"Surviving 10," originally posted May 5th 2008
Here I am 10 years into this parenting gig- part of me wanting it all back, part of me just glad to have survived.
Before we were married Michael and I went to premarital counseling. On one visit the counselor asked us to write a 5 and 10yr goal for our marriage. We wrote the American dream; work, save, buy house, baby on the way at the end of 5 years, work, save, another baby, more savings by 10yrs. We also wrote of our spiritual ambitions for ourselves as a couple, our desire for growth, and our hope to do ministry together.
Our lives have never looked anything like our 5 or 10yr plan.
"Many are the plans of a man's heart,
but it is God who determines his steps."
Noah joined Michael and I 19 months after we married. I wasn't one of those new moms that enjoyed every minuet. Becoming a mother changed everything before I was ready for change. I was 24, admiring the independence of my single friends. I was not ready to wear maternity clothes, to gain 63lbs, for stretch marks, to drive a station wagon, to give myself up (literally) for another person. When Emilie came along 14 months later (and 7 weeks early) I wasn't ready. When I was pregnant less than a year later I wasn't ready, but I was moving into accepting God's plan because I had seen how He had been faithful regardless of my readiness. When we celebrated our 5th anniversary and our 4th pregnancy (with Josie), I had finally given in, and I began giving up the idea that life would look as I wanted it to.
I recall one afternoon in those first years- Michael had come home from work, I was still in my p.j's, toys were everywhere, the kids were running in happy circles around daddy, dinner was no where near being started, there were endless piles of laundry, doctors bills sitting on the counter, credit card bills lingering over us like a dark cloud, and a check book that had been in the red for too long. I looked at him and said, "would you have run the other way, if you had known it would be like this?" Michael said, "No, never."
If I were sitting in that counselors office, and I had our 5 and 10 yr plan to write over again I would write just 3 words- REMAIN IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the only constant, the only hope, the only future, the only one who can determine our steps. And I am counting on Him for the shaping, molding, and growing of our hearts, minds, and souls. I am counting on Him to take care of the ministry he has given us in raising these people for His kingdom. I am counting on Him to know their future. I am counting on Him to know my future without them safe in our home.