Children Won't Wait

It has become a tradition to read this poem at all of the baby showers held in honor of moms-to-be at my church.  Yesterday was my turn. This is too sweet not to pass on...

Children Won't Wait
by Helen M. Young

There is a time to anticipate the baby's
coming, a time to consult a doctor;

A time to plan a diet and exercise,
a time to gather a layette.

There is a time to wonder at the ways
of God, knowing this is the destiny for
which I was created;

A time to dream of what this child might become,
A time to pray that God will teach me
how to train this child which I bear.

A time to prepare myself that I might
Nurture [her] soul.
But soon there comes the time for birth,
For babies won't wait.

There is a time for night feedings, and colic
and formulas.

There is a time for rocking and a time for walking the floor,
A time for patience and self-sacrifice,
A time to show our child that her new world is
a world of love and goodness and dependability.

There is a time to ponder what she is- not a pet
nor toy, but a person, an individual- a soul made in God's image.

There is a time to consider my stewardship.
I cannot posses her.
She is not mine. I have been chosen to care for her,
to love her, to enjoy her, to nurture her, and to answer to God.

I resolve to do my best for her,
For babies don't wait.

There is a time to hold [her] close and tell [her]
the sweetest story ever told;

A time to show [her] God in earth and sky and flower,
to teacher[her] to wonder and reverence.

There is a time to leave the dishes, to swing [her] in the park,
To run a race, to draw a picture, to catch a butterfly, to give
[her] a happy comradeship.

There is a time to point the way, to teach [her] infant lips to pray,
To teach[her] heart to love God's Word, to love God's Day,
For children don't wait.

There is a time to sing instead of grumble, to smile instead
of frown.
To kiss away the tears and laugh at broken dishes.
A time to share with her my best in attitudes- a love of life,
a love of God, a love of family.

There is a time to answer her questions, all her questions,
Because there may come a time when she will not want my answers.

There is a time to teach her so patiently to obey, to put
her toys away.

There is a time to teach her the beauty of duty, the habit
of Bible study, the joy of worship at home, the
peace of prayer,

For children don't wait.

There is a time to watch [her] bravely go to school, to miss
[her] underfoot.

And to know that other minds have [her]attention, but
that I will be there to answer [her] call when [she] comes home,
And listen eagerly to the story of [her] day.

There is a time to teach [her] independence, responsibility,
To be firm but friendly, to discipline with love,

For soon, so soon, there will be a time to let [her] go,
the apron strings untied,

For children won't wait.

There is a time to treasure every fleeting minute of her childhood.
Just eighteen precious years to inspire and train her.
I will not exchange this birthright for a mess of pottage
called social position, or business or professional
reputation, or a paycheck.

An hour of concern today may save years of heartache
The house will wait, the dishes will wait, the new room
can wait,

But children don't wait.

There will be a time when there will be no slamming
of doors, no toys on the stairs, no childhood
quarrels, no fingerprints on the wallpaper.

Then may I look with joy and not regret.
There will be a time to concentrate on service
outside my home;

On visiting the sick, the bereaved,
the discouraged, the untaught;

To give myself to the "least of these."
There will be a time to look back and know that
these years of motherhood were not wasted.

I pray there will be a time to see our child an upright
and honest person, loving God and serving all.

God, give me the wisdom to see that today is
my day with my children.

That there is not unimportant moment in their lives.
May I know that no other career is
so precious, No other task so urgent.
May I not defer it nor neglect it,
But by thy Spirit accept it gladly,
joyously, and by thy grace realize

That the time is short and my time is now,
For children won't wait!


  1. precious this is..I want to copy it and share w a loved one who will be having a baby this year!
    Like Gramma's House


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