When my friend Linda and I were teenagers we would take the ten-minute walk uptown to a local restaurant and have coffee. Linda and I finished high school, and I went on to marry my sweetheart Vance, and have a large family. Linda moved from Wawa after high school and worked with people who had special needs.
When we would sit in those booths talking about our futures and our dreams, neither of us had a clue what was before us.
About five years after high school Linda wrote me and told me about her exciting life. She was in Austraila working and travelling. I was happy for her, but I was green with envy.
My daughter Charity was a year and a half, and I was pregnant with my third child Devyn. We had just received news that our oldest son Kyle had autism.
I was exhausted, and the fairy tale dreams of being a mother to a large family was beginning to look anything but magical. Kyle woke me most nights repeatedly. Autism sucked the life out of me, and I dreamed of having just one peaceful night of sleep and a day without a crying little boy.
Linda’s life sounded so exciting to a mom who was burnt out.
Fast forward twenty-three years later. We have five grown children now and two bonus kids. Kyle at age twenty-eight is the only child who lives at home. This week Kyle went from eight-hour care to twelve-hour care. His staff comes to get him at 8 am in the morning and he returns at 8 pm.
Kyle’s health has improved over the past couple of years, and he now sleeps most nights. This young man is a great joy to us, and we missed him this week since he was gone more often.
(Look at that smile, how can that not melt a person’s heart?)
You might be that tired and exhausted mother who dreams of the day you will use the bathroom by yourself, eat a meal sitting down, sleep through the night, wear clean clothes, drink a coffee uninterrupted, have a real hairdo, read a book, have clean floors, drive a non-van vehicle…
I used to dream about those things, and now I have them all (well the clean floor is questionable.)
You know what makes me happy now:
“Mom, I’m coming to do laundry do you want to watch a movie?” (Aryanna)
“Mom I’m coming for a coffee?” (Charity)
“Mom, do you want to go to Vibe for lunch with me?” (Devyn)
Or when I texted my son Eythan this week telling him we were coming to visit him and his wife Jazmin in Sudbury for the day and they were excited!
I really do miss the houseful of kids and being together as a family. There are days I enjoy the quiet. Then other days one of them will surprise me, and show up unexpectedly, and they bring sunshine to my day.
I’m going to guess if your a young mother you can relate to how I felt.
You may be wondering if your life is making a difference to anyone right now. Your work feels meaningless and tiresome. You may never get a thank-you in your day. Fast forward twenty years. Your days will be your own, they will be filled with so much quiet you will feel the noises of the past are now just memories.
But if you take the time now to pour yourself into your children and listen to their endless chatter and wipe their fevered brow and rock them when life seems hard…they will come back to you. For now, your little children are one of your top priorities, don’t feel guilty about that.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21 NIV
I wish I had known how much joy these kids would bring me as adults when I was wiping a snotty nose, or be taking the gum out of their hair, or stayed up with a sick child or be stepping on their lego (you really could kill a kid when this happens).
One of life’s greatest honours is to be given our children and then asked to mould their lives. Your children are a reflection of you and a gift from God.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
-Psalms 127:3-5 NIV
When I was pregnant with my son Eythan, who was my fifth child. We received a lot of eyebrow-raising and opinions on the size of family we should have. Eythan is a hardworking citizen and is also happily married to his new bride Jazmin. He gives Jazmin her IV treatments each week for cancer and their story has touched many peoples hearts. They are both just twenty years old. I wouldn’t trade him or any of my other four kids in for a million bucks if it was offered to me.
*Read about Eythan and Jazmin’s love story: HERE
Jazmin and her parents will tell you they are thankful our fifth child was born. God had a special and unique purpose for his life. If we didn’t have Eythan, we wouldn’t have had Jazmin come into our lives either, and I can’t imagine being without either of them.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” -Genesis 1: 27-28 NIV
Young mother, hang in there, you will see your blessings in a few more years and all the stresses and worries you carried to bed each night and woke up with again each morning will be gone.
Your children are one of your greatest treasures. Remind yourself of that on your toughest days when you’ve shed a few tears or pushed yourself to make a meal even though you were exhausted.
When someone else’s life looks exciting to you, take a look at the little faces who love you and remember to appreciate this moment in time.
Hopefully, when your children are grown they will see the wonderful mother you were, the time you poured into their little souls, and they will rise up and call you blessed💗
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
-Psalms 139: 13-17 NIV