Thursday, July 25, 2019


Our children are at precious ages - 10, 8, 6 and 6.  We're in those "golden years," where we no longer have very young children who need us every minute and we don't yet have difficult teenagers.  I can now drive my kiddos somewhere by myself and enjoy a fair bit of it, and many of our adventures are fun for all of us.


When we had our D-Group Lake Day a while back, I remember soaking in the sweetness of time together as a family, with friends that we love and everyone being *mostly* happy.  It struck me that we are living the "Good Ole Days" with our kids that people always look back on with such fondness.  And I was simultaneously overwhelmed with gratitude and panic: gratitude that we get to live good days at all and panic that they are slipping by too quickly.


When I think about the contradictions that make up our life, and especially my thought life, this certainly ranks up there as humorous.  I love being able to do fun things with our kids - my personality is built for fun, and I regularly expect and look for opportunities to have great experiences at every turn.  I'm always wanting to create "perfect family moments."

I also live in the reality that we have a fair bit of stress, and even when we are having fun as a family, there is usually an undercurrent or a full blown riptide of crazy under the surface.  Our family has an intensity that cannot be denied, and we can only handle so much togetherness before our cracks begin to show.  We often do better with other people so we can be a little diluted.  Too much Spenst is not good for anyone, including us.


The tension of ENJOY EVERY MOMENT and THIS IS SO HARD continually plagues me, and I'm guessing this comes with the territory of motherhood.  Summer has been particularly sanctifying, because we've had so much togetherness and gotten to see the good, the bad and the ugly of everyone's character up close with the added hours in our days.  It has been wonderful to make memories, and I look back on the pictures from this summer already so grateful for the sweet times we have had.

But, I also had a meltdown a few weeks ago as I saw so many more weeks of summer stretching before me with not a lot of plans.  We don't do "days around the house" well at all.  I didn't know how we were going to fill the time, and so much of it going well depended on me, and I wasn't sure I was up for it.  Now that the end of summer is in sight, I'm growing wistful and sad that it's drawing to a close.  It seems that my heart wants to be discontent no matter what is happening or how I feel.

As I learn more about myself and the ways that I process life and emotions (thank you, Enneagram!), I better understand this trap that easily trips me up.  I have to fight for gratitude in the present moment.  I have to fight against the fear that we'll never have good times again that could possibly live up to these.  I have to push away the discontent that even the good times are marred by the ever present stresses in our life.  That is life - there is always good and hard.  I am constantly working to align with the upside down nature of what God has called us to and how we live that out.

So - here's to the Good Ole Days and enjoying them for what they are and not glamorizing or underselling them.  And to knowing that God in his graciousness will be walking with our family in the good times and the hard - no matter what life holds, whenever that is.