Waging a War Against Time

I feel myself fighting against the clock, the flow, the unstoppable movement of life.  I am waging a war against time, raging against the busyness.

Somewhere along the road, people decided to glorify “busy”, “doing”, “accomplishing”, and “going”. The busier we are, the more important we are.  People must really need us, and we have a “life” because we have so much to do.  I’ve heard the phrase, “I’m sorry I have a LIFE!” used in really a sarcastic, degrading tone to belittle the person who isn’t as busy as the person who said it.

Ewing Family

We’ve found our significance and worth in being busy.  And if we’re not doing something, going somewhere, or planning our next adventure, then we are “lazy”, “losers”, “unaccomplished”, and “insignificant”.  These are ALL LIES! Lies that the devil uses to keep us moving, going, stressed out, unappreciative, complaining, anxious, and unsatisfied with ourselves.  Lies used to steal our joy, the joy that comes from being in the presence of the Almighty God, the author and perfecter of our faith, and the peace that comes from knowing we are a child of God.  Our title is not in what we are DOING, it is who we are BEING…co-heirs with Christ.

I realized a few years ago when Avery was 3-years-old that I was bringing most of the stress and busyness upon myself.  I was creating the havoc by always saying YES when people asked, always volunteering, always adding more to my plate, and not taking an evaluation of where my time was being spent. It was after my husband had a talk with me about how insanely chaotic the playroom was and that Avery had colored with markers all over her table.  It was a simple question of, “Are you even watching her during the day?”  I felt a brick hit me my upside my head and a soccer player kick me in the gut at the same time.  My answer was, “No.  No, I’m not watching her because even though I’m in the same room with her, my face is stuck in the computer editing all of these photography sessions that need to get done.”  God spoke to me and said, “What is more important, your job…or your child?”

mommy and avery

That was a no brainer.  I instantly made changes to my business to eliminate the majority of where my time was spent.  I decided to cut out all family and children sessions and focus solely on weddings.  Also, the editing would now be outsourced.  I’ve never regretted reading a book with my daughter over sitting behind a computer.  NEVER.

Those kind of changes were my decisions to make.  It was in my control to make more time for what is most important. The stress dissolved and I could be there mentally and emotionally more for my daughter than I could before.

However, there are “busy seasons” in life that are beyond my control.  Like the month of May.  Holy Cow!! No one warned me how ridiculously crazy, busy, time sucking, and wallet draining that the end of the school year can be.  Avery is only in preschool, and thankfully God is teaching me this now, that May will always be NUTS.

Teacher appreciation, Mother’s Day, petting zoo, field day, class parties, pre-k graduation, dance pictures, dress rehearsal, dance recital, Avery’s birthday…and 2 weddings to photograph.  My time is being stretched and so is the bank account.  Money for this, payments for that.  I think I wrote 5 checks ALONE just yesterday.  I don’t say this to complain, because I’m not ungrateful, but it’s just a reality check of life.  The majority of these things I cannot control, and should I choose not to show up and overextend myself, then I’m missing LIFE.  Avery loves for me to be there…and by God….I WANT to be there.

mommy and avery

This season of life is the good stuff.  My baby is about to graduation from Pre-K in less than a week and then have her 5th birthday party a few days later. I want to relish in these moments.  I don’t want to just “survive” and “get through them”.  I want to remember the details, the smiles, the kisses, the pigtails, the lace on her dress, blowing out the candles, her baby teeth, and the way she still wants to sit in my lap and hold my hand in front of her friends.

I’m fighting against the clock and the pressure that says “Go!”, “Hurry Up!”, “You still have so much to do!”  I’m screaming back at it in my head saying, “Look!”, “Slow down!”, “Laugh!”, “Cuddle!”, “Pay Attention!”.  Because when I pick her up from preschool on the last day, I want to  see her face, watch her climb into my car, and excitedly show me the sticker in her notebook.  I need to hear her talk about who won Bingo, and what crazy thing Mrs. Sue said that day, and listen to her yell “bye” to her friends in the parking lot.

avery and mommy

I don’t want to rush through it because we need to hurry home and finish the laundry before dance class.  I can’t let the pressure of what hasn’t been done yet drown out the blessings and joy God sends to me each day through my children.

