Ashley Stevens of Mountains Unmoved playing with daughters at Barbie dollhouse

What If We Met Our People Where They’re At?

What if we met people where they’re at rather than where we want them to be?

What if we used this time of being home with our family, this time of putting schedules and pickups and activities on hold, to really learn each other better?

As a born and raised tomboy, I NEVER expected to be the mom to three girly girls rocking dresses and pink like it’s a full-time job. I never expected to have my life set to JoJo Siwa’s soundtrack on repeat, but do you know what? 

That is where they are at.

Minni Mouse, a unicorn, and JoJo Siwa - three little girls dressed up on Halloween via Ashley Stevens at Mountains Unmoved

I am the mom who learns how to do a pristine dance bun, who practices violin with my girl even though I don’t have an ounce of musical education in my body.

Some days I own we don’t parent our mini-me’s but, in all honesty? Other days stretching so far outside my comfort zone to meet them in theirs drains me.

Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay

Recently I read in 1 Corinthians how Paul became all things to all people, “so as to win over as many as possible.” To the Jews, he became a Jew, to the weak he became weak, to those outside the law, he became as one outside the law (9:19-23) and so forth. It really struck me.

What if we did the same with our family?

What if we really looked our kids in the eye and listened? What if we really tried to learn their interests, to learn their hearts, and met them there?

Over this past week at home (with many more in the foreseeable future :/), I’ve been trying to better meet my kids where they’re at. Here’s how

Watch Them Play

As I sipped my coffee early in the week, I watched two of my girls play. One was in princess pretend-play land with a quite heated discussion going on between Rapunzel and Ariel. The other was happily coloring, keeping her colors pristinely within the lines.

Little girl playing with princesses at Barbie house with mom via Ashley Stevens at Mountains Unmoved

Rather than catching up on dishes or laundry or emails, I decided just to sit and watch them be who they are. I didn’t see who I wanted them to be or who I expected them to be based on how their sisters or parents or wired.

I simply marveled at how their hair flipped out at the ends, how they laughed with the guttural belly laugh, and how they led each other using a pointer in the school lesson written for the day.

It brought SUCH a huge smile to my face.

While snuggling over Netflix binges is highly encouraged, let’s be sure to also leave room to pull up our coffee and let our kids be.

Join Their Play

My other daughter loves to cook, but her baking sessions, with peanut butter-smeared counters and flour-sprinkled floors, take me to my Lysol-led crazy place real fast. The other day, though, when she asked to make a dessert for everyone, rather than saying, “I don’t want to clean up the mess,” or, “We don’t have enough time,” I said, “Can I help?”

I helped her pull down the ingredients she couldn’t reach. I showed her how to cut measurements in half since we only had half the apples the recipe called for. I followed and cleaned as she cooked in her true Tasmanian Devil’ish form, And, do you know what? She absolutely loved it…and I did too.

I loved it not because it wasn’t dirty or I loved her way too salty Apple Turnover (bless her), but because I let her passions shine and met her there.

By letting her do her thing rather than mine, I saw smiles. I saw joy. I saw her cooking confidence grow and it really made me question why so many times I let my way get in the way of letting her be who she was made to be.

What If?

This week really got me thinking…

What if we stepped back, now and then, just a little?

What if we gave our kids space to be who they are?

What if we used this time to put down our phones and really see each other?

To see our spouses diligently working from home,
To see what brings our kids joy.

I’m guessing we’d notice they are capable of much more than we think.

I’m guessing they’d smile and grow and feel seen and loved. 

I’m guessing we’d come out the other side giving thanks for exactly where they’re at today.

How are you trying to meet your family, your people, where they are at right now? How can I pray for you as we traverse this quarantine together?

2 thoughts on “What If We Met Our People Where They’re At?

  1. Terry Eagle says:

    What a glorious idea and writing of using social distance time to be with family where they are , rather than where we’d think or like them to be at any moment in time. It demonstrates that the most precious commodity we have with family is time, and letting the laundry and house cleaning go for time with family where they are provides memories and talent sharing that will never be forgotten throughout our lives, parents and children alike.

    As a grandfather of two princess girls, age 8 and 3, this period of social distancing is difficult but yet rewarding. While we cannot be together in-person, at least high-tech forms of interaction have avoided total isolation and lack of interacting.

    My 8 year old granddaughter is truly a self-proclaimed princess, and her presentations and dialogues between characters are so heart-warming to observe. I miss her in-person lessons of being transformed from Trinity to Ms. T as the classroom teacher of her parents and me. I truly is gifted and called to become a teacher as an adult in the future! How blessed her students and society will be to have her as dedicated to students as she is these days to her family pupils. I can envision her teaching both in-person and remotely, since I have observed both during this time of social distancing.

    I believe this time of stay-at-home will prove to be more of a blessing than an inconvenience, if we allow ourselves, individually and collectively, to slow down, change pace, and shift focus toward truly meeting family where they are in life, rather than on our terms and where we’d like them to be at in our presence and interaction. God bless and Peace!

    • Mountains Unmoved says:

      The most precious commodity we have with family truly is time. I’m praying slowing down reminds us all of the gifts of each other. I’m so thankful for technology and being able to Facetime with my parents as well! Your granddaughters sound like absolute gems. 🙂 So great to hear from you and know you and your family are in my prayers during this time.

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