Dear me, "the next stage of life will be just as beautiful as this one, perhaps more so."

Dear Me,

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You are a mother whose children are growing older. Somehow, you’ve blinked and the babies of yesterday are elementary school children of today. You’ve noticed how quickly things went from diapers and naps to backpacks and piano lessons, and identifying this has brought you much grief. Because you recognize how quickly the next transition will happen, the life change that will bring girlfriends and curfew, high school and college. And you aren’t ready for that. More - you don’t want that. You love your little boys and you want them to stay little forever. You cherish this time of after school snacks and bedtime stories. This period of life is golden and so very holy.

Thinking about how time is growing short makes you anxious and sad. It makes you more controlling of your children and demanding of yourself. You want to ensure that every school break, every vacation, every special Saturday lives up to the fullest potential of quality family time and memories. And sometimes, those high expectations are a disaster. Someone throws a fit at a special dinner. A day off is ruined by a bad attitude. Fever happens at Legoland on someone’s birthday, and the magical, marvelous plans you have don’t come true.

Then, there’s the guilt. Guilt on a weekend when you really just want to binge watch The Crown. Guilt when you do not have the patience for another game of Monopoly. Guilt when a work obligation happens and the kids end up in extended childcare. Guilt that you aren’t making enough of the time given to you, even though you are utterly exhausted.

Dear me, may you trust that there is not the scarcity of time that you imagine. That there is an abundance of moments to soak up the beauty this life has to offer. And in that abundance there is also time for you to take time to yourself. To just be. To not be productive. To not play games or entertain. But to rest and be still in God’s time.

Dear me, may you trust that the next stage of life will be just as beautiful as this one, perhaps more so. That the grace of God is at work in the journey of parenting teenage boys too. That there will be great adventures and deep conversations and growth in maturity and relationship. Be thankful for this time, but do not be afraid of the wonders God has in store for the next stage of your life.

Take care of yourself,

Me