When was the last time you made cookies with your kids? Riley and I made them exacty two weeks ago. I will always remember that day because three important things have happened that have been etched in my memory. They have been imprinted on my heart. I would like to share them with you today.
Our cookie making began when Riley came home from school to a new cookie pan, sprinkles, and a bag of sugar cookie mix. Her elf Sissy had left them for her! Of course we had to bake them right away. I have to share with you that baking cookies at our house is a big production! I normally make the dough from scratch and the frosting as well. No bags or cans of frosting here! But since Sissy brought the bagged cookie mix, Riley didn’t seem to mind.
We quickly mixed the dough (much faster from the bag I might add!) and started to push it in to the pan. My job was to give Riley a spoonful of dough to squish down in to the mold in the pan. She thought that pan and squishing with her fingers was the coolest thing ever! Much better than cookie cutters! But what she said while squishing is the first moment that stuck with me. She said “Momma, we should do this more often.” It was her tone that made it stick with me.
That weekend, I had to speak to a crowd of parents at the Bridge Community Center during half-time of an Upward basketball game. I was the Commissioner on Duty at that time and the girl that was scheduled to speak became sick and needed to leave. I had about 15 minutes advanced notice before I needed to speak. So I found a quiet spot and prayed for the words that I needed to share to the parents of all these kids. Riley’s words came flooding back to me. “Momma, we should do this more often.” I knew I needed to share with the crowd how that statement impacted me.
As I spoke to the parents, I shared Psalm 127:3 with them. “Children are a gift from the Lord.” I urged them to slow down during the chaos of the Christmas season and to be intentional about spending time with them. Giving them our undivided attention. Because those were the moments they were going to remember forever. Not what presents they received that year. It’s the little things. It’s baking cookies. Time we get to spend with our children is a gift. A precious and very fragile gift.
That following week at practices a mom I had never met said “oh, you’re the one that gave the devotion last Saturday about spending time with our kids.” That caught me a little off guard. That she remembered me and more importantly the message I had shared. I found myself thinking of her later that week and wondering if she really took my words to heart.
Three days after that conversation, the horrific events from Newtown, CT forever impacted our world. I have never been brought to tears over anything in the news before but I could not control them. I cried for the lives lost and for the lives that will forever be impacted. The fear in the faces of children my daughter’s age will stay with me. Imprinted in my mind and heart.
I have a renewed committment to being intentional about the time I spend with Riley. It wasn’t about the cookies, because she and I bake cookies all the time. It was the joy she had in her voice when she said it. It’s about viewing all of our moment’s we have with our children as a gift and not letting that fade as time goes by. I feel like I have done a pretty good job with that as a mother. But I know I can do better. I think we all can. I’ve made a commitment to do better. Will you join me?