9 months, 5 years, 18 years.............milestones that stick out in a mother's mind. The nine months spent in your body - a time when things happen that you never thought possible - stretching and aching and mutations like none you have ever known. Then one day out pops a baby (yes, for some it is that easy, I am so very sorry if you are not one of those - just think of me on me knees hunched over a public toilet retching into the bowl while peeing myself - it might make you feel an eensy bit better).
Five years or there about signal another BIG change - off to kindergarten, away from your loving arms and prying eyes for many hours of the day. You are done wiping, dressing, monitoring every moment. Then comes the big one - 18 and off to
something whether it be college, job, schooling, etc. - it signals an ending of some sort in a young mother's mind (do you see how I labeled myself young - I have been noticing grey hairs and many wrinkles and ice cream that stays on my hips when not on my lips - I figure if I label myself as young maybe others will believe it too). I am sure that there will be other moments that pop up in the future where I will say....ahhh, this, this too was a milestone but for right now I think of these as the biggies.
And when you say 18 years, doesn't it seem like a lifetime away when you are momentarily paused at 5, 3 and 2? Sometimes I slip into a mode of thinking that places me far away from what is important right now. I want to do bigger and better things. I want to serve and make a difference.......and let's be honest, be a rock star of a person. I want recognition, I want to be the one who is at the forefront, who is a living, breathing version of a modern day Paul or Mary (the one prone at the feet of Jesus - not the one giving birth in a barn - it was easy but really loved that epidural
(don't tell Eric)). But 18 years is not a lifetime, it is a blink of an eye. And what if in my pursuit of being a rock star of a person or in my pursuit simply to be what I think I need to be RIGHT NOW causes me to miss the growing and guiding of my children? What if 2, 3 and 5 are just the beginning of when my children need me? What if 5 would signal Fia moving on a bit and then I feel as if it's time for me to move on? What happens then? Is it time?
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
- Romans 12:1-2
Being a mom is hard. It's answering the hard questions and going against the grain for the good of your family. God is asking for a sacrificial love, a sacrificial life that doesn't always include exactly what you want, when you want it. Sometimes I feel like I am waiting, waiting for something to happen and then God reminds me that in that waiting there is to be found life and love and joy and contentment. In that waiting there is space and time for my children to come to me at any time and ask questions or to be silly or to have cuddle time.
And the wait time becomes not so hard, not even seemingly sacrificial but right where I want to be. For in that time my children are learning, they are discovering who they are and who they want to be. For children never work on your time schedule, it is when you least expect it or are the least prepared that they want to talk to you about
where babies come from, why God wants us to love our enemies and how hard that is, why our friends don't always want to be friends with us. Why oh why aren't children ever asking those things during those nicely planned moments of Bible study or journaling but rather when eating lunch, in a car or walking the neighborhood................because they ask them in the moment, the moment where they have the time and space and comfort that comes from simply being with you. And I can think of nothing better to do with this life that God gave me than to be there for those years that He has blessed me with these beautiful
children................may 18 not come too soon.