I sit at my desk, once again, tapping the keys on my laptop. Trying to form another post. I must’ve started fifty in the past months. Fifty posts unseen to the world.
There is a largely unseen aspect to my life right now, and for the first time, I’m okay with it. I mean truly okay.
I wake up. Journal. Read. Pray.
Connect with my family. Send them to school.
Clean. Bake. Cook. Shop. Volunteer.
Kids come home. I make supper. Connect with my family some more. And then go to bed so I can repeat it all over again in the morning.
And I feel full.
I think it’s because I’ve finally come to the point where I’m no longer trying to move to the next stage and the next. I’ve become content with the journey itself.
We do that a lot in life, don’t we?
Wake up Monday and just try to make it till the weekend.
Start a job and go through the motions… just surviving until the next holiday.
Start parenthood, just waiting until the baby is sleeping through the night… then till they’re potty trained… then just till they’re in school…. finally until they’re out of the house.
And then we still wait! Until retirement. And even then. Fill the schedule so full of social outings and volunteering that we just long until we can go south for the winter.
Is this really what life is about? Waiting for the next good moment?
Now just a caveat: I’ve seen many take this idea to unhealthy places, where people start feeling guilty for even enjoying anything in life. Breaks are fine. Holiday’s are good. Rest is good.
Let’s not get weird.
Yet what I’m saying is this: What if, we actually saw the journey as the purpose; the moment we live in, as the joy of life? And the breaks as just that: A short pause; a rest before the next stanza in the symphony.
Not the only thing to look forward to.
And most certainly not the meaning of it all! For what would a symphony be with no sound?
I’ve decided to homeschool my younger two boys again next year. To finish what I’ve started. Why? Because I’m happy with the results of the older three kids, with the time I’ve put into their lives, with the good relationship we have and I want to provide my younger two children with the same opportunities.
I think, our culture at large has no idea how much time it takes to raise children. To create loving and close bonds with the next generation. That’s why I often chuckle at younger moms or others who are just waiting until the next stage.
Guess what? A teenager needs the same amount of time as a toddler.
HA! I bet you didn’t know THAT! (As most people reading this gasp and shake their heads. Now they know I’m off my rocker!)
How can I make this bold claim? A teenager can do almost everything for themselves!! Yet… Most teens feel so unconnected to their families that they are known to cause trouble, run off, steal, do drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour. It’s why people dread those teenage years.
My older two are just entering these years now. And I am LOVING it. I love my teens. They are SO much fun! They understand so much. They have a spark that I’ve lost. They are losing that lame elementary school humour and becoming hilarious to be around (sorry to my younger kiddos, it’s just true!!). We spend most evenings together. Chatting. Eating supper. Cleaning up together. Laughing. Playing games.
And my question is this? Where are the other parents of this generation?
At work. Rushing to unimportant outings. And hiding behind screens.
I get asked a lot about my relationship with my children. Why they like church? Why they like our family cell group? How I get them to share their struggles openly with me? How do I manage to have our teens enjoy family times together?
The answer is quite simple, but it isn’t easy: It is quite literally laying down my life daily for my family.
I have no career.
I do not travel.
I have no outside hobbies: my hobbies happen at home. I run at home. I read at home. I bake at home. I write at home.
I have no fame.
I have no degree.
I am nothing, No one to the world.
HA! Feminists HATE this kind of talk. Why am I not doing something for me??
Oh, but I am.
I have no importance to the world, yet I am filled with a profound sense of purpose: I am raising the next generation.
Do you understand the importance of that statement??
I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION!
Unseen. Unheard. Probably will never be known or famous. One day, a century or two from now, my graveside will be long forgotten.
But there will be five kids who will live on… and build five more legacies, and their legacies will multiply and their children will have children. And on and on. And perhaps the most profound thing will be this: they will have a legacy of love.
They belonged and they were loved. So they too will love and invite others to belong.
If I could have one wish, it’s that every single person, every single parent, every single mother could see this.
Our purpose isn’t to provide a fancy house, car and clothes for our children. It’s not to give them that dream vacation. It’s not to give them every opportunity with career or extra curricular event. These are usually just our dreams for them anyway.
Our purpose is to be there and listen. To love and connect.
To build a strong legacy, which may never be recorded in the Guinness World Records or history books, but will be written on the hearts of our children and grandchildren.
Our purpose is to let this love overflow to the world. Because the more I love and take time for my family, the more I find myself caring about those around me. Instead of judging, wondering, do they have a place of belonging? Do they have someone to care?Often, the answer is no. So we invite them in: Come, join our family.
No, maybe I won’t end up in the Hall of Fame, and there’s a good chance that my grave will one day be forgotten, like the millions of heroes and saints that have gone before me. People pass away. Memories are forgotten.
But you know what doesn’t pass away? The fruit that comes from a labour of love.