Saturday, September 13, 2008

Grateful for my age and stage..

 As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be any stage of life that has been more challenging than the life of a mother of young children.  Of course, I haven't been through death of a spouse or child.  I haven't been tortured in a prison camp, and I haven't lived through aging parents.  So, as you can see, my experience if very limited.  I'm only 40.  (almost 40)

Actually, I'm really 25.  Did you know that?  When I was like 25-28, I felt about 40, or what I thought that should feel like.  So, since I didn't feel 25 at 25, I'm actually getting to do it now.  That's great.  But what was it that made me feel so old, out-of-steam, hung-out-on-a-line.. at  25?!!  

I wasn't out doing drugs or living in an immoral way.

 I was happily married and having babies--trying to do all that God had for me.  Even though I was in the will of God, life was still VERY hard.  Being pregnant often and raising the older (toddlers and preschoolers) children, was and always will be EXHAUSTing.  Life was one task after another, after another, after another.  

The chore list never ended; there were no real breaks.  The bottom line is: it is just hard.  

So, I learned some lessons. 

 1) Just because something is hard does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong.  

2) Conquer one day at a time.  God promises grace for today.  Try not to be thinking too long term about everything--especially if those thoughts are overwhelming.

3) Life has stages.  Time is hard thing for people to grasp their hands on--especially when they are young.  (And I still consider myself to be young!)  But time DOES pass, and there are other things God wants you to do BEYOND this stage.  

4) Try to get the "main gist" of what God wants you to be doing at this phase of your life, rather than focusing on all the things you can't do.  

I was having a conversation with a friend who is trying to teach four children to read right now.  All of them are having visual and reading problems.  One of the triplets (yes triplets) has dyslexia, and the other two have other issues.   Wow.  I mean Wow.  Talk about hard!

Another friend has five children and the oldest is first grade!  

Some moms have 9 children! or even 10!  

I'm not giving you examples to make anyone feel guilty.  I feel guilty myself.  I basically had four normal, healthy, on-schedule learners with no side issues, and I still felt overwhelmed a lot of the time.  

For now, God has brought me to a "time of rest" compared the first stage of when my older kids were little.  I still have a 3 year old.  I'm still raising teenagers.  I still have to do a lot of planning, but I'm starting to see some of the fruit of my labor.  That's a good thing.  That in itself makes 40 feel like 25.   For those 25 year olds who feel very OLD, chin up.  The harvest is coming. 


Anonymous said...

I get what you're saying. I only have two little ones - ages 4 and 2. Honestly though I don't feel like it's all that hard. Hope I don't jinx myself for saying that.

I also feel like I do get breaks. I think that's essential. No one likes a martyr, right? That's what I think of when I think of people who *never* get a break from their kids.

I totally get what you're saying though. I guess this is what God wants me to do right now though I'm not especially religious, I am extremely grateful for this life and thank Him daily for what I have. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes you wonder what the point is but I always tell myslef He has a reason, even though it is not always easy to see.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely, encouraging post!!! I'm sick and so tired right now (from being in my first trimester of my fourth pregnancy), so it was very nice to hear.

Jennifer said...

Hey! I've been lurking here for a while...and I know you (remember me?!)! Thank you for the encouragement! With our 3 (Elisha, 3; Abigail, 2; and Shiloh, 9 months), there is never a break! We started "school" this year (only about 2 hours of Bible/verses/reading/crafts), and I am worried that it will get harder as they get older! I needed to read your post!

Jennifer Ott

Anonymous said...

They say life begins at 40. For me, it took until 44 and the last of seven babies turned 3, but life did eventually get easier physically. Here I am almost 58 and down to just two kids left at home with lots of time to do "good stuff" beyond changing diapers and cleaning up messes. (Well, there are still some messes, but they're usually made by the pets or else not too ghastly). My father used to say, "Always remember...'this too shall pass,'" or as it says in the Bible, "And it came to pass." It didn't stay, it passed. Three toddlers was the hardest for me, but I've discovered that every stage of life has its challenges and blessings. We have to remember what we're in this for: ourselves or our Lord?! If we're in it for the Lord (and I hope we all are), then our job is to be faithful, thankful, and rejoicing as a "sacrifice of praise." The personal rewards come, but the greatest reward is the sense that we are doing what we're supposed to be doing for the glory of God despite the difficulty! Heaven will be heavenly, but we're not there yet!