Aug 21, 2015

As They Grow

What gives moments meaning is not the moments themselves but the presence of Christ with us in the midst of them. To learn to live well in ordinary time is to keep company with Christ...

SIMPLY TUESDAY by Emily P. Freeman

When my oldest was a newborn baby, I often found myself fearful - if she would stop breathing in the middle of the night and also that she was going to grow up too fast.IMG_6012 I remember many times when I would be snuggling my newborn crying about the day she was going to leave the house after high school graduation. Here I was holding my brand new baby crying that she was going to leave me and go to college but not until 2 decades past. I was so worried that each day was going to pass too quickly. It didn't take me long to realize that the days don't pass that fast. As the saying goes, "The days are long, but the years are short." I don't think that quote is able to be fully grasped until you are a parent. There are so many days I find myself counting down the hours until bedtime because I am worn out and exhausted, but as soon as my children fall asleep I can spend hours crying because another day is gone and they are now a day older. There is even a handy app called TimeHop that helps us remember how quickly our children grow. In our minds it was just yesterday they took their first steps and TimeHop will kindly remind us that was actually 5 years ago.

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My children are going to grow up, no matter how I try to stop it, it doesn't work. Kids grow. However, I now try to spend less time in fear and more time being joyful. I want to enjoy each stage of their lives. When I was a mother of one, it was bittersweet when she was no longer a newborn but was now crawling, followed by walking, talking, being potty trained, and becoming a big sister. My oldest daughter was so cute and had all her special words like toddlers do for things where I would kick anyone if they tried to correct her, but now she refuses to say them because she has learned. Some of my favorite being bagoon for balloon, movieater station for movie theater, be-a-bull for video. (Agh, I barely remember more because like I said the years fly and memories fade.

I now have a 6, 4 and 1 year old and a 1 month old. There are things I enjoy that my 1 month old son does, like how he needs me and wants me to hold him, but at the same time I am thankful for how independent and helpful my 6 year old is. I am not busy being sad that my 4 year old now looks more like a little girl rather than a toddler. I'm embracing it. I'm celebrating it.

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I'm not going to hurry the days along, but instead I'm going to be present until my head hits the pillow at the end of the day (or on the rare occasions that I get a nap.) I can't spend my time being sad that my children are no longer who they were; I rejoice in who they are. And I spend my time investing in the now to help shape who they will become.

A day will come when my oldest leaves our house to head to college, but I think I will wait for that day to come to cry about it (and probably many days after it happens) instead of the 18 years ahead of that time, that moment. And then after a good cry I will get busy enjoying that stage of life with her. There's too much to love and enjoy now to waste it being sad about what hasn't come yet.

But that is kind of my point in this post. We have to enjoy and be present each day. Some days are crap, should we enjoy those? Maybe not, but we at least need to be present. Because those are the days we grow stronger and closer to each other and to Christ. This life is made up of many, many, small moments put together. It is in those small moments where life happens. It's finding Jesus in the mundane. It's not waiting for the big things in life. It's spending time in the ordinary, making those moments extraordinary. Making each moment and day count. Time keeps passing by and there is nothing we can do to stop it. But we can laugh in it's face because we can enjoy who are kids are now. We can remember who they were and we can train them up in who they will become.

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So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalms 90:12

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