I was asked by a sweet sister-in-Christ to share wisdom with mamas still in the trenches of raising their families from the perspective of a mama who is not only past that stage but has laid one of her babies to rest.
I thought about how the two perspectives might merge into a single message.
And I realized that when I made the choice decades ago to live with eternal perspective God was preparing my heart to lose Dominic. When I committed to loving and living each day, I was laying a foundation that could not be shaken, even when my whole world crumbled around me.
I am so thankful for the years I had with my children at home.
Yes, it was hard.
Yes, I was tired.
But oh! the sweet, sweet memories I can cherish in my grieving heart!
Time-that coveted commodity of motherhood.
Always more dishes, diapers and duties than hours in the day.
Weary limbs labor to meet the needs of our families, always looking forward to the next obligation and managing on not enough sleep, not enough rest, not enough encouragement.
It’s so easy to lose sight of the fact that while we live in a world bound by time and space, we are created for eternity where neither will hem us in.
As a young mother with four children ages six and under, I remember trudging through many days in a sort of foggy haze, vaguely aiming for the goal of making sure everyone was fed, washed and safe but uncertain of what else might be important.
The tyranny of the urgent can push what’s important past the fringes of our attention.
Our vision can be so consumed with the day-to-day until there’s no space for long-term goals or ambitions.
But God has ordained that our children, eternal beings, be set in families.
He has commissioned us as mothers to help mold and shape these little lives into the people He wants them to be, to take their place in His plan for an eternal kingdom.
One of the truths that gave me strength while I was in the middle of those hectic years was reminding my heart that this was not going to last forever but that how I chose to deal with these temporary opportunities and frustrations would impact eternity.
When overwhelmed and undone, I reached for the robe of the One Who made me and Who made the children He gave me.
When faced with another day of unending obligations and limited resources, I leaned into my God Who supplies more than I can ask or think from His abundant heavenly treasure.
I had to learn to live IN the moment but not FOR the moment.
Burying my son has made me nostalgic for the days when my children were young and still at home. I have combed back through memories, dug up old photographs and thought long about what I would do differently if I had known then what I know now.
I am so thankful that before my heart was broken, it had already been filled with the promise that today is not all there is; that right now is not the only truth; and that our lives are a blip on God’s eternal timeline that has no beginning and no end.
Our children are gifts, not possessions.
One day they will grow up and build their own lives and families. There will be long days without interruption, fewer dishes and clothes to wash, clean floors and extra closets.
But the love, grace, mercy and energy poured into them as children will count for forever.
No seed is wasted. No toil is fruitless. No work is unrewarded.
Labor on, sweet mama. You are planting for eternal harvest.