If you have a child strategically climbing up your leg as you read this, or if you've stealthily poured a cup of coffee and tip-toed to the computer to try to have a quiet moment before the kids wake up and the chaos ensues, this post is for you.
This post is for me too.
You see, before I had kids I knew that I would spend a lot of time wiping noses and cleaning bums and saying no for the hundredth time in the grocery store checkout candy store. Or at least, I sort of knew. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I knew I would be tired (although I don't think I knew what tired really was!).
Dirty diapers, sleepless night, mushed up banana bits on my sofa. I thought all these things were side effects of parenting. But we had kids anyways, right? Because in the end they will be far more rewarding than cumbersome, right?
But I had it all wrong.
These things aren't chores standing in the way of life. These things are my life.
I believe that children are a gift from God. Or at least, I mean to believe it. But sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to survive today that I forget that they are, not will be a gift from God.
The gift doesn't come when they start sleeping through the night or learn to use the potty or grow up and start families of their own. The gift is standing right in front of me holding a breakable bowl with her slippery fingers, asking for more oatmeal.
Do you see what I'm saying here?
This is it. This is parenting. The supermarket tantrum, the midnight feedings, the eleventy-billionth load of laundry....these are all part of the gift that God has given us.
The gift is now.
When our children are young, us moms are often told not to wish away these days. One day we will long to have these days back. I think we need to hear that often.
I need to hear it often.
Don't wish away today. One day, you will miss these precious days full of little hands reaching out for you.
I need to write this on my heart. And maybe on my hand as well. These children are a gift from God. And maybe then when my two year old is squirming and screaming on the kitchen floor because I filled his cup with water when he wanted juice instead, I can be reminded of the truth that can be so easy to miss:
This is the gift. Today. Right now.
Friends, let's not wish it away.
Lord, help me to see these children as You see them. A blessing, not a chore. Help me to love them as you love them. Amen.