The years seem to go faster and faster now. Everyone says that. But it's weird when it's actually happening. The phrase that keeps surfacing in my mind is, "The days are long, but the years are short." How true that is with young children. I look into my little boy's root beer brown eyes and gently stroke his sweet soft skin while reading him his bedtime story and I feel as though he will always be this way. I lay Jack down on the floor to tickle his belly and take snapshots in my mind of little teeth popping out of a wide, joyous smile. I feel the moments so deeply that they seem as though they will always be. Just like this.
Every now and then when I catch a breath I will look back through old photos. And by old, I mean a year or two ago. I am amazed that, the little boys were once little tiny babies. That realization comes with a multitude of opposites. I feel them all; both long and short in time, high and low in emotion, and hard and easy in labor. I think God made it like that. I never remember things that are just short or just easy. I really want to remember this.
Some days I get caught up in wanting to join back in the rat race. I want to go back to school. I want to start working again. I want to contribute more (monetarily anyway). I look around at the culture's standards and I feel like I do not have much to hold in my hands. I strive to find ways to better our family. I think this is a pretty natural desire, aside from the "keeping up with Jones'". I want to help provide for my little family. I want them to be able to go to college one day. I want them to have the things they need.
And yet, they are more than provided for by our heavenly father. I believe he uses both Dan and I as a tool or an instrument of His love, if we are willing to allow it to flow through us. Even when we are tired or have had enough of the struggle of the wills and the bargaining with the three-year-old. Even when we feel defeated and feel that we are not meeting needs. Even when we just want some time to ourselves, to do things we used to do, to be able to have an adult conversation uninterrupted. What things we used to take for granted! But even when we don't feel like it, if we will allow His spirit to dwell in us and in our home and flow through our actions, he always blesses us in unexpected ways.
"I just get this feeling that God is really pleased with you." -anonymous lady at church.
That was what I needed to hear. I think that God knew that I needed to hear the words. If but uttered from an acquaintance, still a sister. I just want to know that what I am doing is good. That someone is pleased with me, most significantly God. That he shows favor toward me because of my actions and sacrifices. I think my love language is "words of affirmation". I would do the work of raising children all day everyday without a single word of encouragement, but sometimes it is nice to hear the words and feel them in my heart. It keeps me going when things get tough.
There ought to be an Oscar's for the Mothers and Fathers in the world. My guess is that a lot of other Moms would love to hear a little encouragement once in awhile. Then I think about those root beer brown and denim blue eyes gazing back at me and the far off sound of little voices and laughter drifts in and I am reminded of the great honor and responsibility before me. I return to my children with renewed joy and enthusiasm for the crafting and celebration of their sweet spirits. They are my reward indeed, for as long as I live. Thank you Lord.