“There is a time for everything…”
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…I was a mother of little ones.
John Mark—my wild one, incapable of sitting still, coming out of his skin with ideas and interests. He was born to challenge boundaries, encouraged to question, destined to a story of vision and conquest.
Next came Rebekah, overflowing with joy, loving people, born with an insatiable need to fix, to help. She inhaled books, studied anything and everything that interested her inquisitive mind, and met injustice with the ferocity of a warrior-woman.
A boy and a girl, both so high on the intensity scale, they filled this mama’s days with wonder… and weariness.
Then came Elizabeth. Soft and gentle. Slow and easy. Compliant. She turned all that familiar intensity inward, filling up with wisdom, dishing out prophet-like insight. An easy infant, an easy toddler, even an easy teenager— easy on everyone but herself.
We waited a while for Matthew, our delight-filled, drama-prone, willful one— who came out of the womb looking for a party and filled our home with his friends.
All I’d ever wanted was to be a mother, to surround myself with little people, to create a legacy. But somehow I thought I could do all that and still keep my house always tidy, my chore list crossed off, myself looking like a model, my marriage conflict free…
And I couldn’t.
Not even close.
And there’s a whole story I can’t tell right here, the one I’m working to tuck into a book for next fall— about my flailing struggle and miserable failure to measure up to my own impossible dreams of how life ought to be.
On this wind-swept No-Rush-November day, all I can say is this:
For every worn out mother who wonders what happened to her dreams, hold tight, hang on. There is time for everything. Between your time to be born and your time to die, you will have more than enough time to achieve, to make your mark, to create beauty, to excel.
But what you are doing now, in the midst of the messes and the piles and the impossibly long lists of things that must be done— this is your finest hour.
When you hold that infant to your breast… you are nourishing a human who will grow up knowing deep down that she matters, that he is loved, and not just by you, but by God Himself. When you hold those babies close, their hearts sinc to yours… and to His.
Because God says:
Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! Is 49v15 nlt
When you hold that little one’s hand because he is afraid, because he needs you, because holding onto your hand keeps him safe… you are giving him the deep down security that can only come to one who puts his whole trust in God.
Because God says:
See, I have written your name on My hand. Is. 49v16 nlt
When you do the hard work of discipline— again— and you think that’s all you are, just one big-mean-mama, you are planting within that child the ability to choose. To choose how to act, who to follow, what to do when life gets hard. You are giving him the gift of soul strength, of self-control. Of life.
Because God says:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 10v11 niv
For just a few short years of your life, you are assigned to fill in for God. You guide with His hands, you speak His words, you guide every child-paced step towards the path that leads to life. You open the door to introduce your child to a Father who welcomes them in.
This, dear mothers who need to know, is…
The time to love:
To embrace sweaty boys while they still hug long and close.
To plant seeds of future dreams by imagining with them what could be.
To laugh over silly jokes with no punch line.
To dance to tunes about building snowmans and being free.
To read stories and give piggyback rides and fix lunch and rummage in the messy closet for socks that match.
This, my dear mothers, is the time to find beauty in the faces right in front of you.
Right now, during these fleeting days of No Rush November, will you redefine your definition of perfection?
Will you choose to live at peace with the imperfection of your body, your abilities, your to-do list?
Will you decide to see that achieving is not the same as doing?
That, indeed you are— in these sometimes disorderly, discouraging, disheartening years— achieving more than you could possibly hope to achieve in all the rest of the days of your life?
May He give you eyes to see.
From my heart,
P.S. if your answer is YES! will you write it in the comments?
(Image by Abi Porter)