I’m sitting at my computer right now, blank August calendar (the paper one that hangs on the wall in the kitchen) in my lap, ready to start filling in all those things that will make up our lives over the next 24 days.
The reason it is still blank after we’re already 7 days into the month is two-fold. One: Matthew, Samuel, Snickers & I went to visit my parents last week and were gone until yesterday. Brad stayed here to hold down the fort and go to work while Peter was at church camp. Two: I don’t really want to face the reality that this week and the next are our last two weeks of summer vacation. In fact, I’m not even willing to face the end of last week and the beginning of the next.
I’m trying to live in the moment, trying not to get depressed at the thought of all we have to do this week and next – but the Sunday night blues are hitting me hard. I’m facing mounds of laundry, the end of swimming lessons, the beginning of Martial Arts, back-to-school clothes and shoes shopping, haircuts…you know the drill. All the time trying not to think about what this school year will hold. How will Matthew do in Special Ed this year? Will he have a better year than the last? Will Samuel like Kindergarten, and will I cry as hard as everyone tells me when I take him that first day? This is Peter’s last year of Elementary School. Will he enjoy being the big fish or will the teachers push them too hard to prepare them for Middle School? And the really big question in my mind – what am I going to do now that all 3 kids are in school? Do I look for a “real job” to pass the time? Am I expected to be up at school all the time? I’ve heard the hours they are in school just evaporate with all we have to do as moms and I expect that to be true. And yet, I feel an unspoken pressure to “finally do something with my life”.
It’s enough to make me want to crawl back under my covers and cry.
Then, just waiting to speak to the depths of my heart, was this blog entry. In case you don’t have time to read it right now, let me give you an excerpt:
Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death. (Author: Rachel Jankovic)
Oh how desperately I needed to hear that. My time isn’t being wasted on my children. It’s the reason God gave me time. And every day I choose to lay down my life in favor of the calling God gave me is a successful day. It doesn’t mean I can’t do something that brings in extra income during those hours, or spend that time doing something non-kid-related. But it does mean that when 3pm comes, my children will have my full and undivided attention. Because my job is not over yet, and our time together – the time I have to influence them – is about to go from 24/7 to just a portion of the day. And after a full day at school, they will each have so much to tell me. They will each need time alone with me to unload their hearts, to bounce off ideas, to process things. I want to be ready to give them that, to give them myself. Because for reasons I cannot fully comprehend, God chose ME to be their mother and BRAD to be their father. And for a very short time, we are still the most important people in their lives. Eventually – sooner than we like – that is going to change. But while it lasts, I want to pour everything I have into them.