We’ve all just been through a season of rest. A period of time secluded with our own little (or not so little) families. I didn’t love the time at home. I was tired and weary with five little ones that needed my care. My husband was as busy as ever. I know for some the time was sweet, for others like me, it was a struggle. As the days of isolation passed slowly, I began to realize that God was trying to teach me something. I was at home with the five children I’ve always wanted to have, but I couldn’t see past the burden. As restrictions have started to lift and we have been allowed more freedom, it’s been easier to see the gift God gave in the time at home. He allowed me a period of time to learn to enjoy my children individually. To have fun together because I want to be with them, not because we are doing exciting activities to be entertained. To just see my children. 

Instead of seeing the little frustrations of the day to day, God showed me the good. Among many other things, God showed me how Rahab, my oldest, sees beauty and things she can nurture all around her. How Esther, my second, could read on the couch for hours, soaking in new information, and be perfectly content to not be disturbed.  That Zipporah, my third daughter, radiates joy and giggles in our home throughout the day. To see how Lazarus is silly and sweet, always ready to comfort when someone is hurting. Finally, that Mordecai is adventurous and undeterred, except to give kisses–he is always willing to be distracted to give a kiss.

Watch your children. Learn their personalities and quirks. See where they are strong and where they are weak. Know them. It can be so easy to get bogged down in the tasks and training. I encourage you to take a step back and ask God to show you the beautiful in the blessing of children and then delight in them. 

As our country continues to open up, I want to be purposeful with these summer months. I have somewhat seriously labeled this summer the Summer of Fun. Not because we have any thrilling plans, but because I plan to have fun with my kids. The best part is, if you are doing it with them, they will have fun with most anything you’re doing. We watch our vegetables grow and turn watering time into an opportunity to get soaked. We get our chores done early each day so that we can spend our time playing in Nana’s pool. As I work on sewing projects, my daughters have decided to hand sew blankets for themselves out of little scraps. Yes, it is tedious, but it is also a joy to see my children loving what I love. 

We know that God our Father delights in His children. Should we not follow in His example? How can you enjoy your children this summer? What are the things you love to do, just because you can do them together? Do your children know that you love being with them? Let’s make this summer a Summer of Fun for all of our children, simply because they know we delight in them. 

Love, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rethorn

Author Elizabeth Rethorn

Elizabeth Rethorn shares great insights about joyful mothering, because she is one of the most joyful mothers out there. God has blessed her and her husband Jonathan with four happy kiddos too, plus one on the way. Her mothering journey began when she first turned 23 with baby #1...and baby #2 arrived before she even turned 24! Elizabeth is a kid-at-heart as she delights in eating an ice cream cone every evening, spinning the cotton candy at church functions, and enjoying candy as much as her toddlers.

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