Yes, this is a busy time of year.  But this is the only time my children will look the way they do, talk the way they talk, experience these moments in their lives, and I don’t want to capture it all just to post on Instagram, I NEED to take a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual snapshot for myself, so years down the road when she drives herself to the first day of school, or is too big to sit in my lap without it hurting, I can relive these moments, sounds, sights, smells, and feelings that are happening RIGHT NOW…in the busy season.

Ewing Sisters

Ephesians 5:11-17 (The Message)

11-16 “Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

17 Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”

 

Stop Teaching Our Children To “Be Good”

Parenting is THE toughest job in the entire universe.  I am quite positive we are keeping therapists, counselors, psychologists, and shrinks in business for years to come by the truck loads of “crap” we are dumping on our children.  Here we are, just a bunch of jacked up people trying our best not to jack up our kids.  And we do, because are human, and we fail.

BUT…there’s God.  Who graciously pours out his mercy and grace.  That amazing grace that we desperately need every day.  The grace that comforts us when we know we went too far and yelled at our preschooler for drawing on the table just because she wanted to surprise us with her picture.  The grace that whispers guidance to us when we aren’t sure how to love that really annoying pre-teen who acts just like our spouse.  And the grace that teaches us how to train our children in the ways of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” 

Avery

That’s the hard part. Being responsible for molding your child’s character is S-C-A-R-Y.  It’s scary because we don’t want to screw it up.  We want them to be upstanding, law-abiding, citizens who do good and give more than they take.  We don’t want to raise losers.  If we know Christ, and love Christ, and follow Christ, we also want them to know how to be a ‘good Christian’ too.  

We say: “Be good.  Make the right choices.  Follow the rules.  Listen to your teacher.  Do what I say.”

We teach: “Hey kids…if you’re a Christian, these things are mandatory!  God is not happy when you disobey.  That’s not what the bible says.  You gotta follow these rules and be good so you will go to heaven.”

There’s nothing wrong with teaching morals and good behavior.  Where we DO go wrong is teaching these standards without Jesus.  Jesus is everything.  He’s the missing link to what our children need.  He’s the foundation to the house.  He’s the roots to the tree.  Without him, everything falls apart eventually.

Avery

WHAT OUR CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW IS WITHOUT JESUS, THEY ARE NOT CAPABLE OF ANYTHING ELSE.  They need Jesus to help them.  If we focus so much on ‘being good’ to get rewards in life, we are teaching morality over Christianity, self-righteousness over God-dependence, and rule-following over relationship with Christ.  Don’t set your child up so that when they turn 25-years-old they realize all of their morality and good behavior got them no closer to Christ than the day they accepted Him as their Savior.

What now?  How do we change the way we are molding our children’s view of God and behavior?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9  “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 

Avery

1. START WITH YOURSELF

If you realize this is how you grew up and are still letting your moral code of conduct be the determining factor of your Christianity instead of the immediate need of a closer relationship with Christ…then change!  You can’t do it alone, you need Jesus.  Ask God for clarity on what is in your heart and let him transform you.  Ask him for wisdom and guidance on how to depend on him.  Repent of your self-righteousness and seek dependence on Christ.  You can’t teach your children something you don’t know.  He can change your perspective.  Your children will follow your lead.

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2.  TEACH THEM JESUS

Make God and Jesus real in your home.  Talk about them on a regular basis.  Show your children you can pray about anything by making it a common occurrence during the day.  If their finger hurts, stop and pray over it.  If they are scared, stop and pray.  When something wonderful happens, speak praise out loud to God.  Talk about how you can see God in nature.  Make the topic of Christ a normal thing.  The more you do it, the closer He seems AND is to your children. When we bring our children to Christ, they see who HE is and who they are in Him.  They will see how he LOVED others.  Jesus didn’t care about the “religious moral code” of “rights and wrong”, he cared about LOVE.

Avery

3. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE 

I’m definitely not telling you that teaching your children good behavior is wrong.  No, no, no…please do the world a favor and teach them manners, respect, and a solid moral code.  It’s important and necessary, but our efforts are futile if we don’t teach them LOVE.  God is LOVE.  God commands us to LOVE him, and LOVE others.  We can do all the good in the world, but without LOVE it’s useless.  Changing our language can cultivate a heart of LOVE instead of simply good behavior.  Instead of saying, “You made a bad choice when you hit your brother.”  You can say, “Were you being LOVING when you hit your brother?”  Instead of saying, “You shouldn’t lie to us. We are your parents!”  You can say, “It doesn’t make us feel LOVED when you lie to us.  God LOVES it when you tell the truth.”  Instead of saying, “I can’t believe you talked back to your teacher.  You have embarrassed us and now you have a bad conduct grade.  I guess you won’t be going to the movies this weekend.”  You can say, “We are really hurt that you treated your teacher with disrespect.  How do you think that made her feel when you said that?  Was it very LOVING or selfish and rude? Do you believe she saw Christ’s LOVE in you today?”

