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“I think they’d really like it if you got into the lake with them today,” my husband whispered.

I knew he was right. But, I had become a professional. An expert at finding ways to stay on the boat. In the shade. The last three summers, either with a pregnant belly. Or a baby. Inhaling the gorgeous mountain air. While taking photos from the comfort of dry land. Swimsuit hidden under a tank and shorts. Feet resting in flip-flops.

My comfort zone.

“Maybe later,” I responded.

But, for whatever reason, his words haunted me all night.

The next day, he whispered it again.
As did my sister-in-law.

The day was almost too perfect . . .

. . . boat parked in a quiet inlet with the sun cascading over the emerald green-tree-covered mountains surrounding. Fresh breeze blowing through childhood giggles carrying the rubber dinosaur ball even farther across the water’s surface.

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“This is it,” God whispered. “They are waiting. They are ready for you. And I think you are, too. Let’s get in, sweet mama. They’ll lose sight of you sitting on the boat. But, they’ll never forget you getting in and playing with them.”

I knew He was right.

All the nudges and whispers finally collided with my excuses. And the gorgeous, hand-painted scenery surrounding was too incredible of a background not to enjoy.

I entered the cool lake water with both caution and excitement while simultaneously, the excuses dissipated. And the childhood joy came flooding in.

Goodness, mamas—it’s not always easy.

So many times, we feel too exhausted to play. And other times, those quiet, secret moments of alone time while watching from the sidelines seem to be a fair trade-off for so much time spent in the trenches of motherhood. While sometimes, we just feel like absorbing it all from our spectator seat, just feet and meters away.

But, truly—what do we want our children to remember?
A sideline mama?
Or an in-the-lake kind of mama?

That day sealed the deal.
It was a beautiful afternoon of memories made.
That far overpowered any excuses.

The excuses are so easy, precious mamas.

But, the fun?
It becomes even easier.
Because it’s even more natural.
Especially the more we relax and enjoy.

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Do yourself a favor, sweet mamas.
Let go of the insecurities . . .
Release your grasp on the meaningless excuses . . .
Tuck away your phone for a few minutes . . .
And get lost in your children’s view of life.
There truly is no better scenery on Earth.

And there is no better time to start.
Than now.

Grab every chance you get, and listen to those God-whispers . . .
Jump in the lake.
Dive into the swimming pool.
Blow the bubbles.
Run through the sprinkler.
Take the road trip.
Dance in the rain.
Pull out the tent.
Stay up past bedtime.
Eat the s’more.
Get the second scoop of ice cream.
Bake the cookies.
Race around the yard.
Take the walk.
Jump in the puddles.
Make the messes.
Bake the treats.
Color with the sidewalk chalk.
Blow the dandelion.
Catch the wishes.
Write your name under the moon.
With the sparkler.
Spit the watermelon seeds.
Go down the water slide.

Let your hair down.
Lock up the phone.
And take the pictures in your mind and not just your phone camera.
. . . to keep in your treasure box of memories . . .
. . . forever tucked away . . .
. . . deep within your precious your mama-heart . . .

Because, trust me, mama. Your children will remember every beautiful memory—tiny and grand—of you digging into life with them.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Liz Spenner

Liz is a former elementary teacher and now a stay-at-home mama to six little ones. She writes as an inspiration and encouragement to other women, and most especially mothers on her blog, www.gracefullywoven.net (where you can subscribe and receive her free Five-Day Mini-Motherhood Devotional!). Liz loves spending with her family, outside as often as possible, as well as sneaking a few moments to herself with a run, dark chocolate and writing, with her faith as her greatest motivation.

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