No one warned me when I became a parent that with each additional child there would be another birthday, and that each of those birthdays would make my mama heart hurt. I'm thankful that my children are growing and developing, of course, but it still makes me sad to see each year go by, and multiply that by five and you've got a whole lotta bittersweet.
This one just turned two last week.
My last baby, growing so fast. I guess I face a choice: I can wallow in self-pity, or I can choose thankfulness.
Choosing thankfulness means embracing each moment and then letting it go. It means looking toward my next calling. It means letting go of this thing that I know I can do--taking care of babies--and trusting that there will be a next thing that God will also call me to and prepare me for. It means joyfully tackling the hard job of learning how to raise teenagers and coach young adults, jobs that scare me because I haven't done them before and they sound hard. It means praying about and preparing myself to have a vision beyond the things I've done before, a vision I can't see clearly yet, but I trust that it's there. It means enjoying the 2-year-old birthday party and taking my almost-teen out to a movie rather than moping around the house. It means listening for the joy other moms express over the kids-in-college-and-beyond stage. It means embracing with joy and gratitude what is and what will be, not just what was.
Most of all, choosing thankfulness means trusting that my faithful God has gone before me into the next stage. He knows what's around the corner for me, for my children, for my life. Whatever this next stage will be, he's already there. I'll probably secretly shed a few tears with each passing year, but I hope that most of them will be thankful and hopeful tears.
How about you? How do you face transitions with hope and gratitude?