Seven years ago today I was in labor with our oldest daughter. I entered motherhood in slow, stilted fashion that included a lot of ice chips and vomit and shivering. Sufficed it to say, I was not a fan of that particular experience, but the end result was so beautiful. Baby Lily entered the world and the magic of parenthood engulfed and encircled us.
There was someone that was part of both John and I. We were mother and father, where before, we had only been Carol and John and wife and husband. It changed everything. The opportunities to lay down self when parenting are myriad and endless. Even last night, I was awakened in the middle of the night by pitiful yelling from a twin, and I was not exactly pleasant about the whole thing.
But oh, there is beauty and joy and holiness found in these halls of parenthood.
It catches me at strange moments, and my breath stops for an instant. Is this real? Do I really get to do this? God entrusted these children to me, and that is staggering. They are each so unique and have different talents and quirks that we see develop into greater detail as time rolls forward.
The hardness of it all makes it more refining. There is a monotony that comes with laundry and meal planning and housework and discipline. But this week, I've seen the holiness reflected in the work. I'm setting things back to order, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden. I tend this place and these people, and it is good work that mirrors the great work that God does in this world. He makes order out of chaos.
Since my house is regularly chaos, I get a lot of opportunities for this kind of work.
I'm thankful for the gift to see this job for what it is - a gift. I don't always feel this way, so when I can reframe it all to see the ways that God manifests himself in what so many of my hours are made up of, gratitude swells in my heart.
And just as these first seven years of parenting have flown by, I'm sure will the next seven years and beyond. This parenting gig is forever, but these hard, honed in years are in reality pretty few. I'm hoping and praying that God continues to give me glimpses of himself through it all as we seek to point our children toward him.