Don’t Miss It
Don’t miss it. Easier said than done. There are days I wish I could miss it. Days when my sweet babies, my most precious God-given possessions, do nothing but frustrate, irritate and drive me up the wall, or at least to a locked bathroom. And let’s be real, us momma’s know that it’s a matter of seconds before someone is sticking their little fingers under the door asking what we’re doing. It’s funny how you can love something so much, but at the same time want to scream into a pillow and hope the neighbors won’t hear.
How’s that saying go? The days are long but the years are short? Huh. Year one was short, no doubt, but so far the following years, the ones full of diapers and tantrums and potty training and homework, these years are creeping by, leaving gray hairs and an affinity for yoga pants in their wake. As I find myself wishing the days away, I can’t help but think this isn’t quite what God had in mind.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” A gift from the Lord. How often do we forget that our babies are a gift straight from God? How many times do we find ourselves in the midst of yet another meltdown (theirs or ours- let’s be real) completely forgetting that these little people are not only a gift from our Father, but made in His image- not to someday reflect Him, but an image barer right now, today?
Psalm 90:12 goes on to say “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” One commentator puts it this way: “But the sense is this, that God would teach us to seriously meditate on, and consider of, the shortness of our days.” You might read that, as I once did, and think of yourself, your own life, but as a parent I can’t help but think it applies to the time I have raising my kids. Our days with our kids are numbered, no doubt. The statistic is staggering: the average parent, from birth to high school graduation, has 1,000 weeks with their child. Does that sound like a lifetime to you? Based on how your day is going, it just might. For me, it’s sobering. My oldest is 10, which means I have less than 378 weeks left with her in my home. 534 weeks left with my eight year old and 683 weeks with my kindergartener. That’s not a lot of time.
So what now? Time is obviously running out. How do I make every single moment count and keep my sanity? I don’t. You don’t either. But we might need to shift our thinking a little. The world tells us that anything difficult with our kids is just a phase that we need to grin and bear- just make it through. It may be true that it’s just a phase, but what if we decided we actually didn’t want to miss it? What would that look like? Simply put, it looks like showing up, week in and week out, through every phase, the good, the bad and the ugly. I won’t know tomorrow how playing basketball with my son or talking my daughter through her anger will shape their futures, but I do know both of those things are equally important. The most significant gift we can give our kids is our time. Not in an all-consuming, center of the universe sort of way, but in a learning who your child is in their current phase of life and who God has wired them to be, sort of way.
Even if you’ve missed it until now, been too overwhelmed with this crazy, difficult ride called parenthood, it’s not too late. It’s never too late. Lamentations 3:22 tells us that His mercies are new every morning. Start now. Lean on the Lord. Embrace the phase your child is in today, it won’t be this way for long and I’d wager that the good outweighs the bad, you just might have to look past the toddler screaming on floor to see it.
For some ideas on how to make everyday moments with your kids have a lasting impact, come back next week!