Monday, January 2, 2017

Arrows in Uncharted Territory

     A few years ago, I started this blog because I wanted a place to log family memories, life events, and random musings of my mind.  Just a place where distant family and friends could check in, a random reader could get "how do you do that?" advice, and a record of our family life in a format that could be retrieved simply.  I never wanted to be especially "preachy" or instructional, just real.  And I've never gone viral, but that's okay.  (With fame comes criticism, and I'm not sure I could handle the negative feedback in a mature way, haha!)   As the ebb and flow of life has gone on, I have considered just letting it go by the wayside as one more thing that I didn't have time to keep up with.   But I just couldn't do it.  I like my little blog, and if no one reads it except me, it's still doing its job.

     So with that in mind, here is what I have been musing on for the last few days of this year.  Y'all, just in case no one told you, we are getting older.  And time is going faster than ever, it seems.  I will have a teenager before the end of this year.  (!!)  When I started this blog, he was a toddler.  How is that possible?  I heard a saying earlier this year that has played over in the back of my mind.  It references life with littles -- "Long days, but short years."  And it is so true, at least for me.  As I think back, I remember feeling that I will never be able to go anywhere without packing the entire contents of our nursery in a bag for a two hour excursion.  Or wondering when I will change the last diaper.  (Now I can't remember what day that was...just that it hasn't happened in a long while.)   When did I last feed a little their meal while mine got cold?  I can't remember...

     We still have a toddler, but now we also have a pre-teen, and an adolescent in our house.  And, moms of littles...I would go back to those diaper changing days in a minute.  And you shake your head in disbelief, just like I did when someone said that to me.  Because, you see, these times are hard too.  I was never the mom that was overwhelmed when my littles pulled the wipes out, dumped their toys for the twelfth time, or unfolded all the laundry that I hadn't put away yet.  I never remember being in tears over a toddler.  I didn't cry over firsts: haircuts, or teeth (lost or found), or days of school.  But I cried over a first this year.  The first time my oldest said something that hurt my feelings.  And y'all...that came out of  nowhere.

    He didn't really mean to.  He just said something off hand that caught me off guard.  And when Daddy brought it to his attention, he was sorry and hasn't done it since.  But I was taken aback by this new "first."  I realized that we were moving into uncharted territory in our family.  Once again, First-Born is paving the way for his parents into unfamiliar surroundings.    The life lessons are bigger.  No more "Eat that, don't eat this," "play with this, not that," or "stay in bed."  Uncharted territory, indeed.

     This year, as I look at the future I realize that  our primary responsibility will be teaching rather than training.  And letting consequences for decisions fall on the maker of those decisions.  Because we have always said we're not raising kids, we're raising adults.  And it's getting to be more and more true as "adult" approaches. Grown-up decisions, choices, and results are not far away, and the Godly character we have spent these last years instilling will be put to many challenges.  I admit, it is a little daunting to realize that we only have about 5 years or less before our first kid is an adult. 

    But, it is exciting too.  After all, the Bible refers to children as arrows in the hand of a mighty man, right?  Well, arrows weren't made to hold on to or stick in the ground around your feet.  They are made to fly straight and true into the desired target.  While it's true that we as parents may not know what that target looks like, it is our responsibility to get those arrows ready. 

     So, we will work, pray, teach, pray, love, and pray for these arrows God has given us.  That they will be true, fly straight, aim high, and hit the center of God's will for their lives.  If you think of us, say a little prayer for us, and I'll do the same for you.  Happy and blessed New Year! :)