Are you catching the common denominator?  LOVE.  We need to impress on our children how important loving GOD and loving others is.  Just like in the scripture quoted above, we are to LOVE the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and might and love others like ourselves.  Then we are to teach these things to our children.  Are you focusing more on their behavior or their heart? On their reputation than their character?  When we teach our children to LOVE God, they will desire to follow his commands and the rest will follow.

Avery

4. CULTIVATE DEPENDENCE ON GOD

Oh, how we spend so many years teaching our children independence.  It nearly is the death of us trying to train our children to be responsible, independent adults.  The hours spent on potty training, eating with a fork, brushing teeth, putting away toys, to doing their homework, driving safely, and balancing a checkbook can make black hairs turn gray and thick hair fall out!! Yes, we invest our life into teaching independence.  BUT…how many of those hours are spent training our children to be DEPENDENT on God?  They cannot and will not be able to live up to our standards of good, moral behavior alone.  They will fail and feel like hopeless losers.  We cannot convince them that they are capable to accomplish these things out of their own discipline and strength.  They need Jesus.  We all need Jesus.  We are so desperately in need of his resources it’s not even funny.  Can we all just start agreeing now that we will teach our children that in CHRIST ALONE our hope is found?  Our salvation is found?  A life dependent on God for our very next breath is so much more full than a life of worldly success conjured up out of our own accomplishments.  Teach dependence…not independence.  That’s how we can help our children.

Avery

1 Corinthians 13: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast; but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

 

According to Avery

My first born, Avery (4.5), is so stinking hilarious.  I think she’s the funniest kid on the planet, but I’m her mom…I’m supposed to think that;)

Avery

Avery

Really though, the imagination that God has given her is above and beyond anything I’ve ever tried to conjure up even on my best day.  She LOVES to play dress up.  Always has.  If she doesn’t have the costume, she makes one from articles of clothing and props in the house.  Every day is play day.  Every hour she wants to pretend something.  Her mind creates these story lines and you have to participate, regardless if you want to or not.

Avery

Avery

Within a week’s time, she can dress up as many as 20 different characters.  She’s been Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Merida, Elsa, Mulan, Ariel, Mary Poppins, Little Orphan Annie, Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy, Ninja Turtle, a cheerleader, a monster, a bear, a dog, the pizza lady….

Avery

Avery

I can’t name them all.  And guess what I am?  The prince, the vilan, the witch, the bad guy…whatever she COMMANDS me to be:)

Avery

Avery

She says the craziest things, too.  They come out of nowhere and crack me up.  Her perspective on life is so unique.  Seeing the world the eyes of a child brings back the innocence that is lost when you grow up.  Start paying bills.  Lose jobs.  Lose loved ones.  Experience hurt.  Experience life.  Life ACCORDING TO AVERY seems so much more fun!

Avery

Avery

Here are some doozies from when she was only 2 years old:

*Me: “I hope you were nice to Alyssa when y’all played together. Did you hit her?”

Avery: “Nope.”

Me: “Are you telling me the truth?”

Avery: “Nope.”

*She passed gas and I said, “Avery…what was that? There’s a frog in your diaper!”  She said, “No, it’s a poot in my diaper”.

Avery

*When we were in the food court at the mall, she pooted. I said, “Avery, you shouldn’t poot in public.”  She told me, “No I didn’t poot in public, I poot in mall.”

*The other morning she was sitting in her high chair waiting on me to fix her breakfast, and said, “Uh oh mommy.  I smell poo-poo from my breaff”. First lesson on morning breath…learned.

Avery

*While holding her Cinderella princess doll, she kissed her and said, “I lubz (love) her.  That makes my heart all better.”

*I told her, “You’re so cute I could just eat you up!”  She replied, “No, you already had chicken nuggets!”

AVERY

*Every time I tell her, “You’re my sweet baby.” Her immediate response is, “No, I’m a princesssss!” (And she believes it, too!)

