You came up to me as I reviewed documents for a client and, without intro, you launched into a lecture about dinosaurs and sea creatures and DNA and how scientists are wrong. I opened my mouth to tell you I was working and maybe this word explosion could wait for later.

I can’t give you all of my time. There is the feeding and the sheltering and the clothing, which require the working and the earning and the paying. When you see me here, I was about to tell you, when I’m pouring over papers and muttering to myself—this is the working time, not the you time.

But a little whisper stopped me. Pause and listen this time.

I did my best to switch gears from document prepping lawyer to attentive mom of a yarn-spinning seven-year-old. I bit my tongue to keep myself from fact-checking you, from editing your brilliant combination of truth and pure baloney.

I fought the tension of my brain pulling me back toward my perfectly laid out schedule, toward my list of must-get-done-today tasks, toward planning tomorrow and next week and next year.

I listened. I loved. I oohed and aahed and asked questions.

I swallowed the urge to stop you because the whisper said you would stop when you were finished.

And for 10 minutes you spilled out words to me, you gave me a glimpse of who God made you to be, you inspired me, and you challenged me.

Then you walked away. You left me to my work.

I stared down at my papers, lost in gratitude, in joy, in amazement. I get to be your mom. I get to be mom to this imaginative, energetic, force and I get to watch you grow and learn and become.

After you left, it took more of my minutes to get back into the mindset of words and papers and other lawyer stuff and it was totally worth it.

It was worth it to love you in the moment, to hear you, and to see you. It was worth it to give you those 10 minutes—to fight the errant thoughts and just be with you. It was worth it to listen to the whisper.

You can’t have all of my time, but I pray I listen to the whisper when He says pause and listen this time.

You can’t have all of my time, but I pray you feel heard and seen and loved at all times.

You can’t have all of my time, but I pray I give all of me in the time we have.

Stevie Swift

Stevie is a Jesus follower and single-mom to one crazy-awesome kid. She writes at about being happily single, parenting, and Christianity. You can find her in the Pacific Northwest, putting pineapple on pizza and planning her next adventure, or on the interwebs with  FacebookInstagram, and  Twitter