Looking Back And Looking Ahead
Summer ends tonight at exactly 7:30 p.m. when I put my children to bed. No, I am not counting down (duh, yes I am). These people need some other people to interact with. They need structure! They need routine!
I NEED A BREAK!
Hey, don't judge. I haven't had a break in nine years. NINE YEARS. Oh, I love these people. They are my heart beating outside my chest. I am sure there will be a twinge of sadness when I wave goodbye from the car tomorrow morning and realize, just like that, we have entered a new season of life. I will turn to my husband, and probably with a blank stare, wonder what in the world I should do with myself.
He will tell me to go have some fun.
Fun? FUN? What does a mom do for fun when she has had at least one child attached to her hip for nine years? Fear not, I shall recall all of the fun things and then I shall make a list and you can bet that will be one to do list I will finish completely.
One fun thing I will do is go sit at a coffee shop and drink coffee...for as long as I want. That sounds so fun. Another fun thing I will do is take a nap, undisturbed. That sounds really fun.
Yes, this "fun" thing could become addicting.
Funny how quickly the seasons come and go. The "kids at home" season seemed FOREVER. The years do go quickly, but the days DO NOT. The days sometimes dragged on and some days, I just wanted it to be bed time. Now, as I sit here, one day away from the first day of school, when I will put them both in someone else's capable hands for seven hours a day...
I realize that I only had time to blink before we got here.
I was praying last night, asking Jesus to help me navigate this new season, to listen to his voice and do what he asks...and he said the most wonderful thing to me. You might think that he would say, "Yea, now that you have all this time on your hands, I have a few things for you to do, so let's get to work," but, no, that isn't what he said. All he said was,
"Enjoy the gift."
I cried. I cried because we mama's have a hard time receiving gifts. Being a mama requires selflessness. We are constantly putting everyone else before ourselves...and we forget how to receive gifts sometimes, forget that we are worthy of gifts. Jesus reminded me as I sat, waiting for him to give me some revelation of work he has for me to do in this new season, that I am worthy of his gifts, of receiving, because he makes it so. He is giving me this time as a gift, because he loves me. He provided an environment for my kids to thrive at school, gave me peace about the whole thing, and now he is looking at me with a smile on his face, and whispering for me to just enjoy the gift of this season.
I do have some dreams tucked away that I will now have time to pursue, but Jesus reminded me that he isn't holding this gift out to me with an ultimatum. He isn't folding his arms and watching to see how I will live, what I will do with it all. He just wants me to receive the gift with joy.
So, tomorrow will be the start of a new season for our family...for me. I have poured myself out for my kids these nine years, given when I was tired, let some of my desires take a back seat, and now we are moving to something different. Now I walk in a season of both giving and receiving. I will still pour myself out for my kids and be what they need me to be, but I get to revisit some of those desires I kept tucked away for all these years. I get to walk a road of giving and receiving.
Can I encourage you mama's that find yourself in the season that feels like forever and doesn't always feel "fun"? Stay the course, mama. It really will pass quicker than it feels like it will, and one day you WILL find yourself on the other side of it. One day you will find yourself waving goodbye to those babies, and it will be your turn to receive something new. Don't forget the dreams you've got tucked away in your heart. You aren't giving them up to be a mama, you're just waiting. You aren't trading them in, you are putting them in the "not right this moment" folder. You just keep being "Mommy" and let Jesus keep those dreams close to his heart for you...
When the time is right, he will lay those dreams out for you....
Jesus grows us in every season. I know that I needed these past nine years to prepare me for what is to come. Jesus is faithful to use every moment in our life to grow us into beautiful...
So, if you see me tomorrow sitting at a coffee shop staring out the window, don't fret! I'm not lonely, confused or bored. I'm just stepping into a new season...
and inviting Jesus to lead the way.