Tag Archives: seasons of life

Watching Family Movies

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Shirley TempleLast year we asked our family to send our giant, unorganized box of hours of unedited family videos to a professional to have them put on DVD for us.  We told them, don’t worry about cute menus or putting them in order, we just want them in a form that we can watch.  No one has a VHS player anymore and even fewer no ones have an adapter for the mini cassettes that we used for years.  We hadn’t seen our kids’ baby videos for literally years!  We had forgotten about all the birthday parties and lost teeth and bedroom Karaoke performances.

So at Christmas time we received a large stack of burned DVDs labeled by year.  I was thrilled!  My daughters have been watching hours and hours of themselves as babies, memorizing every cute facial expression and infant squeal that they made.  It makes me wish I had video of myself as a toddler.

So last night we sat down as a family and watched a hour or so of random cuteness.  It made me realize two things:  Number one, my children really ARE as adorable as I think they are.  It was not a figment of my maternal bias to believe they were stinking cute.  And Number two:  I really DO have justification for being exhausted.  Just watching those videos made me tired all over again.  If it weren’t for having a cam-corder I wouldn’t remember hardly anything from those years of sleepless nights and multi-tasking days.  No wonder I’ve been tired for the last 16 years.

I am not yet to the stage where I am pining away for my babies.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be that kind of mother since I’m actually looking forward to the empty nest phase (don’t call me cruel).  For 16 years, I have dedicated myself, body and soul, to raising my kids well.  I am proud of the progress we are making, and I celebrate their milestones as they grow towards independence.  I know I’m going to enjoy them as adults too.  There is a season for everything:  a time to grow, a time to harvest; a time to shelter, a time to release into the world.  These are happy thoughts for me.  As one season ends, another begins.

Ecclesiastes 3

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Photo credit: Walter Lang, director; 20th Century Fox film. Screenshot by 808Starfire. / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/public_domain”>Public domain</a>

Letting go of Mommy Guilt

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One of my favorite scripture verses is Isaiah 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

For me, this verse speaks about seasons of life.  As a mom it’s really easy to pile guilt on myself because I’m not spiritual enough, or I’m not having my devotions on a consistent basis.  But frankly, the last time I was in the bathroom alone was probably last Tuesday, so I’m pretty sure that God understands that there’s not much time to myself in my day.  He sees that I crave quite time with him simply because the word “quiet” is in the phrase.  But quiet is not part of my reality at this phase in my life.  And he knows that.

So here’s what that verse says to me.  I am the sheep with young lambs.  God, being the Good Shepherd that his is, knows that he has to slow his pace to accommodate us Mommas who move only as fast as our youngest child.  He knows and he is tender and gentle with me.  He’s not demanding that I keep up a strenuous pace with the rest of the flock.  It’s OK if I lag behind with my toddler.  He’s walking with me… at my pace.

And he loves my little lambs too!  He holds them in his arms and hugs them close to his heart.  See that?  My little lambs are not a liability, not a hinderance, not a burden… my little lambs are close to His heart!!  So you see, God is the Good Shepherd.  He knows what we need at each phase in our life, and he’s not making demands that I can’t deliver.  He’s not putting a heavy burden on me, and he’s not guilting me for being in this phase of life.  He knows what’s going on with me, and he’s here to walk slowly with me as I care for my young.  He is the Good Shepherd.