Sunday, October 18, 2015

Eleventeen and Other Endangered Things

We're trying not to burst with laughter as she obliges and repeats her counting. "Nine, ten, eleventeen..." It's her littleness that captures us every time. Even Oliver is giggling at Ashanti's mistakes while his juvenility was the one we were enamoured with only a few months before. (He'd rushed into the house exclaiming that I needed to get outside right away because Emily would become an endangered species if I didn't hurry! Apparently she was stuck in a tree and with all the learning we'd done about African animals, that terminology was the first thing that came to his mind concerning her safety.) Ashanti has returned to "one, two, three..." She finds more satisfaction in our amusement than the actual correctness of her task. Performance driven? Yes, she fits in quite well at our family dinner-table-stage. We drink in the sweet counting errors again with this entertaining, newly-turned-three year-old.

But, these days, as I tuck a little one in for afternoon naps, I also find myself in the passenger's seat while my oldest drives around town. I am the recipient of profound and wondrous gifts and it humbles me when I take a moment to dwell on it all. The famous and transitory "eleventeen" passed through each of our children's lips at one time or another but it's also this fragment in the puzzle of life at home for Meghan that is endangered. She reminds us with a smile that her time here is short before she's off in the big world, conquering dreams and living out God's purposes. We nod and smile back and refuse to pause too long on that subject. But I must pause. I must wrangle every memory and every prayer before five children at home becomes four and our present is extinguished like a flame. Littleness, bigness--it's all endangered because time is fleeting.

Gratitude is my heartbeat but I seek God to rescue my sometimes misaligned attitude and words. What is most important in this small window of my life? Am I modeling Jesus to my children?  Thankfully, as He redeems me, I'm able to truly live like I love Him, which cages vulnerable times that might otherwise become threatened. No regrets is likely an impossible hope but redeemed moments are a promise from the One who gave the profound and wondrous gifts in the first place. And as this present era moves into a new and exciting epoch, I will praise Jesus for the opportunity to have joined Him in raising a few precious members of this generation.


Julia said...

I often pause and reflect on the example I've set for my kids, as well Heather. Have I done enough? Could I/should I have done things differently? Did I make the right choices? I guess I just need to trust in God to fill in the gaps. {{hugs}} have a great week!

Camille said...

So grown up!! Your Meghan is a lovely young woman. It's amazing how quickly it happens!! You are right...the Lord gives much grace and strength and wisdom for the journey. It is truly wonderful to rest our hearts there. Don't rush it....savour it. Each moment is a gift. XOXO

Heather said...

Julia, I agree. Thanks for your support!

Camille, it's amazing watching each other's kids grow up, eh? :)