Hi there, Happy New Year! I hope 2019 is off to a great start for all of you; normally a new year really strikes me as a prime opportunity to reset and lay out a few intentional goals and challenges for the year to come. It sounds silly, especially when January 1 brings about countless articles and social media posts mocking those of us who make resolutions and have already failed to keep them by February, but I’ve found it to spur a lot of growth for me these past few years. To be completely honest, though, I didn’t set out any goals for this new year, and January’s arrival really hasn’t felt like the fresh start that I’m used to each year. I have to imagine the main reason is the obvious one: I’m fully focused on being a mom these days, and that “new year” journey started fresh on October 3, 2018 and hasn’t missed a beat since.
I’m so incredibly grateful for it, though. As the days have flown by and December became January without us even noticing, I’ve tried to take a step back these past few days and think about how we shift from trying to survive the everyday to really crafting how we shape the months and years ahead — because if we don’t, they’ll shape us instead.
More than anything, what has been so encouraging to me is the realization that Jordan and I are right smack dab in the middle of “the good ol’ days.” Yes — there are diaper changes galore and around-the-clock wake-up calls, and it is in those moments when I feel like I can’t hear another minute of cries and screams that I see my sinfulness on an entirely new level. But for all of its challenges, when I’m on lap No. 10000 around our living room to keep Harper content or I catch her sweet smile when I peak over the side of her bassinet in the morning, I’m reminded that THESE are the days that we will look back on and long to have them back. And it has completely changed the way I look at my life, both now and for the future: so often, we’re always looking to what happens next. For me, I think that has been when Harper can eat solid foods or entertain herself for just a little while; or when she can safely sleep in her own room and I’m not completely terrified to be separated from her… the list goes on. Those days will have their own dose of sweetness, but when I look at this precious child with all of the grace she extends to me daily (y’all, I could write an entirely separate post about how amazing of an example kids are in extending grace and compassion — it is life changing), I know that I will miss it all so much when she’s too old to let me hold her all day or no longer thinks my high-pitched baby voice warrants a smile.
For Jordan and me, this has always been the dream: a house full of pounding footsteps eager to get to the next activity, packed lunches and half-filled coloring books and — yes — diapers galore. These are the days that we will forever remember, and we will never get a second chance to raise our kids. We have one shot to do it well, to do it in full surrender to God and His plan for us, and that’s it. It’s terrifying, but it has also encouraged me to really focus on right now, and to absolutely love every minute of it as best I can.
And for you, no matter what stage of life you’re in, I want to encourage you to do the same. Maybe today (or this year) in no way feels like it will ever be counted as “the good ol’ days,” and I totally get that. But for all that today is not, it is a day that has already been planned out to play a part in God’s will for your life — even if we can’t see the big picture just yet. One of my Instagram friends posted a quote by Elisabeth Elliot that I would love to print and plaster in as many places as possible:
“Whatever God has given us to do is the thing in which He wants to be glorified.”
…along with the caption that accompanied it: Including anything that you are doing on this little Monday in January.
Right now I’m sitting here beside a sleeping baby, trying to type as softly as possible because I know that if she wakes up too soon, I’m in for a meltdown this afternoon. We have several errands to run today and the thought of getting Harper bundled up, into her carseat and knocking everything out with enough time to get back before her next feeding is hanging over my head as one giant source of stress… but for all that today is not, I know it’s a part of the Lord sanctifying me in ways I can’t even see.
Thanks for listening, friends! Some cute pictures of Harper below, because I just can’t get enough.