Home christian living Growing Children Slowly in a Fast-Paced World

Growing Children Slowly in a Fast-Paced World

by Kelly Crawford

I thought it was simply the warmth of this wood stove and the money it would save us on utilities that I would love so much. And I do. (It never moved in the storm...though all lay bare around it.)

But this warm little spot beckons us every morning. We come here first. We snuggle up on couches in fuzzy pj’s with tousled hair and morning breath, with coffee and the first sweet smiles of the morning (with an occasional grumpy one who isn’t smiling). With a Word….“Ascribe to the Lord, the glory due His name…”

Little girls chatter. About “when I grow up and get married and if I’m a mama…” and I listen and squeeze them. An 8 yr. old boy is more cuddly this hour, before he turns rugged and ready for outdoor adventures. My older ones and I connect and linger over the day’s plans.

It’s a simple thing. Sitting, listening, talking, touching, loving. But just as surely as a young, tender plant needs time and room to grow, so do they. Their cares are big, their dreams are real. Too often we forget to stop and let them grow.

And those seeds we plant, as our children feel the investment in their lives, how we whisper nap-time stories even though there’s a to-do list waiting, how we stop to just listen, speaking with our time how much they mean to us, that becomes part of them, a part that will transfer to the next generation. A seemingly small part with big implications.

Can we be the constant sunshine, the gentle rain, the warm soil–all the slow, steady elements for needed growth in these young lives in our care?

Busyness is an epidemic. Ironically, it seems the more technology we have, the more appliances and gadgets meant to make our lives easier and save us time, the more we are rushed, losing time, forgetting what’s growing in our midst.

Children take time…lots of it. Perhaps that’s why they’re so easy to push aside, to avoid altogether. We simply don’t have the time–don’t make the time.

But just like the garden that took too much time to plant and sow and tend, and is now empty and bare, with no harvest, no burgeoning rows of nourishment, no yielding, no giving back to us for our labors, so will we reap what we sow…or don’t.


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Keri January 26, 2013 - 8:15 pm

We don’t need woodstoves here in Florida. Sometimes I wish we really did! It sounds like a great place to gather around with you’re children. Invest in their lives while they are little. It is so hard sometimes because there is ALWAYS something important to do..cooking, cleaning, laundry, school, and the list can go on. It seemed like just yesterday I was laying on a bed reading to little one’s who needed a nap. The time flew. I don’t regret a minute of it. Probably my biggest challenge now..and I’m going to be Very honest here..is that my two youngest at 14 and 17(not so little boys anymore) don’t want to snuggle like they used to. I miss that alot. I have seen the fruit of the years I did all of this with my four older children. So what do you moms all do now with all this technology that sometimes just about drives me crazy! Hope you don’t mind me asking..lol.

Amanda January 26, 2013 - 9:37 pm

So, so true. Its Hard though, isn’t it? Please keep up the encouragement and exhortation! (BTW, I think you mean sow instead of sew in that last sentence 🙂

Word Warrior January 26, 2013 - 11:10 pm

Ha! So I did 🙂 Thanks for telling me!

Amy January 26, 2013 - 10:38 pm

What a great reminder! My babies are 5, 6, & 7…I’m going to enjoy them to the fullest tomorrow as we worship together on the Sabbath. God bless!

Erica January 27, 2013 - 11:09 am

This was such a perfect topic at such a perfect time. We had just lost our home to foreclosure and have spent the past 4 days moving into our new rental house. God truly provided for us at just the right time! The past 3 weeks prior I have spent my time packing & getting rid of so much “stuff” – things that had cluttered our little homes (and our lives). As we’ve moved in I have continued the task of purging a lot more stuff….finding lots to sell on both eBay & Craigslist to supplement our meager $20k/yr income for our family of 8.
But the best part in this move has been finding the time to once again reconnect with each other! The kids (little ones) get read to sleep every night. The older kids have time to spend reconnecting with their

Erica January 27, 2013 - 11:23 am

Smartphones! Ugh!

Anyways the older kids get time to reconnect with their father & I in the evenings more than before. It is amazing how much more time we have for each other when the TV is turned off & we make the effort to spend time together! After the turmoil of the past month I am finally starting to enjoy our time together….and making a special effort to spend time with each child every sinngle day. They grow so fast!
While I know we are only going to be in this rental for a year…having a woodburner, or fireplace, is on the top of my “want” list when we buy in a year. I treasure those times growing up with a woodburner when, as a child, we would gather around for story time & S’mores! It’s amazing how decluttering can help you refocus and have more together time!

