I’ve had some thoughts rolling around for awhile, and yet when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), they do not flow out cohesively. I am hoping that today they have found a way to flow with the ease of a river racing to its conclusion.
The oldest became an official solo driver on Sunday. It was a bittersweet moment. I’m excited for him to continue his journey toward adulthood, but it is also a symbol that he is no longer completely mine. He is not the little boy I carried on my hip or the one who pressed against my stomach so I would rub his back when he lived in my womb. He is not the inquisitive toddler asking me how the world works or the young grade schooler posing deep thoughts such as “What if we are all just a part of someone’s dream?” Nor is he the middle schooler trying to make sense of his first experiences with death.
He is not that and yet he is all that.
I stood in our front yard, smiling and taking pictures as he pulled down the driveway. Waving as he pulled away to go meet his friends. My heart catching in my throat as I turned to go inside. And while I tried to will them away, the tears brimmed over. Happy tears, sad tears, all mixed together and flowing from this overwhelming place in my soul.
Isn’t that what spring brings?
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. -Socrates
I have spent some time reflecting on this time of change. And as he seems to do, God has brought some reminders of his word to me through the words of others. A few days later I would read this post. There is so much truth to the words that would seep into every part of my being:
Motherhood is a slow release.
Those words convicted and those words rang so true. I just want to hold on to my children a little tighter. To have them still be completely mine. I only share some details of their life on here because I do recognize that what once felt like ownership, now feels like companionship. I get to walk beside them, still teaching and correcting, but their story belongs to them and is theirs alone to share. The message of “falling in love with what is instead of mourning what was” was a gentle reminder to my heart.
Watching them change and grow is a marvelous privilege.
I am learning daily about the slow release.
I also get a daily devotion emailed from Proverbs 31 ministries.
Tuesday’s message struck me because she talks about seeing beauty in the bedlam (when I saw that word used, I knew to perk up and listen) and seeing the marvelous in the mundane. A lot of my journey this year has been about learning to do that.
Cleaning house, doing dishes, and laundry is about as mundane as I can wrap my head around. I am not a good housekeeper (one of my next reads will hopefully help out with that) which is why I was really hoping to implement more minimalism into our life. Baby steps, baby steps… I finished reading one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp and am reminded:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord not for men. -Colossians 3:23
It is so much easier said than done. I am trying to pluck out a grain of truth wherever I find it. I am trying to offer a servant heart to these children who take so much out of me. At the same time, am trying to make my house a home. And I am trying to let my light shine even in the parts of the day where I feel most inadequate.
Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. -Isaiah 58:10
Last night I finally was able to go and stand where I spent so many winter days watching the sunset. Seeking beauty every day. Seeking something to hold on to through the gray. The pictures are winter and spring. From barren to growth. I’ve watched spring unfolding, watched my story unfolding. I also read a great post this week about telling our stories. About how they matter. Planting a seed. If a little piece of my story is meant to reach just one, as long as I’ve told it, then I’ve been faithful to do my part.
I love music and the song I’m obsessed with lately is Lukas Graham’s 7 years. It has so many lines that resonate with me. Aging, love of family, people who really know you and have been around through it all with you, children. Plus the flow of it just draws me in.
The line that makes a knot in my throat each time I hear it is:
I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month.
Change is always happening. My children are growing toward independence. My heart both swells and breaks at the same time during this journey. I love my children fiercely. I was raised with a love for family above all and can only hope that God’s mercy will fill in the gaps for my failures and they will always want to find their way back to see me.
Let your light shine!