"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
I was feeling very sacrificial and smug the other day when I dropped my own agenda and asked my youngest daughter if she wanted to snuggle and read with me. Fully anticipating a joyous smile of acceptance on her face in response to my request, I was shocked when she said, “No, Mama, I have something I need to do.”
This week I opened the envelope containing my ten-year-old daughter’s school pictures. I did a double take at the beautiful young woman, looking much older than her years, staring back at me. Where did my little girl go? An unbidden lump lodged itself firmly in my throat before I knew what was happening.
Last night we cheered my son’s accomplishment for winning the game ball for his baseball game. Is he really more than halfway through his boyhood? Wasn’t it just yesterday that his chubby baby feet took their first steps toward my open arms? Now those feet are usually running and every step takes him into his future as a man and away from me.
Having three children in three and a half years was hardly conducive to my sanity. I had no perspective then how truly short that season of my life would be. I just tried to survive, without a thought of thriving during those years. I would grit my teeth and smile while I really felt like strangling that well-intentioned woman with her advice to, “Treasure these years, honey. They will be over before you know it. They grow up so quickly.” Yeah, right! That’s easy for you to say! You aren’t living my life--a life that gives me too little sleep, too many worries, and no time for me anymore.
I have had a sudden realization of how many times I have trampled on the sacred in my mothering. I have confused the important with what is trivial. I have exchanged eternal moments for the temporal as I have thought and said, “I have something else to do,” to one of my precious babies. In my desperate attempt to matter, to contribute, and to leave a legacy, I have focused too much on that which will only burn in the end. My children are eternal beings. If they find my Jesus for themselves, I will have them forever. The dirty house, the hectic schedule, the endless laundry and dishes, and my own selfishness and insecurities will one day be gone. And so will these sacred, precious moments with them.
Lord Jesus, you know that I am a foolish woman. I have missed out on more opportunities than I can count (although the enemy of my soul taunts me continually with guilt over this) to speak life and blessing into my children’s lives. Forgive me and cover all the gaps. Teach me what is sacred and what is not and give me a heart of wisdom to know the difference.