“Look at me!”
These are the words I feel like I hear most often throughout my day. On repeat. My daughter lately wants to do very cool things with her hands in the car and screams at me until I can turn around. So eventually I just give up and tell her that I’m driving, and she’ll have to wait. That is not an acceptable answer to her. Some days I unsafely crane my neck around to see, and other days I just give into her very apparent unhappiness with me.
Staying at home with two small kids, it is my job to watch them. I care for the house, and care for my family. As a parent, it’s my job to love and raise and nurture and teach – but let’s be honest, the majority of this time is spent just making sure they stay alive. Dressing, feeding, keeping from falling down the stairs. I look at them all day. I watch them and make sure their face is clean and take them to the potty and cut their food into squares instead of triangles.
I watch them. So on most days, I don’t see them.
I’m so tired and my eyes are so accustomed to their faces that I don’t see their wonder, their crazy laughter, the way they’re growing and learning new things.
You know when I usually tend to really see them? When I’m observing them with someone else. I remember this even when they were babies. I remember watching my newborns being held by someone else, and I could see them differently. Even from a different angle, they suddenly looked bigger, sweeter… I could see them.
This still happens. This past week I watched them interact with new people. I watched Brady thoughtfully share his snacks with other kids without worrying how many he had for himself. I watched Olivia run up to my friends and just kiss them on the cheek for no reason, and dance when no one was watching. I watched other people listen intently to their stories and laugh at their hilarious personalities.
I watched my husband listen to an older lady share fifteen stories about her life, too polite to try to get away. I watched him worship and pray. I watched him teach my kids how to play “Go Fish” with so much patience.
I don’t want to miss it.
And so my prayer lately has become, God, help me to see them.
Instead of worrying that they’re well-behaved, help me to see them.
Instead of rushing from get from here to there, help me to see them.
Instead of focusing how to discipline, help me to see them.
Instead of nagging and giving to-do lists, God, help me see them.
To be seen is to be known. And to be known is to be loved.
I want to love them well. The people that God has entrusted on purpose to me. The kind of love that accepts, that intentionally chooses. The kind of love that forgives and listens.
My prayer for me and for you is that you would ask God to help you see those who you love most. To see them with His eyes is to love them fully.
When I see them, I enjoy them more, I value them, my perspective is shifted. Through them, God shows me glimpses of His massive love and grace for me.
Take time today to set aside something that is on your list and see them.
Know them. Love them.
Most likely, you will feel seen and loved in return.
“Most fall, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:8