Our family decorated for Christmas the day after Halloween. Yes. Yes we did. Before I had kids, I swore I’d never, ever decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Now eight and a half years later it’s come to this. We had Halloween candy out and a Christmas tree up.
It made me twitch just a little. Or a lot. Don’t judge.
But this is what happens when your kids (and 36-year-old husband) beg to decorate early. Such is the life of a mother.
We do things we said we’d never do. We give up things we said we’d never give up. We rush. We delay. We sacrifice. We wait. And it’s all totally worth it. The giving up. The delaying. The sacrificing. The waiting.
But one day you wake up and your baby is eight and a half. Your middle boys are six and five. Your baby “baby” is nearly two. Inexplicably. Impossibly. Your babies aren’t babies. The days that seemed would never end are dusking away.
All the advice to “not miss this” becomes painfully, poignantly understood. Those days are gone. Can’t be captured again. I won’t ever again pick up my eight year old. My middle boys won’t stand up in their cribs arms reaching for me to pick them up. My baby is running head first into toddlerhood.
It has been wonderful, and it’s not over. But it is different. It is a new season.
Of all the things that God pushed the pause button on, the hardest was waiting out my inner opportunist to rush ahead of Him in ministry. He said, “Wait.” “Not now.” “Not yet.” Sometimes I have waited willingly and happily. Sometimes I have waited because I didn’t have any other choice. But I waited.
And then in January God said not to wait anymore. I sensed He was telling me to move into this new season- a season of preparation. So I started saying, “yes.” It was January. It’s now December. I don’t have a lot to show for my “yes’s.” They are small. They are mostly unseen.
But today I’m unveiling one big “yes.” Did you notice? My little corner of cyberspace is delightfully new. My dear, wicked smart and ever patient friend Erin made it happen. It feels just wonderful. I can’t wait to meet you here. I told Erin I wanted it to feel like a sofa for your soul. A place to connect. To visit. To veg.
Part of my “yes” is to join you here. That’s my “yes.”
I don’t know more than this. That’s the way I roll these days. I don’t over-commit. I don’t really know what my new normal is. I don’t fully know my own bandwidth. I’m still a Mom. I still have four little people and one big person who need a lot of me. I can’t go all in. My plan is to still listen to that wise and wonderful advice to “savor each moment” with my boys-all of them. Those moments do pass too quickly. So I am a Wife/Mom first.
But now, for the first time, I have permission to say I am something else. I am a communicator. It is second. A distant second. But it is there. Hi. I’m Whitney, and I have stuff to say. Things to teach. Stories to tell.
It is a new season.