There comes a point at which you can’t take it anymore—children’s rooms, that is.

I had reached that point, and now I had a free morning all to myself to launch a covert attack on the rooms of my children, Shiloh and Colt. I snuck up on each room armed with a trash can, sorting bags, a dust cloth, and dogged determination to show no mercy and take no prisoners. Mateless socks, broken toys, stashed papers, and outgrown clothes would soon be missing in action.

My determination began to waiver as I actually looked these subversive elements in the eye: a crepe paper cross made at Sunday school, a spelling achievement certificate, a squirt gun carefully repaired with masking tape, a coffee can filled with invaluable rocks.

Shiloh had received a new jewelry box for Christmas. As I was sorting through the debris on her dresser, I peeked at the treasures that had earned a home in this place of honor: her ring collection gathered from special trips that we have taken as a family, some heirloom jewelry pieces passed down to her from her grandmothers, and a valuable collection of her favorite sports cards. There before me, in three small drawers, was a sampling of the things Shiloh values—memories, family, and sports.

Suddenly I saw these items through the eyes of my children. They weren’t trash—they were valuable treasures marking their young lives. Do we know the things that our children treasure?

Do we realize what is important to them? Have we taken the time to know them the way God knows us? After all, we have been entrusted with the care of not only their bodies, but their spirits and souls as well.

Now is great time to slow down and spend time getting to know our children. Schedules can be replaced with sensitive communication. Hurry can give way to hugs and hilarity. Who knows what unmined treasures exist in the heart of your child?

Copyright © 2005 by Darcy Kimmel. All rights reserved.