I was thinking this morning about how NOT fun my life is lately. Oh I'm not complaining, just realizing that there are a lot of chores and school lessons and errands and laundry and meals to prepare and a lot of things that need to be done.
But without a few minutes to sit down and nurse a baby who will stop eating just to smile at you.
And without little chubby three year old fingers to play play-doh with.
And without little baby clothes to pick out and put on sweet, fat legs.
And without a cute little nursery that takes 5 minutes to pick up and have picture ready.
Big kids are different. I'm not used to being the Mom to big kids. I was the Mommy to little ones and I liked that role. This new role is different.
There are no diapers or sippy cups or lovies or pacifiers or thumbs or tiny socks or plastic plates.
Granted, those are all things we were, at one time, glad to be rid of. Kind of. I knew when I threw out that last sippy cup that things were changing. And I didn't really like it.
Now there are new undergarments in my laundry and ladies size 7 shoes laying around on the floor. Little Bit is still kind of little and I cherish every "little girl" thing she still does and likes. Soon I will have really big kids.
Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have all this help with chores and housework. Last Sunday the only reason we got to church on time was the girls made breakfast from start to finish. That's nice.
Maybe I'm looking at things through rose colored glasses, but this morning, big kids didn't seem as fun to me as little kids and babies. I could be remembering those days with too much fondness...I don't know.
But then it occurred to me that the Bible does not tell me to "slave over" my children. It does not tell me to "work like a dog" for them.
It tells me to love them.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5
(Yes, it says to love our husbands as well but that's not the point of this particular post.)
To love my children. Of course I love my children. But how does that look?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Ouch. Patient? Kind? Not irritable? Enduring all things?
EVEN when we are cleaning up their horrible messy room for the 6th time this week? EVEN when they drop, spill, break, and mess up things? EVEN when it seems their brain leaked out of their head overnight and they don't know the answer to the simplest questions in school?
Yes. Love looks like that.
Loving my children means not spending my days in discontent because I miss "the good old days." Goodness sake, they are SUPPOSED to grow up! It is exciting to see what new things they are learning and to see what they can do. Sure, it's uncharted territory for me...but the Lord knows the path and is already way ahead of us.
I am to love my children. THESE children. The ones I have right now who wear the ladies size 7 shoes and know how to make their own breakfast.
I remember moving from realizing I was "pregnant" to "I'm going to have a BABY." Then I remember moving from "I have a baby" to "I have a child." (as in, a real person with opinions and who is mobile!) With each new stage I have done the same things: gone to God's word.
I remember when Sweetheart was moving into toddler hood, I looked up every verse on parents and children in the Bible and wrote them down. I wanted to be sure what I was supposed to be doing. I had spent a lot of time imagining me with a baby, but not so much time imagining me with a CHILD.
I've spent even less time imagining us with young ladies. How will our home be then? What will our expectations be? I may not know...but I do know I am supposed to love them.
And I have a feeling that once I get my bearings, I will enjoy this new stage just as much as I did the old one.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14