Smith Silliness

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Press On

on May 10, 2015

This past year I, like a crazy person, tucked my kids into bed on Thanksgiving and headed out to take advantage of the Black Friday sales.  I went to Kohl’s for a few things and was supposed to be home in a couple hours so my husband could head out to Target for some deals.  We had it all planned out.  I knew it would be busy, but I did not anticipate the length of the check out line.  It wrapped halfway around the store, and that’s when I got in it.  When I looked behind me through the course of the evening it only stretched further and further into the distance.  Since I was on a time limit I was overwhelmed by the length of the line.  Even more so, because I couldn’t see the front of the store.  I really didn’t have a good way to gauge how long I would be in the line and when I would make it to the end.  I felt better when I could finally see the registers and the army of cashiers they had brought in for the occasion.

As I stood in that line, inching slowly along, I thought about how motherhood feels that way sometimes.  Time stretches out in front of us with no real way for us to know when we’ll reach the finish line, or even how we’ll know we made it.  Because really, we never stop bring moms.  I mean, sure, we hope that eventually our kids will leave the nest and build their own lives, but we’ll always be there for them.  A safe place to come home to, or to run to in times of trouble.  For heaven’s sake, I’m 35-years-old and when I broke my leg my mom came over to wash my hair.

We also have no real way to measure our success as a mom.  To really know if the job is done or done well.  Sure, there are things we can look for, do our kids grow up to be kind, loving members of society?  Do they love Jesus with all of their heart?  Do they say please and thank you?  But sometimes we do the VERY BEST JOB but our kids are still people with free will and they choose a path we would never have chosen for them.  Does that mean we messed up big time?  Of course not.  Because there is no front of the store, no bank of cash registers to tell us we’ve made it; we’ve crossed the finish line.  There’s just hours spend on our knees praying for the precious souls God’s given us.  There are tea parties and water gun fights and tickle wars.  Whispered “I love you’s”, kissing imaginary boo-boos, and reading Sandra Boynton for the one millionth time.  We press on.  When it’s fun and easy, and when it’s hard and overwhelming.  And we parent with open hands, because these children are not ours, they’re on loan to us from God, and there’s no distance they can wander that is too far beyond where God can reach.  Because He loves them most.

Paul said we are to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).  We may never see the full fruits of our labor, but we will see little things along the way.  Things that motivate us to continue to press on as we raise the ones God’s called us to raise.  There will be setbacks, of course, but we have to focus on the good.  When our son says “Thank you” without being reminded.  Or our daughter rushes to soothe her sister’s cries.  Or a sweet little one takes your hand on a hard day and prays for you.  The finish line is there, sweet mama, just over the horizon, so press on.

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