looked at them and wondered if the kids would enjoy playing with them. So, I got out some bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoons, and pans. All three loved it! They played together, pouring beans from one bowl to another, measuring and dumping them into a pan. They got out a toy dustpan and broom to sweep up the ones that got away, so they could start the fun all over again. My job was to sit with them and keep our two dogs from eating the beans.
As I played and watched, I realized a fun memory was being made. It didn’t cost anything, really. (Full disclosure: the beans are now for playing with only and will not be eaten). I loved seeing the joy on their faces, and they were surprised that I created the space for them to create a fun mess.
As I look back over my own childhood, I recall some really cool big moments. We celebrated New Year’s Eve on Moscow’s Red Square from 1999 to 2000. We learned how to snowboard in the Swiss Alps. And though these are awesome memories, it’s the more intimate moments that mean the most to me.
My dad would read the Chronicles of Narnia to us before bed, and we would eat Turkish delight. One night, my mom said, “Let’s go have a snowball fight!” It was such a little thing, but so spontaneous and fun. They would pray with us before bed every night and when they were not traveling, we would eat breakfast together and read the Bible.
The little moments are important. Each one I spend with my kids remind them how much I love them and also reminds me that they love being with their mom!
They want to be with me. They want to spend time with me. I know that may not always be the case as they pass through the phases of life, but I don’t want to miss the opportunities we have today. I want to be available and make memories while we can.
The same is true in our relationship with God.
God loves us and wants to spend time with us in the little moments as well as the big ones. Sometimes we forget that we can chat with God in the middle of a trip to the grocery store or while sitting in traffic. God is always ready to listen and to share with us.
These brief periods with God add up, and our relationship grows deeper, but sometimes we need to set aside intentional time to get away and be alone with God. Maybe it’s during a nature walk or seated in a sanctuary. Maybe it’s in a designated space in our home where we communicate with the Lord.
The beauty is that God is with us in all of these situations, willing and available, waiting to spend time with us collectively and individually. All we have to do is respond. It could be in a brief prayer in the middle of a busy day or in the words of a worship song. It could be during an intentional time of retreat when we really go deep in conversation with God.
Wherever it is, whatever it looks like, know that God loves you and wants to spend time with you.
Make some memories with God today!
Rev. Cara Shonamon is co-lead pastor of Shawnee, Kansas, Church of the Nazarene.