I'm realizing very quickly these moments of simply being with my daughters are becoming less and less. It's more complicated now.
The days of picking up my girls from grandma's house after work and taking them all home with me are gone. I loved gathering them up and having them all to myself as we nestled in at home during the evenings. We didn't do anything super special - just listening to the stories of their day, giggling around the dinner table, literally running in circles on stick horses, sitting in the shade of the old oak tree in our backyard. Simple things like that.
I've gotten used to having them around. The sounds of their chatter back and forth, their contagious giggles, creative play all throughout the house.
Our girls are still with us, but it's starting to look different.
Gathering them up isn't as simple and easy and routine as it used to be. Instead of gathering my "chicks", I'm scrambling to keep up with their schedules and whereabouts. They have scattered to participate in their own unique worlds of middle school and high school, of sports and activities, of friends and boyfriends. And much of that time does not involve me.
That's the hard part, but it's exactly as it should be.
My dependents are becoming their own self-sufficient beings, and the joy of gathering them all up together is a bit more of a challenge. The time of being all together has now become more sacred and priceless to me because it doesn't happen as naturally as before. I have to be intentional about our togetherness, which can feel a bit artificial or forced sometimes. What do you do?
I rode my bike home from church by myself and pondered the new phase I'm entering into...
whether I like it or not.
Each new chapter of motherhood stretches me out of my comforts and beyond my control, forcing me to adapt the way I nurture and interact with my girls, and how I gather them up.
I'm reminded that nothing stays the same...except change.
My role as a mom changes. Therefore, my expectations have to change. I can't pretend my growing girls aren't becoming young independent individuals. You see...
Change brings along "different".
As Love & Respect speaker Emerson Eggerichs would always say, "Not wrong, just different."
When different arrives at your doorstep, do you invite it in and embrace the changes it creates in your home? Or do you slam the door in its face and refuse to let it in even though it will find its way in no matter what?
Different doesn't mean wrong or worse or even less. Different can be exactly what God has planned - personal growth, new opportunities, maturity, self-awareness, new found courage, or perhaps greater depth in relationships.
Even though I miss the days I could gather my family up and keep them all to myself, my selfishness in that is very clear to me. My girls were not given to me to meet my needs. They were given to me for a time and a purpose - to nurture and equip and prepare them for God's high calling. God has given me the unique privilege and responsibility of raising these three valuable girls, and with each new chapter I must take a step back, look at different, and embrace the divine and natural changes that occur with time.
Not wrong, just different.