Today it has rained all day long. On days like today, I think of moms with preschoolers, especially moms with little boys who really need to expend their energy.
Terrell and I had our three children quickly – three children in three years. The oldest two are boys, fifteen months apart, and they always had (still do) lots of energy to burn. Today I’m remembering one particular rainy day. The children were about 4, 3 and 1 ½ years old. It was summer and this was about the third straight day of rain. I was stir crazy and so were they – AND it was (only) the early afternoon (Yes, I was watching the clock). I knew that Cecilia would be up from her nap soon, and I was out of ideas. I remember thinking, “Lord, what can we do?” My reasoning was that only God could think of something within the limited resources of our home that might be a ‘new’ idea and appeal to children this age. I wish I could say that I was intentionally listening for an answer, but I wasn’t.
Then this thought came to me: Make a track in the garage. We had a one car garage and it was full of stuff, including our car. I baby-gated the boys into our family room, told them I was going to make them a new play area, and got busy. I ran and moved our car, pushed back a bunch of stuff in the garage, and looked for some items to use for our new “track”.
Fifteen minutes later, I proudly came back to the boys (who by now REALLY needed a break from one another) and we went to wake Cecilia. Once we were in the garage, I referred to their circular train track and told them that this was their new race track – for rainy days. For the next 30 minutes, they rode their tricycles and scooters in a circle as fast as their feet would carry them. I was the pit stop lady, with various garage tools to add gasoline to their tanks and to check their tires of course. I was also the emcee, giving the play by play regarding all the other imaginary cars trying to pass them. Of course, my boys always won.
Cecilia sat happily in her stroller eating Cheerios or bouncing on my lap clapping. This became a rainy day pastime that entire summer.
The power of prayer. I am SO not creative. God gave me the idea and helped me with it. He wants to help us everyday, even when we don’t ask. 1 Thessalonians 5.17 says, “…pray constantly…” More and more, I try to turn my thoughts into prayer by inviting God into them. He will respond.