To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven -Ecclesiastes 3:1 (and The Byrds) 😉
I was recently talking to a friend who is on the board of a wonderful charity called PJ’s Forgotten Children. While I was pregnant with Chloe I had several opportunities to volunteer at their headquarters but many times didn’t go because of exhaustion, morning sickness or both. I was telling her how much I wish I had been there more when I had what now seems like loads of time and how I would love to be there to help now. She said to me, “There is a time and a season for everything.” I loved hearing these words and the thought stuck with me.
A few weeks later I managed to make it to yoga because hubby was working from home. (Yay!) During the class our teacher mentioned that since his 18-month-old twins came into the world he hasn’t able to practice nearly as much as he would like to. His body is not what it used to be. His practice is not what it used to be. But he knows that this is a season of life that will come and go. It is temporary. This is not always how it will be. I layed there in savasana with a smile on my face and couldn’t help but notice the recurring message the spirit was sending to me.
Today I asked my hubby, “Don’t you love being a parent? You’re so good at it you’re such a wonderful daddy.” His response? “It’s hard.”
We talked about all the things that we used to do and used to be. When you are single, the world is your oyster and you can up and go anywhere whenever for as long as you want. You can pursue your passions without worrying about the effect it will have on others to a great degree. Then you get married and that changes slightly, but you can still do the things you love and even redo your bathroom without worrying about using your sledgehammer or saw during naps and finish it in a LOT less time. Then you have children and that changes completely. Things have to be placed on hold or at the very least given less of your attention which can feel frustrating and sometimes hard.
“This too shall pass. She will never be this small again. One day you won’t be able to hold her in your arms. Enjoy this time.”
Whenever I start to get frustrated during the 3AM feedings, or when my little one refuses to take a nap and I find myself crying along with her (which happens more often than I dare admit) I say a prayer asking Heavenly Father to take the negative feelings away and every single time the spirit whispers to me, “This too shall pass. She will never be this small again. One day you won’t be able to hold her in your arms. Enjoy this time.” and with these thoughts my frustration dissipates and my heart is peaceful again. That is the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is there for us in such infinitely personal ways. And he loves us so much he only not wants to take away our pain, he wants to give us a greater peace than we could expect.
I know many who are on the other side of where I am at right now and are actively pursuing other goals and dreams now that their children are a little (or a lot) more grown. I know many who are in the thick of it. Two, three, four, five children in. I know many who have journeys completely different of their own or have yet to know what this journey feels like. Is it hard? Yes. Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it transformative? On every level yes. Is it worth it? A thousand times YES.
There is so much beauty in creating with God and experiencing a life unlike any other I’ve ever known. There is such beauty in the process that as a friend put it, “tears you apart so that you can rebuild yourself as a mother.” There is such beauty in the growth that takes place in such a short period of time; in having this person who needs you and loves you and who looks to you for every comfort. This person who is eternally sealed to you. Yes, there are all kinds of experiences we are unable to have right now. But so many of these experiences are temporary and fleeting. A yoga class here, a bike ride there, a concert, a movie, a quiet night to ourselves. I have been reflecting the last few days on how all of these things are impermanent. All of it. Except one.
The one permanent thing, the single thing that we can take with us when we leave this earth, the one thing that is everlasting and is worth every second of our time and investment is the family we are each a part of.
Families are not fleeting. Families are not temporary. This is life eternal and families are forever.