Originally published Wednesday, 20 August 2014.
I’m an empty nester.
Ok not quite.
But I am the mother of four school age girls.
5th grade, 2nd grade and 2 kindergarteners.
I am not sure when this happened but there is a tiny person inside of my head dancing in circles and chanting, “We made it! We survived!”
Yes, I’m exaggerating…
But nonetheless, it is a new day!
It’s a day I’ve literally dreamt about—An empty house for several straight hours, five days a week!
Now before you judge me…I love my kids!! I love the messy, crazy, fun life that they give me! I have cherished our “pre”-school days together. I love waking up and changing into a different pair of pajamas (our daytime ones of course), sharing chicken nuggets and goldfish for lunch and taking long walks to nowhere around the neighborhood. I’m grateful and amazed that God gave me the front row seat to their lives. I have cherished and will continue to cherish this undeserved journey called motherhood.
But today, this new day, I find myself entering into a new season of that journey, and I am realizing it is a little different than I thought.
All these years, I thought today would finally be about me. School days would give me the time I need to run errands freely, nurture old friendships, grocery shop with just a single seat cart and sneak in a manicure while sipping on my favorite coffee.
Well, as I walked each of my girls to their new classroom and watched them sit in their little desks, it struck me that them being in school now does not mean that any part of my job is complete. This is still just beginning.
The bodies that fill those tiny seats have a purpose and a job much bigger than learning subject-verb agreement. There is no doubt in my mind that they can master that with little help from me, but there is an assignment from the Lord that I cannot shake; a passion that I must pursue.
It starts with this question: Are my girls prepared to be the hands, feet and heart of Christ—when I’m not there to cheer them on and lead the way?
I, we, raise our kids to send them into worlds that we do not control.
So, in this season, in every season, I am asking myself if I have prepared them not just for today, but for tomorrow.
I will pick them up from school today and as they empty their lunch boxes and debrief me on their day, I will have the opportunity and gift to listen, advise, encourage, correct and comfort. What an opportunity!
Though I will enjoy my quiet hours in the middle of the day and relish a bit in my new found freedom, my focus remains singular and my heart steadfast. Here are a few of the thoughts that I have been churning that are making their way in my prayer life as I realize my need to take advantage of every moment I have with my girls:
- Does the evidence of Christ speak so loudly in my life that it has forever affected the way my children view the world without Him?
- It’s not a cliché, children are the future. Not just the future presidents and public figures. But they are the future servants, called to reach the ends of the earth for the sake of Christ. Do my children know that?
- I want to raise girls that are willing and ready to walk boldly even when they walk alone. But, am I taking the first step? Am I leading the way?
Today, I pray that as my seasons change, the silence of my house will be drowned out by the resounding voice of Christ and that I will live passionately and lead boldly while holding the little hands of a big future.