By contributing writer, Amy
It happened. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but it did. My daughter turned fifteen (and a half), and now she’s driving me everywhere we go.
On top of that, my older son just finished up his first year of college. Seriously. And please bring up the fact that my younger son will be entering the ranks of “teenager” in a few months. Let’s not go there.
Now, I might be wrong, but I could have sworn that just yesterday my kids were little bitty. They were doing things like eating mulch, putting their shoes on the wrong feet, and crying when water got in their eyes at bath time.
I blinked, and the years just disappeared.
It’s funny how life is like that. Sometimes the exhausting days and difficult seasons seem to drag on and on, but in the big picture, time is going by at lightening speed. Unfortunately, we don’t usually realize it until the moment has passed and the window of opportunity has closed.
Life with kids is sort of like flying in an airplane. When you’re in the middle of flight, you feel like you’re moving at a snail’s pace. Looking down, the land below seems like it’s slowly creeping by, rather than zipping by at a frightening speed.
Then, all of a sudden, you realize you’ve made it across the entire country in a matter of hours. You must have been traveling much faster than you knew.
Similarly, when you’re pacing the floors with a screaming baby, or wishing your preschooler would stay in bed for one full night, or arguing the same issue with the same kid over and over again, you feel like the days (and nights) are never, ever going to end.
It’s not until later – sometimes years later – that you realize each phase of childhood and season of difficulty lasts for only a moment. In the scope of life, these days go by faster that you could even imagine.
Now, I’m not going to tell you to “enjoy these times” of fussy nights, toddler tantrums, disobedient attitudes, impossible homework, and painful arguments. None of us enjoy that stuff!
But I will tell you (and me!) to make the best use of this time. It is fleeting.
We won’t look back and wish for more of the hard stuff, but we will look back and long to smile more, hug more, encourage more. We will wish for more Bible stories, more confession of sin, more forgiveness offered.
We will wish we had spent more time investing in the things that matter and less time worrying about the things that don’t.
Don’t waste your time.
One day, you will be standing in my shoes. It might not seem like it now, but that day will be here before you know it, and long before you expect it. Don’t waste these growing years, no matter how painful and exhausting they may be.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Regardless of the season of life and parenting you happen to be in, live intentionally right where you are. Take some time to create a family mission statement. (I regret now that we never did this.) Think about the lessons you want to teach your kids.
Most of all, teach them about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if your children are closer to being five months young or fifteen years old, the way to make the best use of your time today is by living the gospel before your little ones (or big ones).
Really, that’s what this journey is all about.
Where are you in your journey of motherhood? We would love to hear in the comment.
By the way, don’t miss Leigh Ann’s eBook, Live for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning. She will teach you how to make a plan for your life as you seek Him above all things.