Today we began OPERATION GET ALONG. A friend gave me the idea last night and I put it into action first thing this morning. Yesterday I had a tearful meltdown after a long, stressful day. I am so drained from my children’s attitudes of ungratefulness and discontent. I’m exhausted from hearing ‘I’m bored’ and ‘Who’s going to play with me?’. I grew up with one sibling and he’s three years younger than me. We had an amazing childhood. No toy boxes, no video games, just the outdoors, each other, and a wild imagination that took us anywhere we wanted to go.
I’m dissatisfied with how little my children read and the fact that they never choose reading out of a short list of options. The solution? First thing this morning, I pulled a large, empty rubbermaid container out of the garage and filled it with all of their toys, LEGOs, balls, blocks, video games, and anything else that wasn’t a writing utensil or a book. Their room doesn’t contain a single toy any more. Their canvas toy bins were replaced with good books and suddenly their options are quite simple. Not surprisingly, they spent almost all day outside playing quite well together. I’m trying very hard not to intervene at every slight disagreement. I want them to learn to be peacemakers and to do so without an adult forcing reconciliation. Of course this takes great heart training while they’re young, but they’re already equipped, they simply need lots of practice.
As I watch my children grow and the reality of how fast time passes by really sinks in, I do everything in my power to slow it down. With all my might I try to choose my battles wisely. When sweet Owen wants to play in the tub for an hour every afternoon (instead of napping), I let him. Just this afternoon he came inside with a bug in his hand and said, “Momma, this is my buddy. He’s black and orange, and orange is my favorite color. I’m going to put him in my pocket.” I simply smiled and said okay. I will undoubtedly find his little buddy in the washing machine in a few days.
My heart longs for another baby so much that I often could swear I feel flutters in my womb, knowing good and well I am not pregnant. Knowing of the millions of orphans around the world, my heart aches for this long road before me. I can’t get her into my arms fast enough. His timing is perfect and His peace will pass my understanding.
I think back to the moment in which I found out I was pregnant with each of the boys. Especially with Owen, how I’d longed for over a year to be pregnant again. The ovulation tests, the temperature taking, and the months and months of negative tests and overwhelming sadness. I simply can’t imagine the anguish some of you have experienced after years and years of infertility; many of whom have still never experienced motherhood.
And so I remove all of the obstacles that I possibly can that cause our lives to move at the speed of light. I sit and read with my children, I lay down with them at night and run my fingers through their hair as we say prayers and they tell me all about their day and their hopes of what tomorrow might hold. Each night they pray for baby Zoe, that God would keep her safe and healthy and that she might come home very soon. They pray for provision so we can go to her as fast as possible. Joshua will likely be ten years old when she finally comes home. It’s hard to fathom.
As we slow down and live life right here in the moment, I thank God for my three precious children and I pray for those still to come. I pray for His timing and I seek His face.
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5
I hope your weekend is aflame with God’s glory.