Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Days are Long

Every young parent had heard it. Few of us believed it.

“Enjoy your kids while they are young; they grow up so fast. “ Those words are always uttered in a public place—usually the grocery store—and accompanied by terms of endearment such as “sweetie”. A yearning look and a sigh as they reach out to touch your child are inevitable.

grocery_shopping

All of us who are parents have encountered this, and it gets kind of old. I remember thinking; “I’m going to have this kid for 18 years—it’s not going to go by fast!” The days often seemed long; tending scraped knees, refereeing sibling rivalry, and explaining yet again why playing in the toilet was not an option. Fatigue was a constant companion, and quiet time a rare treasure.

The years, however, were different. I loved them, so full of sports and camping and family fun. They flew by! My babies seemed to grow up overnight as first days of kindergarten quickly morphed into college graduations.

My kids are all grown now, and it’s the memories of those long days that I find I treasure most. The laughter and the tears along with the joys and the struggles were all knit together to make up the fabric of our everyday lives. They felt—and were—important, because they were spent investing in the lives of my kids and our family. The years? They are a blur.

I find myself wanting to say to the young, obviously exhausted mom in the grocery store: “Enjoy your kids while they are young; they grow up so fast, sweetie.” Because the days are long, but the years are short. (Gretchen Rubin, http://www.happiness-project.com/)

Believe it.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Further reflection:

1. Where are you in the parenting years: aware of the long days or the shortness of the years?

2. How can you slow down enough to fully treasure the long days now?

Father, every day is a gift, and the kids you give us to raise are a blessing. But sometimes, those blessings are exhausting! I pray for every young mom who reads this, that they would take every opportunity to stop in the midst of their busy lives and look around, recognizing the treasure of each moment and each day.

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