Spring is here! The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining longer. The change of seasons has me thinking about the seasons of life and motherhood and how quickly they change. Of all the advice I have been given from more “experienced” or “seasoned” moms, there is one saying that they all seem to want to impress upon moms of younger children. “The days are long, but the years are short.” Tell me about it! My sons are only 2 and 4 and I already can’t believe how fast the time is passing. I want it to slow down! But at the same time, those of us who spend all day, every day, with little people can struggle with having no time to ourselves as someone other than mommy. We fear that we might be losing who we were as an individual. Or at least our sanity! Seasons change fast in life and in motherhood. If we realize that we can slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the beauty of each one while it is still in front of us.
“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.”Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
This is a beautiful passage, found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live. I included all of verses 1-8 for you to read because it is such a great reflection on life. The focus of this post is really just the main idea of verse 1, “a time and a season for everything”, specifically as it relates to balancing being a mom to our kids, and an individual.
I became a mom at a relatively “older” age, in my mid-thirties, so I feel like I was given a good amount of time to figure out what I enjoy in life, and what makes me who I am. There are so many things, but my top three are: riding horses, playing piano/singing, and running. The first two I don’t get to do as often, but am thankful I still have in my life, and the third I do less than before having kids, but still once or twice a week.
My favorite time to run is in the morning. Sometimes I get to “sneak” out while my husband is home and my boys are still asleep and go for a run all by myself, and it’s glorious! I listen to music, spend time praying, and just run! But often my plan for “me” time actually goes a little more like this…alarm goes off, I hurry to dress, get my running shoes on, fill up a water bottle, quietly walk towards the front door and…”mommy!” My heart sinks! I just wanted a little time to run alone! It that too much to ask? Sometimes (I hate to admit the selfishness, but it’s there), as I am getting ready I even pray a quick prayer, “please let them stay asleep until I get out the door.”
But sometimes God has other plans, better plans. Usually it is my older son who wakes up and wants to come with me. So we break out the double stroller (if you haven’t pushed one lately, let me tell you, it’s HARD!) Sometimes they both wake up and then it’s even heavier. But I can honestly say that some of my sweetest runs lately have been when one or both of them are with me.
I remember one particular morning I really wanted to go by myself and my four year old woke up. I grumbled in my heart and my attitude, but told him of course he could come. Snacks packed, loaded up, kid wrapped in a blanket, off we went. The first thing he said was “Mommy, I love you! I love to come with you.” Heart melting! Now I always make it a point to say how much I love when he is with me, and it’s the truth! That morning we passed many neighbors out walking. I am trying to teach him to say “good morning” as we go by each person, and he kept asking me what their names were. I told him mommy doesn’t know everyone’s name and of course he wanted to stop and ask. We asked one sweet older lady and she smiled and told us. It seemed like it made her day. I told my son that God made him with such a caring heart towards people. He truly wants to know them, know their names and who they are. I would have missed that precious moment if I had been alone like I had wanted. That is just one example of all the sweet times we have had: playing pretend, thanking God for the sunrise, the beautiful creation, seeing animals, stops at the park, finding giant sticks, most of all making memories together!
I don’t know if my sons are old enough to remember the details of any of these specials times, but I know I will! And I hope and pray that even if they can’t remember, the bonds we are building are still deep down in their little hearts as they grow.
There is so much in life to enjoy! God is so kind and gracious in the world he made for us! There are so many things I still want to do, but in this season of life with little ones, I just don’t have time for it all. I have to chose what is most important.
I haven’t lost who I am as a person. I am just sharing it with my sons and letting them get to know me too. Instead of sitting down and writing a song, we sit down and sing “Jesus Loves Me.” Instead of galloping off into the wind, I am leading my little guy in the saddle. And in this season, it is every bit as wonderful as it was before!
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3: 11 NKJV
There will always be races to run, horses to ride, songs to sing, instruments to play, paintings to paint, books (and blogs) to read and write, vacations to take, concerts to see, sporting events to go to, restaurants to try, movie to see, places to serve at church…the list is endless. There is a time for everything! But this is the only time my children will ever be two and four years old. Once that season is over, it is gone. It is true for whatever age your children are right now. Whether you are in the infant or toddler season, school age, running them around to practices and events like a taxi service, teenage years, or ready to let them fly out of the nest, enjoy every minute because the next season will be here before we know it!
Just a note, I do still enjoy running by myself. We do need time to re-charge as moms, whether through hobbies or fellowship with other adults, or just time to ourselves when we are able. More importantly, I think we need to renew our strength and our relationship with the Lord through prayer and Bible study (even just a few minutes each day). But that is a whole other post. God knows the days I need to be by myself and the days I need the company of my children. Sometimes they stay asleep a little longer, and I go out and run, and I know it’s a gift! I talk to God and I love the solitude. But the next time my running shoes are on and I hear a sweet voice saying “mommy”, my heart smiles instead of grumbling. It’s all about perspective. God is teaching me so much through my children.
“The days are long but the years are short.” That’s what all the moms say. It’s so true and I’m thankful for the long days because I don’t want to miss them. I want to treasure what a gift it is to be with my children in every season!