Thursday, June 4, 2015

When Parenting Days Feel Long

As I bent down to pick up a yellow matchbox cement mixer from my flower bed tonight, the thought crashed into my head. 

It wasn't a brand new thought. Fairly elderly, actually. 
But it was a thought that seems so far from my reality that most days it doesn't stand a chance. 

This thought had been coming all week. I can see it now. 

I have a baby, my very last baby, celebrating his first birthday this month. It cannot be possible that this smile has lived with us for one year.

Also in our house is have a young teenager, who I have labeled my husband's this week, as I do when he is giving me grief. 
YOUR son did this, Dear.

We have one daughter who is becoming a young woman, another one leaving the single digits, another one who grew 2 feet in 2 weeks and another who just graduated preschool.

So my mind was all prepped for this crashing thought, this old but surprisingly new thought.

Life is short.

Really it is. Short.

Scripture compares it to a Breath. 
A Passing Shadow.
The Morning Fog.

I don't think about it like that very often. Maybe once in Never Ever.

Because my life doesn't FEEL short. Most days seem to drag on forever. And most seasons. Except for summer. And vacation. And Date Night. Those pass rather quickly. But most of it, it feels LONG. It seems like we have been running this Parenting Marathon for eons. And the finish line is nowhere in sight. 

But tonight, for a slight sliver in time, my life, OUR lives, seemed so short.

As I walked the yard contemplating how to get water to my garden beds, I noticed my snowball bush. Where were those happy white balls that sagged my bush low last month? There were only ghosts left hidden among the leaves and not a white pop of color to be found on the grass underneath. Nothing. And then, on closer look, I spotted the dirt-colored remnants shrived in the dirt.

Their lives were brief, over before we noticed they were gone.

I'm beginning to understand what a short life looks like.

But the beautiful thing is this: a short life is not a sad life. No no. A short life here means that we have another something good coming. Something so much better coming. The Better Life coming will cause my current life to look as lame and shriveled as those flowers in the dirt. 

There are good good things coming in the next life with Jesus.

It also settled something else in my heart tonight. If I only have a little short tiny Morning Fog of a life to live currently, then by George, I am going to pour pour POUR it out, right now and make the very most of this life. 

I will not let the long hard days sap my spirit. I will not whine and bemoan my troubles. I will take this short beautiful life and spend it on Jesus. Spend it all. And in this season, I will be spending most of it on the little people who live in our home and the bigger people who once were.

Yes, parenting is hard and the days can be long and rather inglorious. It can feel like we've lived a decade before lunch and bedtime would be welcomed at 5 pm.

But our lives are short and so are our troubles. 
And the Better Life is on the horizon.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

1 comment:

  1. You have such an amazing way with words! This was just what I needed to hear and so spot on. Life is so short and I want to remember to do the things that truly matter and stop complaining about the things that don't. Thanks for sharing.