Milestone day! Praising God for his faithfulness and for this new season for you!
I saw these words on a text the moment I pulled my phone out of my bag, once inside my car. Tears streaming down my face and so many emotions – I just finished dropping my baby Zeb off for his very first day of Kindergarten. This is the morning I have been anticipating for so long..for eleven years of being a full time stay at home mom I’ve hoped for and wondered what it might actually feel like to have them all in school.
To some it might seem insignificant – but trust me when you have four kids in under six years the mornings and days that have proceeded this season have included years of pushing a double stroller with four small kids and all their gear up and down the street sometimes four times a day to and from the school, missing nap times, running on zero sleep delirious and terrified that one of them would jump out of the “circus on wheels” as I affectionally called it, and run out into traffic…that only happened once and it did result in a major road rash on the face but everyone lived.
This past Summer we gave our very well used double stroller to a family with two little ones and I cried a little because it represented so much grit and sweat and a warrior spirit. I’m a mom.
After reading Kristen’s words from my fierce and incredible sister in law, with her own set of four – I decided on a coffee date alone to mark this morning and a heart session on the page. I’ve spent years and years capturing my blessings through the camera lens but this morning I just had to captured it with words.
I’m not sure how this morning should feel? I am so blessed that I actually have a job waiting for me – we’ve got a busy Fall planned with Rebekah Gough Jewelry so I know I’ll be super busy and still fighting for that balance as a mom. But I suppose I thought this morning would feel more victorious – truth is I’ve crawled into the finish line and I am literally worn to the very end of myself.
It kind of reminds me of the time I decided to run a half marathon..without ever running any other race before. I didn’t start with a 5k or a 10k or a jog around greenlake, no instead I decided go big or go home and committed to 13.1 miles. A little like “I think I’d like a baby..or four in five years”…I am so all or nothing it’s annoying sometimes.
I set off with a training plan and did actually run that half marathon but victorious it was not. In fact at the end of the race, with lots of friends and family watching, I was shuffling along like an 80 year old – scratch that an 80 year old would probably be going faster – my legs were jello and at the end I stopped, turned sheet white and almost passed out if Chris hadn’t caught me and stuck me in a chair and pumped water and food into me.
That race felt so demoralizing, like I’d completely failed myself. I hung up my running shoes immediately afterwards and decided running just wasn’t for me. In fact I told myself I was stupid for even trying because I had made such a fool of myself.
But now sitting here I’m reliving a bit of that same feeling. I think I thought that I should be crossing the finish line into this new season with my arms up high cheering and fist bumping and taking gorgeous photos of how accomplished I am. Truthfully though I’m crawling across the finish line in much the same way, literally shocked that I made it and scratching my head wondering if I should be proud or sad or scared or relieved…I’m a mom and we all know mom’s think we have to be perfect even when we’ve never done it before.
But what if I should feel exactly like I feel today, completely spilled out and exhausted from a decade of diapers and cheerios and crying out to God in the night because I’m so weary I don’t think I can go one more day.
About six months after that half marathon “disaster” it occurred to me that the way I crossed the finish line at my race was exactly how I wanted to finish my life racing into heaven.
I want to leave it all out on the course. I want to enter the gates of all eternity at a shuffle because that’s all I have left in me, knowing that I did my absolute top ability with no question if I gave everything I could in this life. I deeply want my friends and family to see a life spilled out for Jesus. Not a perfect photo finish.
And that pretty much sums up this season and how I feel about it. I’m crawling into the finish of the first eleven years as a mom, my kids are all in school now and I can tell you I gave it my absolute all. I am gathering myself for a new season, a new pace of life with school and sports and friends and tweenage angst and I know it’s not going to be easy, it’s a new challenge a new course and in some ways a harder one.
But it’s a new chance to push myself into all that God has designed for me.
I also think I might start running again…
A late summer night out on the water, we jumped at the chance when Uncle Dave and Aunt Rhoda offered to take us out. After filling our bellies with fish and chips and sodas on shore we boarded their trusty ski boat as the promise of trying inner tubbing for the first time was waiting!
The squeals of delight and the rush of the summer air on our faces, Aunt Rhoda even went out for a spin with Josie which impressed us all. We left the dock full to the brim inside and out. Soaking in the last of all that this season has to offer as we sense the busyness of fall creeping in. Such a beautiful night out as a family, thankful hearts all around!