Word Warrior January 27, 2013 - 6:41 pm

What a sweet time, and it’s so good that you are aware and are being deliberate (that’s really what it’s about!)

Carolina January 27, 2013 - 10:02 pm

The more time we invest in our children while they are young, the less we will have to worry (and invest time) when they are older.

Laura January 27, 2013 - 10:06 pm

I struggled with this when my oldest 2 were first born…it took me probably 2-3 years of being a SAHM before I just began to calm down, relax and realize that being on the floor with my babies was what I was supposed to do, and that I needn’t feel guilty for enjoying it! THat my hubby was willing to go out into the work force on our behalf, happily knowing that I was loving our babies at home.

Deborah January 28, 2013 - 4:10 pm

My sister told me my island in our new kitchen could move to another wall to make our new home look bigger. I put it where it is to make conversation in the morning easier. I put coffee and breakfast on it so everyone goes there first. Then we can stand and talk or break into a few groups between the small/ cozy dining room and living room. Normally, groups form along talkers, and those not yet awake enough for conversation.

My mother in law always has coffee and a newspaper on her kitchen table. Grandchildren who work in town will stop by between work and school often just to pull up a chair. I have been putting a paper in the living room and drink or snacks in the kitchen. It works here too. Older children linger and read and talk. My mother in law is pretty smart : )

Thanks for the good word.

Word Warrior January 28, 2013 - 4:40 pm

Deborah–love it!

Kelly L January 29, 2013 - 4:13 pm

So true! I could always tell when I didn’t make time for the morning snuggle. My girlie was a little less focused and had a harder time in school. Even though she is almost 13, we still make time, most days, for our little snuggle. My day goes better, too. 😀

Heather Newcomb January 30, 2013 - 2:21 pm

That’s how we are with our fireplace. We always just go to it. And we love our family times (and couple times) by the fire. 🙂

Candace January 31, 2013 - 7:00 pm


Kim M January 31, 2013 - 9:46 pm

Oh I just love this. By the way.. I <3 the turquoise soup pot!

Word Warrior January 31, 2013 - 10:27 pm

I knew you’d like the pot 😉

Karyn February 1, 2013 - 9:29 am

Wow, yes this has inspired me so much – that slow time when we are available to LISTEN to our children is without price.

Jody Dake January 23, 2014 - 9:09 pm

My comment is for mothers to please take this wonderful piece of advice. My children are now 18, 20, 20, and 21, all homeschool graduates, and the time will pass oh, ever so quickly. Love these moments together, these cold mornings at this present time in East TN, and treasure these snuggly, loveable, precious gifts from God. We still have our evening family worship times, but close, snuggle times for adult children doesn’t come too often, just hugs, and I love you’s. This time will pass, so love them, love them, love them.

Always Experiencing Him,

Flicka March 15, 2016 - 7:08 pm

Hello dear Kelly, I enjoy your posts. Wish I could see that fresh new baby. I think the snuggle time is so precious. I read where a church denomination is concerned why churches are losing people and Christians are lukewarm. I mentioned to them that people do not bond with hardly anyone anymore. Babies are born and then left with sitters and no one takes the time to give them the bonding they need for future relationships. Many women cannot or will not nurse a baby anymore. I came from a generation where it was frowned on to nurse a baby. I made my mistakes but I want to tell others how very important it is for parents to bond with their children from the beginning or as quickly as you can. Fathers need to bond with sons. Moms with daughters. Parents need to bond with all their children. One of the main reasons there is so much homosexuality is that these people have mother/father hunger. That isn’t all that causes it but it causes a lot of the disorder. It is good to see your family bonding beside a woodstove. Did you know that the central furnace helped to break family bonding? I remember when we gathered around the heating stove in the evening and listened to the radio or read. No one misbehaved or they got sent to a cold bedroom…alone. Hugs Kelly. Hope to see you when I have a great Grandchild in Alabama. Your friend Flicka

Kelly Crawford March 15, 2016 - 7:50 pm

Aw, Flicka, so good to hear from you! I miss you much.


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