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Posts Tagged ‘joyful mothering’

Joel and William

Joel and William

It’s hard to believe my youngest will be turning four in two months—he’s growing up so fast. In the midst of the busyness of raising children, it’s difficult to imagine a time when there aren’t little ones about, but now I find it’s just around the corner.

It’s been my goal for these sixteen years of childrearing to treasure the time with my children. I’ve often failed in this. There have been seasons when my focus has been elsewhere. But God has been faithful to remind me that the time is short with my children, and to draw my heart back to delighting in the simple joys of mothering.

During this time of raising children, I’ve experienced more pain and more joy than I ever thought possible—and if I had the choice I’d do it all over again.

This is life—raw and uncontained—where I’ve discovered the depths of love in a thousand acts of devotion, from a droopy sunflower handed to me from a chubby fist to heart-shaped cards found hidden in my suitcase while away from home.

Were the sleepless nights worth it? Yes! Or the horrifyingly embarrassing moments when my children have vomited in restaurants or knocked over shopping carts? Yes—worth it even then.

Tonight we went out for Chinese food and several times my three-year-old, Joel, had us all laughing. At one point he belted out, “I need champagne!” (He meant chow mein.) After our meal he was handed his very first fortune cookie. Everyone was reading their fortunes when one of my sons asked Joel where his fortune paper was. “I guess I eated it,” was Joel’s solemn reply. I’m afraid I laughed long and hard at his deep sigh. (His big sister soon made it all better by giving him her fortune.)

I’ll miss having a three-year-old around! It’s always at this point—when my youngest is two or three—that I start begging my husband for another baby. But I promised I wouldn’t ask him again, and I am content with my six wild and wonderful children…but I’ll still miss having a little one to make me laugh.

I’m enjoying every stage—teaching my six-year-old to read, being startled when my eleven-year-olds jump out of dark closets to make me scream, watching my thirteen-year-old blossom in her first part-time job, learning chemistry along with my fifteen-year-old—but I’ll never have another one, two or three-year-old again.

And so here I am—making a recommitment to…cherish the moment.

 

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My perspective has changed. It wasn’t very long ago that I felt the pangs of loneliness while life seemed to race past me. I loved my children. I wanted to be at home with them, but it seemed rather dull. At one point, I had four children under five and the dirty diapers, well, they really just seemed endless.

Life is still racing past, but it’s not the world outside these walls that I’m yearning for. The ache inside me is from the realization that my children are growing, changing and one day leaving. Time is short and oh so precious.

And as for diapers… I love changing little bums now! I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I find little as funny as a baby grunting, his little nose flared, eyes watering as he poops. Taking that yucky mess, and making that plump little bottom fresh and clean again is joy. I always take a minute or two to tickle the ball-like belly, or play “This Little Piggy” with tiny toes. Diaper changes are those perfect little play times built into my day.

I must be crazy, who in their right mind writes sentimentally about poop? But if this is madness then it’s enviable, finding delight… in the simple things of life.

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