 *Michael over heard Avery introducing herself to some new friends at the beach with this killer intro… “My name is Avery.  I know how to tee tee in the potty.”

Avery

Fast forward to more recently at the age of four and life ACCORDING TO AVERY gets more interesting:

Avery

Avery

*Avery: “Why isn’t Maw (my mom) awake yet?”

Me: “She’s used to sleeping late. She doesn’t have kids to wake her up early every morning.” (said condescendingly)

Avery: “Well I can wake her up!” (As if she was doing her a favor)

Avery

AVery

 *”Mommy, I love Chucky Cheez-its”.

Avery

Avery

*”It’s ok to poot. As long as you say ‘Excuse Me’ bc it’s good manners. But don’t poot in front of other people. Like…don’t poot in their face or on their belly button bc it might go in their body and make them sick.” 

Avery

Avery

*Me: “Avery, how do you know daddy loves me?”

Avery: “Because you’re his wife! And he tells you he loves you by rubbing your booty.”

Avery

Avery

*Avery asked what Aloha meant. I told her that in Hawaii people say hello and goodbye using Aloha. She looked at me and said, “Helloha.”

Avery

avery

*Avery: “Mama, where’s that jar I put cookies in?”

Me: “I gave it to Goodwill”

Avery: “BUT I DONT WANT A WHALE TO HAVE IT!”

Avery

Avery

*On the way home Avery really had to go to the bathroom. I told Michael to stop on the side of the road. She protested in a terrified voice, “No! What if a stranger tries to take off my hair?! And makes me bald!?” Uhhhh…. 

Avery

Avery

*Through Avery’s crocodile tears about having to go into the dark bathroom all alone, she said she was “scared of monsters, strangers, and LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS.” Oh my!

Avery

Avery

*Avery: Mommy how old am I?

Me: You’re 4.

Avery: Ohhhh…when am I gonna be 5?

Me: May 22

Avery: (sounding disappointed) May 22 AGAIN??!!! What??!!!

Avery

Avery

* “I don’t like to sneeze. It makes me miss the TV.”

Avery

Avery

*”Are strangers nice when the sun is shining? Are they only bad at night? When we see a stranger, can I ask him to make cupcakes for my pool party next year?”

Avery

snowavery

*Chick-Fil-A forgot to give us ketchup. Liam (my sister’s boyfriend) drove across the street to Arby’s and runs in to get ketchup and I said, “Yaaay! Liam saved the day!” After realizing it was Arby’s sauce and having gone to the Wendy’s drive thru for…ketchup…Avery whispers to me, “Actually, Liam didn’t save the day”.

Isn’t she a mess??!! Art Linkletter was right, kids do say the darnest things.  She’s has some pretty interesting and insightful things to say about God and Jesus, too.

When looking at a full moon one night, she told us, “Me and Mommy and Daddy and Cotton can go live on the moon and see God and Jesus on Tuesdays.”

Avery

Every morning I always ask her if she dreamed about anything and what?  She always says “Yes…Jesus”.  The other day she told me, “Jesus talked to you (mommy) and told you to go make me some breakfast.”  Well….I can’t argue with Jesus!

Avery

While we were eating lunch in the mall’s food court, she sees a young college age boy with medium length hair…looks at me….and says, “Mommy, that’s God.”

Avery

Around Christmas time she was learning about Jesus, baby Jesus, and how it was his birthday.  She poked her belly out and told me, “I have baby Jesus in my bellll-yyyyy”.

Avery

*Avery: Are princesses real or are they people dressed up in costume?

Me: What do you think?

Avery: People dressed up.

Me: (hesitantly) You’re right.

Avery: (crying) No! I don’t like it. I want them to be real!

Me: You’re 4. It’s ok to believe they are real. Do you know who really IS a real princess ?

Avery: Me. Because God is my father and he is a king.

Avery 

*Recently Atlanta experienced “Snowmageddon” after a few inches of snowfall shut down the traffic.  People were stranded on the roads between 8-14 hours trying to commute a few miles home.  Children were left to sleep in school and babies had to stay at their daycares overnight.  I told Avery about it and she dropped to her knees and prayed “Jesus, please move the snow off the driveways so the mommies and daddies can get to their children.  Amen.”

Avery

According to Avery, God is accessible.

According to Avery, Jesus is real.

