25 January 2018

8 More Summers

Eight More Summers

My oldest daughter, Julia,  is now 10 years old...and it has me thinking...I only have a few more years with her before she is done with high school and possibly off to college or working full time.  I only have eight more summers.  

I don't mean to sound depressing.  I just mean to sound realistic.  Time is ticking.  "The days are long but the years are short."  That phrase doesn't really apply to my days anymore.  The days are fast, so fast, too fast.  That wasn't the case a mere 2 years ago...then, when I had a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a 7 and 8 year old to occupy and teach and raise time went s o  s o  s l o w l y.  

Now, by the time I look up at the clock at work its 3:00 pm, we get home by 4:00 p.m.  Then there's dinner prep, homework, and Taekwondo and showers and next thing you know it's 8:00, John comes home and it's uniform check, books and bedtime.

It's amazing to me how we are given these treasures called children.  Some of them we carry inside of us, we give birth to them, we lose hours of sleep, we invest time, money, and sleep, did I mention sleep?  And then we watch them grow and flourish.  

They start crawling, walking, talking, and then our job gets harder as we try to protect every little fall with gates, bouncy toys, high chairs, pack and plays, I call that stage "keeping them alive" stage.

Then they start their school journey, whether it be homeschool, pre-school, public school or private school, they learn to read, they learn to add and subtract and they start to make friends.  We watch them grow, make choices, and have opinions.  I love the school stage.  Must be the educator in me.  I love teaching them to read.  

I love showing them a new place.  I love taking them on field trips.  I love reading about something and then experiencing it for the first time, like apple picking or the planetarium, or taking them to the library.  

The only part I don't like about the school stage is navigating through hurt feelings and cruel kids.

And my favorite part of being a Mom has always been summer time.  

The walks around the neighborhood.

Slip and slides in the back yard.

Visiting the zoo.

Luaus and ice pops with friends.

Cape May.

Bike rides.

Central park strolls and warm doughy pretzels.

And the beach.

And we only have 8 more summers.  How can that be?

I am thankful for all those women who told me...enjoy every minute because time flies.  So many women told me that raising kids comes in dips and waves and it goes so fast.  At first I didn't believe them.  I thought to myself, "This is taking forever!"  But now that my oldest is almost there I want to slow it down a little and I want to savor every bed time book she asks me to read.  

I want to go on more mommy/daughter dates.

I want to have sleep overs in her room. (The kind where we stay up and talk and giggle and then when she falls a sleep I go back to my bed.)

I want to take it slow and enjoy every minute.  

This morning I found myself letting Amelia put on make up in my bathroom as I got ready for work even though I was rushing and she was right under me, because I looked in the mirror and said soon she will be too big and busy for me.  But now she thinks I'm amazing and wants to spend every minute copying me.  

And I actually said to myself, "Lord, don't let me forget this moment."  This moment when I feel the tug of having to get ready for work but also appreciating the little moments with my kids that sometimes I find annoying now but will cherish later.

Lord willing, I have 8 more summers with Julia, nine more summers with Mark, fourteen more summers with Micah (Help!) and fifteen more summers with Amelia.


I feel... lucky :)


17 October 2017

Caught in a Whirlwind

God's Faithfulness during our Busyness

The past two months I have been caught in a whirlwind.  New job, new school, new role.  Same responsibilities only more, much more.  And as badly as I want time to stand still so that no one gets lost in the shuffle, no one gets taller, and everyone can just be on the same page in life God is showing me over and over again that it is just not possible.

Life keeps moving and changing and shifting and so I am learning to just hold fast to His faithfulness during this super busy time in our lives.  If I have learned anything in the past 10 years of being a Mom it's that I can't do anything in my own strength.  I can't slow anything down.  And I certainly am not in control.

If I was in complete control I would be homeschooling 4 kids right now in the comfort of our home and doing the two coops we signed up for.  But God changed our life very suddenly on Labor Day when I got a call asking me to switch gears and enter the work force again.  I got offered a position as elementary principal at the Christian school I used to teach at and all of my children would be with me.  How could I say no?

I felt like God did this at such a time as this to show me, Kristi, I chose you and I will guide you and help you if you continue to trust me and cling to me during the process.  Picture me right now clinging to a tree for dear life as a hurricane is happening all around.  Picture the wind and the rain and the crazy wet lady clinging to the tree and that would be me right now.  I feel like what am I doing here Lord?  Are you sure you want me here?  Did I make the right decision?  Am I capable?  Can we survive this?  Is this really what you had planned for me?

And I keep hearing Him say:

I love you.
You are valuable.
I have a plan for you.
I am in control.
I will give you grace for each day.
I go before you.
I will guide you.
I will be your mouthpiece.
I will direct your steps.
I will comfort you.
I will strengthen you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I will help you.
I am always with you.
I will never leave you.

So sometimes the rain stops and the wind dies down long enough for me to believe all those things and keep trusting.  I feel like going from stay at home mom to full time working mom is a huge adjustment in and of itself.  Those of you who have been on this journey I am sure you can understand.  There are days I am fearful that I am not enough for anyone.  I feel like can I still be a good mom and work?  I have questions about my new role that I really can't answer until I just learn on the job.  

But God keeps reminding me, Kristi, I knew about this plan for you even before you did.  It may have caught you and John by surprise but I have been equipping you all along the way.  I kept giving you more kids to show you that you are not in control, my dear.  I kept you on your toes all this time to prepare you for this very moment when you got that phone call and in your heart you knew you had to say yes.  Don't doubt yourself my sweet I have got you.

That still small quiet voice is steadying me even now as I find the few spare moments in the evening to type it all down and reassure myself that I will make it.  I will keep trusting Him.  God has been so faithful all along and He isn't about to fail me now.  Isn't it ironic that we doubt the one sure thing that doesn't change.  God is faithful.  God provides.  He is in control.  And praise the Lord He always has a plan.

So right now I don't feel like I am in the storm.  But I will still cling to Him because when the wind and the rain starts again I will need to quiet it down with His words and His truth.
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