I blew it yesterday…
Me, the mom who prays every morning that she won’t miss a single opportunity with the kids still at home, blew it.
In a house full of teens and young adults, the chance to hear what’s going on in one of their hearts is priceless, precious, and of inestimable value.
Yesterday, one of my boys opened the window of his heart and with one word… I closed the window and missed my opportunity.
That one word? … “Hmmm”
That was it. One word that sent a clear and unmistakable message to a boy longing to share his heart and include his mom in his world that seems so big and oftentimes, confusing.
That one word, breathed out as an afterthought, as I sat at my desk head down and typing, told my son that I had pressing priorities and he just wasn’t one of them in that moment. My boy absolutely knows I love him, but at that moment, he knew that writing, and emails, and to-dos a mile long trumped his position on my scale of importance.
As I glanced up to see him leaving the room, shoulders slumped and head down, those all-important priorities seemed like nothing but hay and stubble. In truth, those all-important priorities weren’t so important after all.
Those all-important priorities were just a distraction from my real all-important priorities… my family and the relationships in our home.
Oh, you surely know I called him back!
And, he came.
But that moment, that opportunity, that window of openness to his heart was gone. He’d closed the window, and instead of sharing his heart, we shared bits and pieces of the activities of his day. We shared the “What’s” of his life, instead of the “Who” of his heart.
Open window opportunities to our kid’s hearts can never be taken for granted. They’re not guaranteed. They’re not promised. They can’t be scheduled, or planned, or carefully placed on our calendars. When those fleeting moments come we must be prepared and ready to make the most of the opportunity we’re being offered.
Open window opportunities to our kid’s hearts are not the time to step in, take over, and rearrange what they’re thinking and feeling. If opening the window to their hearts becomes a time of scolding, or finger pointing, or even just “Mom” drama, our kids will close and securely lock that window. Honestly, once they’ve locked that window, we can’t pry it open or break the lock and we certainly can’t smash the glass. All we can do is pray, and wait, and hope they’ll give us another opportunity.
While open window opportunities do oftentimes present us with an avenue to share biblical counsel, a wise mom will ask permission to share that biblical counsel. Much like we want our children to “ask us, not inform us,” of their plans, we must ask if they want our counsel, instead of informing them that they’re going to receive it whether they want it or not!
My kids are growing up… So are yours! I don’t know how many more open window opportunities I’ll have with them. My prayer for myself is the same as my prayer for you. I’m praying we have open eyes, attentive ears, and sensitive hearts to recognize the slightest opening of the window. And, I’m praying our busyness, our calendars, and our not-so-all-important priorities will never distract us from the truly all-important priority of our families.
Then, when our children open that precious window to their heart, may we walk through carefully, thankfully, and with open arms and hearts ourselves.