You probably didn’t realize there are 940 Saturdays in the span of eighteen years.
I only learned that on a trip to Barnes and Noble looking for a pregnancy journal to use for my third child. The book, so casually put between the What to Expect series and family keepsakes, begged me to pick it up and leaf through it’s pages. So I did, and the tears fell hot and quick, as I glanced at my then six and almost-four-year-old boys, wondering how many Saturdays of their eighteen years with us were already gone.
Today, my oldest is eight, and in less than one year we will have lived half of his 940 Saturdays together. This realization is overwhelming in more ways than I can count because it begs the question of what we have to show for all of those days, and how it is they have passed us by so quickly.
See right beside the days I am most proud of – the ones in which we have lived and loved well as a family – there are days we have wasted. Ones shaded in worry and regret, governed by busy, and lost to the chaos of life.
And time moves so quickly.
The older I get, the faster it seems to go, and it is all the more difficult to get what’s most important right. With each passing moment it can feel like I lose just a little more control over all the days that go blurring by.
This is something I struggle with.
To stop looking at all the things that can’t get done, all the people I haven’t seen, all of the shoulds and coulds and woulds, and just be present. In the mess of that day. In the raucous chaos of three wild and beautiful boys. In the sacred space of a marriage that hasn’t yet arrived, or a career that hasn’t done what I thought it would.
Because whether I like it or not, life will continue to spin by in it’s fury and frenzy, unless I choose to stop. To wait. To listen to the voice of my good and loving Father.
Because I know His plans for me are best.
But I can’t see them when I’m not looking. And I can’t hear Him when it’s too loud. And I can’t sense His presence near me when I’m exhausted, worn out and spent, from all the busy I create trying to catch up to myself.
So my challenge –
When the world starts to get crazy, and all the Saturdays feel like they are flying past wind-whipping me in their wake…
When busy starts to test the foundation of my peace and fray me at my very edges…
I have to get near to Jesus.
Where He reminds me who I am and whispers how I, and my days – even those Saturdays – can be redeemed with His help. By His grace.
Mom or not, in every stage of life, that time with Jesus, it changes everything.
It was honor to write and share this essay at the 2017 Women of Willow Retreat in Glenview, IL.