Twelve, she just turned twelve! I only have six years left with this child then she will be as free as the wind, able to go where she pleases. I have had a hard time excepting this birthday. I have been pondering the why to my mini crisis in my head and it dawned on me.
If we cut her life into thirds, I only have about a third left. The first and second thirds are almost gone. There is no getting them back. Life comes with no extra time, only regret of what we lacked of the time. Or really, could we wake up to realize that we have an opportunity to make the most of the future?
The first third of her life are a blur to me. I was experimenting at parenting. I have gone through many versions of the best mom possible with this child. She probably gained confusion at this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mother she had. I was the first time mom and she was my first born child. All had to be perfect. All! Oh how I wish I was more mellow in those first six years. I wish I was more gentle and understanding. I wish I worked more at getting to the heart of behavior issues instead of just outward behavior.
You hear people say things in response to poor behavior in toddlers who are two. Things like, Oh she will grow out of it. But the truth is, no she will not! We are all born into sin and with a sin nature that is fighting hard to be in control. Even as toddlers we see the flesh desires to sit on the throne of life. How I wish I was more prepared in this first third.
The second third of her life, ages 6-12, we have been through a lot but again, where did the time go? I cannot remember much of these except we started the school years. I had many successes and failures as that mom I desired to be. However, home school started and I was overwhelmed often. I wanted others to see my kids as well behaved. I wanted to make a good name for homeschoolers. Through it all I learned much about grace.
Now I am approaching this next third that I have left and I have a renewed sense of purpose. I realize that time is short. I realize the most important thing is that my child knows she is loved by God. That she feels loved by me. That she knows she can always run to God and to me. I need her to know that I am a safe place for her to discuss her problems and challenges. She now is facing many of these things on her own. She is having to figure this world out but still with my guidance. I am thankful for this reminder of the time being short. I pray God will help me see the importance of it every day.
Yet again I need to also be encouraged that God will use every bit of the time for our good. Any mistakes or mess ups I made, He redeems. He will use it all for my child’s good and His glory. I can never mess it up too much. I can have regrets but I must know He is greater and bigger than me. He is good and will use it all. Time is short so live it all for His glory. After all we are never guaranteed time.
Angela Parsley, of the international ministry, Refresh My Soul MInistries(please change link to www.refreshmysoulblog.blogspot.com), is a wife of Tony and homeschooling mother to her 3 children. Two biological and one by legal custody. Angela is a self-published author of many Bible studies through the ministry of Refresh My Soul, so that quality resources can be provided free of charge