According to Avery, they are both the strongest men in the universe.  They see everything, know everything, and nothing is impossible with them.

According to Avery, when she prays, they listen.

According to Avery, Jesus died on the cross because he loves her.

According to Avery, if you ask Jesus into your heart you go to heaven.

She knows these truths because we have taught her.  God and Jesus are common words used in our home.  They are real people to her because we make them real.  She communicates with them regularly. She has a childlike faith that means believing without a doubt.  The kind of faith that a  child has when she’s standing on the edge of the diving board looking at her daddy waiting in the deep end and he says, “Jump! I’ve got you!”…she jumps because she trusts in her daddy.

When was the last time you prayed?  When was the last time you got on your knees put your forehead to the carpet?  When was the last time you stepped out into the deep waters because you knew your Father was there to catch you?

It’s not that hard, you know, to trust in God…according to Avery.

Luke 18:17  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Matthew 18:3  And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 71:5-6  For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

 

I Live For The Applause

“I live for the applause, applause, applause

I live for the applause-pause

Live for the applause-pause

Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me

The applause, applause, applause.”

Man.  I love that song.  Lady Gaga’s voice has been stuck in my head for a week now.  Every time I hear it the first thing I want to do is dance.  Or make up a killer routine.  (For those who don’t know me personally, I used to dance, cheer, and choreograph.)

Applause-5

The second thing I do when I hear that song is think about how I used to…

Live for the applause.

And still battle now not to…

Live for the applause.

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I like winning.  I like being the very best at anything I do.  Some people call that “being competitive.”  My dad called it “being an Armstrong.”  It was my life.  Win…or…well, that was the only option for me.

In school, I wanted to make straight A’s.  In cheerleading, I wanted to be better than I was the week before.  In track, I wanted to run faster.  In pageants, I wanted the crown.  I wasn’t a cut-throat competitor whom everyone hated (I think!), but I liked the applause.  It gave me joy.  It gave me worth.

Applause-3

Fast forward to college graduation.  School was over, cheerleading was over…marriage was beginning and so was a new job. Without me realizing it was happening, my sources of joy, praise, and worth were vanishing.  There was no one to clap for me or for my accomplishments.

My job consisted of office work.  Not very glamourous.  No one gets a trophy for filing papers and doing inventory.

My role as a wife consisted of household chores and cooking dinners.  I never remember Michael coming home and crowning me “Queen of the Dirty Clothes” because I totally rocked that laundry.

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Where were my “thank you’s”, “you are so great at that”, or “no one else can do that job like you, Paige!” ???

Yea, NOWHERE! That’s because I was in the real world doing what I was EXPECTED TO DO.  I lived for the applause.  I wanted the applause.  I was used to the applause.  There was no applause and I was searching for a source.

Something changed.  Something in my heart and spirit got turned upside down, and Jesus showed me where my true intentions were.  I wasn’t doing my daily tasks with joy and thanksgiving simply because it was HONORING CHRIST, I only did them in hopes someone would notice and thank me for it.  If nobody noticed, I felt the urge to tell them.  (like for real…WHO CARES???!!!)

Applause

It’s truth found in scripture like these verses below that I had to ingrain into my mind, and let them transform my heart, which allowed my actions to be pure and honorable, without ulterior motives.

Galatians 1:10 
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
 
John 12:43
For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
 
Colossians 3:23 
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
 
Romans 12:1-2 
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 
John 5:44 
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
 
1 Corinthians 10:31 
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So whatever you DO…whether it’s file papers, sweep floors, wipe down countertops, fold clothes, cook dinner, change diapers, scrub toilets, take out the trash…DO IT ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD.
Applause-6
I realized that if I only did something because I was hoping to get a THANK YOU out of it, I was doing it for the wrong reason.
Now, I have to remind myself when I’m picking up toys to do it because God has given me this blessing, and it is mine to take care of.  To whom much has been given, much is required.
Applause-7
I look to Christ for my source of JOY and WORTH because you know what, I am his daughter, and that makes me ROYALTY.  It wasn’t until I knew WHO I WAS IN CHRIST that I handed over the fight to prove WHO I WAS TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Are You Wishing Away What Someone Else Is Missing?

Two kids.  Two blessings.  Two girls.  One is 4.5 and the baby is 9 months.  I love them both, so so much.  I would’t trade the world for them.  

