A Little Perspective

Right now, as I sit in my room, on our first day of Fall Break I can hear my fifteen year old, four, and seven year old discussing rivers and lakes in the kitchen. The fifteen year old made them all some hot cocoa and they are all sitting together happily chatting about the world they live in. My other seven year old is playing outside on the rope swing with two other neighborhood girls. My middleschool boys wanted to play minecraft so, to earn their time, they cleaned the entire downstairs and washed the dishes. My seventeen year old has been researching job options. I sat in my chair and read Dr. Seuss to the three youngest, all of them squeezing onto my lap. We had an intense discussion later, trying to decide what kind of accent our dog would have if he could talk. Since he’s half Irish Setter, my vote is Irish. Other activities that have happened today are lego building, a playdough session, fortress building with blocks, and a lot of lolling around together being lazy. 

Last night I was sitting in my chair, feeling a bit depressed. My husband asked what I was doing and I said I was contemplating my life. Oh, don’t do that, he said. Why don’t you look at pictures on your phone instead, that always helps. And this morning, while I was waiting for my son while he got his vision check up, I started scrolling through pictures from this past year. All pictures of my kids. A handful of pictures of my husband. Hardly any of me. (I need to do something about that.) But, kids are so much more fun to take pictures of. They are so beautiful, cute and sweet. And wow, we have some really good memories from this year. 

And today, as I’ve taken a step back and just watched my kids, I wonder what had me so depressed last night. I can’t even remember. Probably thinking about all the repair work we need to do on our house, or projects that need to get done. Things that really aren’t that important. The important things, namely my family, they are all doing pretty good. 

Sometimes I kind of lose sight of what I am doing. I get caught up in future dreams and goals. My own personal goals. The craziness of the world we are living in. And I forget that right now, my primary job is MOM. And it’s a worthy job. I’m not doing it perfectly, but I’m giving it my best effort. 

A couple weeks ago, a cousin of mine posted a very old picture of my great grandmother. It was a striking picture. She died in 1953 and while I had heard references to her a couple times, I knew nothing about her. I asked my cousin if she had any information and she sent me my great-grandmother’s Eulogy that my great grandfather had written. He talked about what a great wife, mother, friend, and Christian woman that she was. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping to learn more about her interests and personality, family history etc. But, as I think about it more, the Eulogy covered the most important facts. It covered the legacy part of who she was, the things that were passed forward to the next generations. She raised healthy, well rounded children. Taught them to love the Lord, modeled Christian living and service. One of her sons became a missionary, two others became pastors, her daughter was a well-loved teacher. And those children passed the same values down to the next generation, and then it got passed down to me. And now, here I am, trying to pass the same thing down to my children. 

I wrote recently about struggling with being the parent of grown up children, the lack of guarantees.  I have no idea what each of my children will do with their lives in the future, that is up to them, but I still have to do my part well. What I’m doing right now is important. I remember when I got pregnant with my first child and my husband said, this is the most important thing we will ever do. And I agree. My eulogy will not have anything in it about how well fixed up my house was. It probably won’t mention the vacations I’ve gone on or fun adventures I’ve had. It might not even mention things I enjoy doing like playing piano or writing. But, it will talk about what kind of wife and mother I was. What kind of friend I was. What kind of Christian I was. And that means that today, hanging out with my kids, taking them to doctor appointments, fixing them a hot supper, reading books, having devotions together…these are the most important things I will ever do. 

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