You Have What You Build

This post is dedicated to the late Pastor Jake Butler of whom I had the pleasure to know for a brief time about 8 years ago. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time together, but when we did, it was very meaningful. He taught me a very important principle…the very title of this blog in fact.

“Having what you build”…hmmm sounds pretty simple to comprehend, but although it may be easy to understand it is not always easy to do. I want this post to be an encouragement to all of the moms out there who struggle to balance work, family, and you time.

The struggle is real… I know. I’m a stay at home mom, but I’m busier than I ever thought I would be. Sometimes I’ve spent all day doing stuff around the house, taxi cabbing it around, meal prep, working on the ministry stuff, and I’m pooped. When my kids come home from school sometimes I just wanna be alone, but I can’t. Anybody ever been there?

Those feelings are so normal and you aren’t a bad mom because you don’t wanna be bothered sometimes. I’m all for you time, in fact I think it’s very healthy. That time helps you reset and come back refreshed to be the best mom you can for your kiddos.

The issue comes in when there’s no balance and there’s hardly any time with you and the kids. And you need time with each child to focus on them. That’s a tough one I know especially with multiple children, but trust me the sacrifice pays off.

My husband and I recently started a tradition that from time to time we will alternate taking each kid to breakfast. That way each one of our kids have one on one time with each of us. Another thing we like to do is have family dinner around the table at least 3 times a week.

This gives us an opportunity to know what’s going on in our kids lives. It keeps the dialogue open. Dinner time is huge in our house because it’s a technology free zone where open conversation is encouraged. There’s no wrong age to start either. And you don’t always have to go out. It can be a movie night when the younger babies are sleeping.

These memories are things that our kids will remember forever. If we neglect to create these moments in our homes and in the lives of our children, we can’t be upset when they don’t feel close to us or they don’t want to be bothered. This is also very true with other familial relationships like grandparents, aunts, uncles etc.. It’s very difficult for a child to develop an attachment to someone whether family or not when there’s been no investment of time. DNA is irrelevant when there has been no time put in to develop that relationship. It always comes down to quality vs. quantity. Quality will always win. Checks, clothing, vacations, and so on isn’t the same. Investment of time and active listening is irreplaceable.

We need to encourage open conversation all of the time. Not just when they are in trouble. That’s how we connect with our children and that’s how they feel connected to us. Do the work and spend the time to build loving relationships with your kids and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

I want to admonish you to pray specifically about how you can make the investment in your children.

Achea Redd

Achea Redd

about the author

Achea Redd is a mental health advocate, author of “Be Free Be You” and founder of Real Girls F.A.R.T. — a space to empower and equip women with the necessary tools to use their voices and become their best, most authentic selves.


  1. AvatarKristel Sargent says

    R.I.H. Pastor Jake. Beautiful writing and remembering such a beloved person. This post is so real and so true. I can’t agree more with the importance of getting that techno free table time. It was vital when Isaiah was growing up and now for our little one as well. It makes a difference. If you want your kids to be open and free in conversation, build that space for it to live and breathe. Bravo!

  2. AvatarAndria says

    Small principle but huge rewards. As a mom I tried to make sure I made time for all 3 of my children. It was a major priorty for me to build that relationship. Now, that I am a “Nana” I am wanting to do the same. I am not here to judge anyone on why they do what they do or not but, pray you understand down the road if you don’t spend the time what your results will be. I love my life as “Nana”. The joy to see those face light up when you come around and hear the sweet voices call your name. I guess too the key is be intentional about your time with these relationships and not feeling you have too. Good advice Ms. Achea love your wisdom.

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