On a recent evening as dusk began to settle over the summer sky like a lightweight reddish colored blanket, I was walking my dogs with an acute awareness of the passage of time. This brought traces of sadness to my heart. The summers of my life are quiet, now. My kids are grown, which evokes a plethora of mixed emotions. That night my heart was straddling the fence of the past and the present—with most of it sitting on the side of the past.
I don’t view past summers through rose colored glasses. Those chaotic days often dissolved me into a puddle of tears. I washed umpteen pool towels, dumped out dozens of half drunk soda cans, logged hours at the pool and in the car running my kids to camps, movies, White Water, etc.
I grew tired of refereeing their disputes, making them do chores, read devotions, and complete their summer reading assignments. The sheer weight of the responsibilities of four children and the lack of breathing space often caused me to feel spent.
Yet, I do remember with fondness the good times, too. I miss the noise and laughter, friends, relaxed routine of no homework and organized sports, late night dinners, games, and family vacations. I miss the everyday presence of my kids, and summer seems to highlight those sentiments. Kids and their activities uniquely punctuate this season.
That night as I walked the familiar sidewalks of my neighborhood, my heart felt lost. As my dogs and I rounded the corner of my street, darkness had descended upon the evening sky. To my delight, my eyes spied a cluster of fireflies playfully darting in the nearby gully. Fireflies are magical; they are one of God’s enchanting symbols of summer. My uplifted heart was transported back to my own childhood days of chasing fireflies, swimming, and playing flashlight tag long into the pitch-black nights of summers’ past.
I sensed God’s playfulness through those delightful fireflies. My heart had forgotten how to play under the weight of grown up struggles and responsibilities. I had lost the wonder of summer. God was offering me an invitation to play.
Friend, every season of mothering brings new challenges and responsibilities. What is bogging you down? Do you need to accept God’s invitation to play?
As I walked further, the words of Isaiah came to mind, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it…” (Isaiah 43:18-19)?
As I pressed into these words, God wasn’t asking me to forget my kids, but I sensed He was asking me to release my gripping hold on the past. It was preventing me from seeing His good purposes for me today and for my future.
It’s hard to graciously surrender to the ever changing role we play in our children’s lives. However, motherhood is one of many roles that shape us. In all seasons, there is still an abundance of life to live.
Friend, is your role as a mother in a season of change? Would you be willing to trust God with a childlike faith, believing that God is doing a new thing?
Word of the Day:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it…?” (Isaiah 43:18,19)
Father God, Your playfulness softens the edges of hard and lightens the load of responsibility. It is evidence of Your goodness. Thank you, that even when life changes, it still holds abundance and wonder. Amen
Author: Maryanne Abbate