Hello, my friends! I wanted to share this devotion that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It seems that I am especially emotional these days as I have realized that my precious babies are growing up on me and I just wish I could slow time down. I hope this inspires you to enjoy each moment with your children, because certainly, the moments pass by all too quickly.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5 NIV
The baseball lies in our natural area beside the hawthorn bush in the front yard. It is disguised at times by pine needles in the Spring and leaves in the Fall. It has weathered rain, snow, blistering heat, and even wind storms for nearly eight years. By now, the leather is cracked, discolored, and worn. But I never move the baseball.
I see the baseball when I back out of my driveway in the morning and when I come home in the afternoon. I have noticed it on many occasions while pulling weeds and planting flowers. Surely many times I step over it as I gather up fallen tree branches from the nearby Oak tree. But I cannot bring myself to pick up the baseball.
You see, nearly eight years ago, my son and I were playing catch in the front yard. We took turns tossing the ball to each other, working on my son’s skills for his upcoming baseball game. The sting in my hand as I caught his pitches proved that my son was improving. The afternoon sun gleamed down as we played together for what seemed like hours, as if we neither one had a care in the world. We neglected homework and chores to spend that precious time together. But eventually, my son made one last toss that hit the tip of my glove, propelling the ball into the natural area.
“I’ll get the ball later,” I said and we made our way back in the house. But later never came, and the ball was forgotten for a time.
Several months later, I discovered the ball as I was looking for a place to plant some bulbs to add color to our landscape. Immediately when I spied the ball, fond memories of my son and his love for the sport came rushing back to me. I remembered in great detail the wonderful times we had shared together, tossing and hitting, chatting and laughing. And with those memories fresh, I couldn’t bring myself to retrieve the ball.
“A little longer,” I thought to myself, “I’ll let it stay out here a little bit longer.”
Days turned into months and months turned into years, but still the baseball remains tucked snuggly in the front yard landscape. Every time I see the ball, I am prompted to remember the times of past and all the growing that has gone on in my son’s life. I no longer have a sweet seven year old begging to play ball, adorned with a goofy grin and lanky legs. My sixteen year old son, now much taller than me, recently got his driver’s license and is taking honors classes in high school. He has big dreams about college and a career. He wants to travel the world and has given his heart to the Lord.
So much has changed in his life over the last eight years that I often find myself wondering where has all the time gone? Wasn’t it just yesterday we played baseball together? Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that I went on field trips with him to the zoo? How did his middle school years pass by in the blink of my eye? How can it be that my son has matured and grown so independent, in just these few moments? My heart aches with the realization that it won’t be long before he’s off to college and making his way in the world on his own.
The baseball reminds me of just how short the years are and how precious my time with my children truly is. I am a better mom because of the stationary ball as I am encouraged to be thankful for the time I have been given. I am better prepared to relish the moments and memories to come.
Yes, I think I will leave the ball in place for a little while longer, possibly even forever.
My friend, praise God for the wonderful gifts of your children that He has entrusted to you. Make the most of every moment, for they fly by so quickly. Don’t take anything for granted and let them know how much you love them. Most importantly, let them know how much God loves them, too.
It is my hope that you will also find a “baseball” in your life, which reminds you to slow down and spend time with your beloved babies. Let the dishes and laundry wait. There are memories to be made!
“Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing me as a parent. Help me to remember that my days with my children are limited and give me discernment in how I spend my time with them. Let my life be an example of love and grace and point them to You always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I would love to hear your comments or any ways you have learned to slow down and enjoy the time you’ve been given with your kids.
Blessings to you,