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…