Savouring Every Season

Maggie   |   August 24, 2016 

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Everyone said it would be over in the blink of an eye: this insane, hard, glorious season of having little ones. Little ones are everywhere—underfoot in the kitchen, in the bed in the middle of the night, in the potty when others of us (ahem!) need to use it.

This season of small children has nearly put me over the edge of sanity. Almost every day, I feel like I am at full capacity, nearing my threshold, overwhelmed. Everywhere I turn, there is need and roiling emotion and sin—and that’s just in my own heart, forget the six other people who live under my roof! After baby number five was born in 2015, I said, “I need a break from having babies! Maybe forever.” And so, we have been in a blissful season of recovery.

I have been having babies for nearly the last decade. My oldest turns nine in December and we have four more besides. I am weary. My mind is constantly multi-tasking; my body has nourished and grown and birthed five children approximately every two years; and my heart is full to bursting and very undone by trying to parent all these little individuals. There have been many days over the past eight years that I have wanted all of the mess of small children to hurry up and get along, to move on out, to get going to the next season. People told me to enjoy this season—the days are long, but the years are short, they said. And intellectually, I believed them, but under the ocean of being overwhelmed, it seemed like the end could not come too soon.

Then my baby turned one in April and suddenly, she is past the halfway mark, closer to little girl than baby. I wonder at what all of the children can do for themselves now, and for each other, without me. I marvel at their independence and how quickly it appeared—like the fiery edge of dawn that comes pouring over the horizon just when the night feels endlessly dark and cold and lonely. It came almost without warning. And while the break, the breath, the beauty of the sunrise are all welcome, I find myself longing for the middle of the night feedings, for the babes that crawled and cooed not that long ago.

Of course my home is still chaos embodied. Of course five children eight-and-under still feels like a LOT of little ones. But the other night I glanced at a photo with my two little girls lying side-by-side, one two years old and one who is about six months and I thought, “Is this season really ending? Is it almost over?”

This season that once seemed nearly endless, now nearly gone. Why do I cry when I write that? In the midst of it, it seemed like all I did was kick against the goads embodied in my children.

I am reading a short collection of poetry by Sarah Dunning Park entitled, What it is is beautiful: honest poems for mothers of small children. I like the poems, but more than anything, I like the perspective: What it is is beautiful. It has re-centered my soul in the truth that even in the hard, even in the ugly, even in the dark, whatever our gracious God pours over my life is beautiful. Each season, though often weighty and maybe difficult, also bears up a unique beauty that will be there only for that particular space and time.

How can I learn to sit in it, to sit with it, to lean into the beauty and see it in the moment, not just after it is over? I am practicing thanksgiving and stillness in the final days of the only season I have ever really known with my children: crazy-overwhelmed. And I pray each successive season will find me more aware of how precious and beautiful it is.

Photo Credit : Unsplash

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Maggie

Maggie likes reading, writing and cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest; but she does not like cooking the same things twice. She enjoys the temperate climate of one of the smaller large cities in India and she is in process of growing a small garden of succulents on the terrace. Her life is terminally crazy, but she is learning to rest under the lighter yoke of Jesus. She lives with her husband and five daughters and newest family member Shasta, a Golden Retriever puppy. Send help soon!

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6 comments on “Savouring Every Season”

  1. I completely understand this! I have 5 as well ages 12 yrs to 18 months. And some days, I simply want it to hurry along to where I'm not having to watch our youngest every second of the day to keep him from harming himself. I long for stretches of quiet to hear my own thoughts, but instead I have piles and piles of laundry and dishes and meal planning to do. And just this week I was teary-eyed thinking of our 12 year old and of 6 more years with him at home before college and our family changes forever. Only 6 years! Then panic and sadness set in. Sigh. Anyway, all to say that I completely agree, each season has its beauty and I want to stop and remember that and wish it all away too quickly. Thanks for your post!

  2. I marvel you for having 5, I am overwhelmed with only 2, lil one being just 3 months now...someone told us to enjoy our baby in d midst of chaos before we had our first child, cos they grow up really fast, n we followed advice and enjoyed our daughter each moment....thanks for the re-inforcing to enjoy this season too ????

  3. This is beautifully written Maggie and we are so very proud of who you have become and what you are allowing God to do in your life!

    Now as far as a Dog...it only seems like yesterday that a precocious little Teenage Maggie insisted that we get an Australian Shepard named Belle for our family. Well Belle has Long since gone, but the fifteen years that she spent with us will be forever cherished. Thank you!

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