However, I have moments.  Moments that aren’t my most glorious moments.  Times when I’m at my lowest, worn out, running on fumes, frustrated kind of moments. These are the times when I WISH for things to be easier.  I wish for things to hurry up and move along.  I wish I wasn’t in this SEASON of life right now.  These wishes come into my mind…I speak them out of aggravation…and then they leave and I return to the thankful mother I am.

BATHTIME

My friend Tracy is in a different SEASON of life.  Two kids.  Two blessings.  A daughter and a son.  One is 20 and the baby is 17:)  She wouldn’t trade the world for them. 

However, she has these moments.  Moments of a longing, a missing, for something that once was.  Times when the house is quiet, lonely, peaceful kind of moments.  These are the times when she MISSES what used to be there.  She misses the little hand prints on the window, and she longs to go back to the season THAT I AM IN NOW…the season I want to rush through.  To wish through.  

BATHTIME-55

No matter where you are in life as a mother right now, listen to our hearts and see what God is telling you.

I wish I could get a full night’s sleep without anyone waking me up.

I miss when they would “sneak” into my room at night and climb into bed beside me.

I wish I could sleep in until 8 a.m.

I miss that early morning “MA-MA-MA-MA” when they were learning to call for me once they woke up… and then seeing them light up and get so excited and hold out their arms for me as I came in their room.

I wish Charlotte would just walk so I don’t have to hold her all of the time.

I miss how they would hold up their arms wanting me to pick them up and hold them. I miss how she would say “hold chu , hold chu”  meaning “hold you” because we would say “do you want me to ‘hold you’??” 

Charlotte at 5months

I wish I could just hop in the car and go without packing a diaper bag, food, and snacks.

I miss driving them everywhere. The best conversations always happened in the car. And I miss singing with them to “their music” and watching them laugh at me.

I wish the girls would take longer naps so I could get more done around the house.

I miss sitting in that big tree in the backyard with her singing and telling stories for hours and hours.

Charlotte

I wish I could wear cute clothes without spit up or snot on them.

I miss dressing up and having elaborate tea parties.

I wish I could go to the bathroom without an audience.  Or holding a child.

I miss being able to hold them on my hip or on my shoulders.

I wish when I sat down at the computer I could get an email completed before little hands tried typing everything for me.

I miss holding their hands.

Mommy with girls

I wish my house wasn’t such a wreck half of the time.

I miss the days of playing trains and construction site and cars for hour and hours and hours.

I wish I could get a pedicure.  It’s been MONTHS… (9 months to be exact)

I miss those tiny little feet and hands and those “squishy” little legs… oh my sweetness.

charlottepraying

I wish Avery didn’t scream across the house for me because she’s out of milk.

I miss hearing him say “I Wuv you” or “Can I have Wunch”  … we had to work on those “L” words… but oh so cute.

I wish bedtime didn’t take so long.

I miss telling stories, reading books and saying prayers together when I put them to bed. I miss laying with them in bed as they fall asleep.

I wish I could just lie on the couch, watch a grown-up show in its entirety, and eat a snack without sharing.

I miss Disney movies and cuddling on the couch.

sleepingavery

(Update on February 6, 2014: I failed to recognize the women with mother’s hearts who have not been able to have children, or have lost a child. Every aspect of having children, the good and EVEN the bad, some women will never experience. Count it ALL joy, dear mommas.)

A note from Tracy:

As I thought about the days of “I wish” and my days now of ” I miss”, it made me think about the days of “I am so excited for”.  There is a season and time for everything, and they are all perfect and beautiful. We need to relish in the moments of “now”, the present time. Take it in. Enjoy each and every piece of it…good, bad, difficult, tiring, fun… all of it. For there will never be a time like NOW.  I starting thanking God for all my “I miss…” days  instead of missing them and wanting them back.

What a blessing to have all those memories and so many more. What a blessing I have to enjoy today, this day that I have and this season that I am in. What a blessing I have to think about what is yet to come. There is so much to be excited for and look forward to. So I need to not hang on to the past, or wish away today but enjoy the moment.  Each season and time of life that we are in is beautiful and wonderful in its own way.

BATHTIME

And I know that God has been and is and will be with me through each season, each step of the way and everyday helping me, strengthening me , equipping me and preparing me for all of it. He is the one constant that I hang on to.  Enjoy today , the now , the present.  Be thankful for the past. Look forward to what is yet to come. There is a time for everything.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and  a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace… He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11