Monday is almost my favorite day of the week... I say almost because nothing trumps Thursday. Thursday I can usually manage to stay home ALL day... and Monday I actually do have to leave the house a couple of times.
But on Monday mornings, everyone is out of the house by 7:30 and I have the place to myself for hours. I go pray with some other moms for an hour at 1:00 and I leave for work at 4:30, but other than that, the day is mine to do what I want.
Usually, after a weekend with everyone in and out of the house, there's some cleaning to do. And I like to get organized for my work week. I usually make time for a project and some baking or cooking ahead for the week and often I'm able to exercise on Monday mornings. So unlike many people, I look forward to Mondays. The quiet possibility of a Monday is good for my soul.
As the last kid walked out the door this morning, I looked at the dog and said, "Being a mom is hard, Gracie."
In just the hour before everyone left, I had conversations about chores, when a restriction from a certain tablet computer would end, whether someone should quit track and focus on work instead, why a friend would make bad choices like sneaking out at night, how one of the kids had to tell a suitor that they weren't interested and how they managed the 'drama' and fallout, grades and study habits, finances, a story about a shoplifter one of them saw at Safeway, and the state of someone's perpetually messy bedroom.
In an hour.
That's not even counting the prompting to stay on task and the side conversations about who owes who money and how taking lunch to school in a plastic grocery bag makes you look like a homeless person (huh?) and checking to be sure homework and after-school plans are all in order.
Asia and I took a walk yesterday and found ourselves in a conversation about this stage of life we find ourselves in... there were SO many young families at church yesterday... oodles of mommies sneaking out to nurse, lots of toddlers shyly smiling our way... we are SO beyond that and yet, still really in the thick of parenting... it's just a REALLY different stage.
Particularly with Kyler - it feels like every decision he has to make in the next few months is a life altering one... lots of pressure on the poor kid to grow up and have a plan in place. A huge part of me wants him to relax and enjoy being 18... his last few months at home... (maybe). But I also feel this tremendous burden to be sure he can function alone in the adult world and find myself despairing his immaturity and idealism. It's hard to know when to intervene and when to let the chips fall where they may... letting go is quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to do as a parent. Much harder than all those sleepless nights when I could muddle through. The toddler world is pretty stinkin' forgiving... not so much this young adult reality.
We have been SO blessed with really amazing kids. I don't pretend to know the worry and heartache of kids who become rebellious and wayward... I am SO thankful for kids who have so far chosen well... I cannot imagine the sorrow of watching your kids make really poor choices. If I struggle with pretty good kids, I wonder at my ability to walk the path of those parents whose hearts truly break for their kids.
It really all comes down to trust.
Do I trust that God is bigger than the mistakes my kids might make? That He is sovereign and His providence is good? Do I believe that forgiveness is real and grace is endless? Do I trust God to guide my kids when I no longer have the ability to control their world? Can I believe in His goodness if something terrible happens?
This story that is unfolding... the lives that go out from this house every morning... is all about God's faithfulness.
My ability to mother at all is only because of God's redeeming work in my heart.
It's all part of a much bigger picture.
In those moments when I feel overwhelmed by the heaviness I take on, I must remember the grand story.
Our lives are so much bigger than whether the dishwasher got emptied or whether someone got enough hours at work...
We are part of an impressive heritage of people redeemed by God... a story of love and grace and mistakes and forgiveness and glory.
So often the minutia of life distracts me from this truth. I can so easily become bogged down with anxiety and frustrations and I lose sight of the amazing narrative we participate in.
God knows my kids SO much better than I do. He is completely good in His intentions for them. He can work ALL things for good.
Why should I worry?
It's so good to have a Monday morning to remember this.
Be blessed this week, friends. Smooch you all.