Last week was a new beginning for me as a mother. It was the first day of school for my youngest. My baby. The one I wanted to hold onto forever, but was also ready to let fly. I took my kids to school that first day, came home and sat at my kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee. It felt 12 years of mothering small children crash over me like a wave of memories and emotion. Yep, I cried. I just sat there and felt it. I remembered moments that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. All of the “mother” moments – midnight feedings, diaper changes, and outings with the stroller and diaper bag. All the grocery trips with little kids running into my ankles with those tiny (but deadly) shopping carts, teething babies who nurse all day, and the daily race to get housework done and dinner made.
The monotonous days played like a movie in my head. It feels like I had 12 years of everyday being pretty much the same, yet my kids grew and changed. I think it was me who stayed the same, and yet I know that I grew and changed, too. Wasn’t it just yesterday when I was 25 and pregnant with my first child? How did time go by so quickly, while simultaneously, so slowly?
Reflections as a mother
Time is like a thread, pulling each day together, creating a quilt of memories, all the same, yet different. It’s the daily life that ultimately makes up the best memories. Also some I think we’d like to forget. It seemed there was never enough time, and sometimes there was too much time, as I waited for my husband to come home from work to relieve me of noise and the insanity of the bedtime routine.
And now, on this new day, feeling so sudden, there I sat, with 8 hours of time as my kids were in school. I honestly didn’t have a plan. It’s never entered my conscious to actually have more than 2 hours to myself at home. Usually, when no one is home, I’ll catch up on cleaning and have a cup of coffee in silence. Silence is odd. I could hear the ceiling fan, ha ha! As I sat there, thinking of an answer to the question everyone had been asking me: “What are you going to do when Jaron starts school?” I know the answer, and yet I don’t know it fully.
I want to embrace this moment. It’s a moment I knew would come, and I just want to be in it. I even asked Jesus what I should do. He said, “Nothing. Just hang out with Me for a while.” No agenda, no plan, just His Presence. It feels irresponsible, in the wake of having so much responsibility for the past 12 years. I was always doing something important, like feeding kids, cleaning them, cleaning messes, making sure everyone had everything they needed. They needed me, and now I can let go a little bit as they have teachers to guide them trough their day.
Surrendering in God’s Presence
As much as I love just being in the presence of God, I still have that tiny bit of guilt (“mom guilt,” they call it) hanging around, telling me I should “do something.” This is a lie, I know that. That is why I’m going to let God take care of my heart in this season. Who am I? I am a mother, yes. But I am also a daughter, a beloved one, with an assignment that both involves mothering, but extends far beyond it as well. There is something more than just my kids being in school. I know that God has an assignment for me; a new beginning. In order for me to enter in, I must surrender and just be with Him.
Here I am, Lord, still a mother, surrendered and still, embracing this season. I love how these verses describe running into His Presence to find rest:
“The one I love calls to me: Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling. Come away with me! I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out. For now is the time, my beautiful one.”
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”