As I walk into my laundry room, pencil lines mark the time. We have measured each of my kids over their lifetime on the door. Some of the rough lines are over my head now. I gaze at the ones at my knees. Remember when?
My children are all growing up . . . little by little . . . day by day. The wall shows me the progress – the years are represented.
When they were little, people used to say, “Enjoy this time! It goes by so quickly!”
Somewhere between the dirty diapers and sleepless nights I heard “them”, but it seemed so impossible to revel in those days. For I don’t function well without sleep and I am more of a task-master than a lover of all. So motherhood with all of its daily challenges became more of a checklist of things to do than a season to enjoy.
As more children came, the minutes were swallowed up by the fleeting hours of the day. My to-do list became longer as they grew from toddler to child. We continued to mark their growth with pencil marks on the wall.
And now some of them beginning to drive. One of my children is just about to bloom into a woman. I spend my days driving all four from activities to classes and shuffling through the many needs each has. After all these years, I am only doing the best I can with this parenting job. I have certainly not arrived. I have learned to love more and be more patient. Is it enough?
But sooner than I think, our home will be an empty nest.
Yes, it has gone by . . . quickly.
“The days are long, but the years are short”, one wise woman told me once.
I can feel just the slightest feel of remorse and sadness, if I ponder these truths.
“Am I doing the best I can?”
“Have a cherished enough of the moments?”
“Did I miss too many working or in ministry?”
“Should I have . . . ? Could I have . . . ?”
Do any of you feel like this? I haven’t always gotten it right. I have been selfish and had my own agenda. I can look back and think of all the mistakes I have made.
But when I stop and ask God about it, He reminds me they are His children. I have been given them for a season. I will not be perfect, but I am who my children need. I feel more and more these days that parenting is really more about me growing to be more Christ-like than it ever was about raising them up in the first place. God’s got them in the palm of His hand.
For now, I will remember to appreciate the little things, like reading a book to my youngest two before bed. I was consistent with my first two, but with busy days my younger two haven't enjoyed this staple routine. I do know those are moments they will remember. Traditions passed from one generation to the next helps me gather memories, too, like our Advent of Books in December.
We have a new book coming out next Tuesday that will be great for both of these endeavors - A Royal Christmas to Remember.
My goal is to be able to look back and not feel guilt. I am the queen of “should haves” my husband says. However, I don’t want to “should” all over myself when my children are grown.
So today – with days I have left - I will take each thought . . . each “guilt thought” . . . every “not good enough” thought and ask the Lord His opinion. If I need to change, He will tell me. If I need to rest or let go, He will tell me. But in every moment, I want to enjoy.
Because the days are long, and the years are short!
What do you do to remember and make memories?
~Jeanna Young - When Jeanna is not writing, speaking, event planning, or homeschooling, she can be found scrapbooking her life, redecorating her home, loving on her husband, planning fun events for her kids or eating healthy to stay cancer-free!