enjoy these years

Last week, my kids and I visited a sweet couple in our church. We filled the crockpot with chili, brought a bag of books, and a million other accessories such as sour cream + cheese, diapers + wipes, pants + underwear {for my potty-training 2 year old}, and the all important blankie for Miles.

Say hello to the traveling circus.

When we arrived, the kids made themselves right at home while I attempted to assemble lunch. A few minutes later, Miles began to get fussy and I put him down for a nap in the living room {cue the blankie}.

As we sat down to eat, I found myself getting up + down multiple times. Moms, you know the drill, right? Just when you’re getting ready to take a bite, something spills. Or someone cries. Their food isn’t being eaten. Or their food has been eaten and they want more.

The entire time, Nate & Anna Grace were each trying to tell their stories. Which, of course, resulted in excessive talking and not much eating.

In the midst of this chaos, the friend we were visiting smiled at me and said, “Oh, I hope you’re enjoying these years!” and then went back to listening to my kids’ chatter.

I’ll admit – the idea seemed like a joke.

Enjoy this?

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Yeah. Enjoy it.

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Because life won’t always be this busy. And someday I’m gonna miss it.

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Because 10 years from now, I don’t want to look back on this time as years when I just ‘barely made it’ but as a busy time that I enjoyed to the fullest.

Because those eyes won’t always be that big + beautiful.

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Those hands won’t always be so small + soft.

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I won’t always be able to just run up and kiss those adorable chubby cheeks.

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And one day this sweet smile will be for some other guy.

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But today is not that day. Today I want to enjoy these years to the fullest.
Nobody else can be a Mommy to my kids. Only me.

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And I’m so thankful.

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 thank you, Jesus, for the opportunity to love.
help me to be thankful for every moment.
give me a heart full of worship for you – not only in church on Sunday, but wiping bottoms & scrubbing bathtubs on Monday.
help me to love my babies just like you love me.

Whether you’re a mama or not…enjoy these years.
And especially? Enjoy now.

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8 comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Good grief, I’m bawling. So true, so precious.
    Right now my babies are sleeping. Tomorrow I’m taking pictures of them. They grow too fast not to. Thank you for sharing the challenge and the joy.

  2. Ashley says:

    I so agree that we need to enjoy this once in a lifetime period of our lives, but how do you enjoy it? The baby isn’t a problem – she’s the sweetest thing ever, but how do you enjoy it when you’re constantly breaking up fights between the 32 and 21 month olds? When your small house is constantly a mess as the two older children play? When you end the day feeling as if your mind is going to explode from being from being pulled four different directions all day long. When you have no support (other than your amazing husband) or anyone to help in a pinch. When it seems like you change poopy after poopy diapers and run out of Wal-Mart bags to contain the smell inside of the trash can. When fixing hair elicits cries and eating breakfast (or any meal!) is an ordeal in and of itself. When you have yet to figure out how to go grocery shopping by yourself with three children not even three and under. And I could go on…. I’m sure you get the idea! :0)
    To be honest, I don’t think I would trade this life, but I’m in survival mode and not truly enjoying or treasuring these days. Maybe it has to do with having postpartum depression, but I don’t want to look back on these days and regret not having enjoyed them, as crazy and exhausting as they are. How do I enjoy and treasure them?

  3. Beka says:

    Ashley, while the Lord has placed me in different circumstances, some of what you are saying I can completely relate to (2 kids 3 and under, no family around to help at all other than my amazing man, etc). I found the book “Loving the Little Years” by Rachel Jankovic to be very helpful for what you’re talking about. It was encouraging to me anyways. One of the things I loved about her book (she is a mama with 5 kids all under the age of 6) was that the chapters are super short (some only 1 or 2 pages). That enabled me to read the book and not feel overwhelmed. Anyways, just thought I’d throw that out there 🙂
    On an ironic note, I was watching my 15 month old in the tub while reading this post and comments, and just as I started to comment, I glanced in the tub to discover that my baby had gone #2 and was beginning to play with it 😉 Gotta love it!!
    Trusting God to help us all find our strength in Him and enjoy these years! Hang in there 🙂

  4. Becky says:

    This is so poignant. I was emotional reading it as well. So thankful that we have Christ to cling to as we travel through these very busy but also extremely precious years. ❤️

  5. Amy says:

    The years do go by way too fast. I don’t think we really take the time to enjoy our children when they are small. Those years are so precious & I really miss having babies & toddlers in the house. I have 5 children from the ages of 13 down to age 4 and there are many days that I wish that I could go back & appreciate the younger years again. I think that I need to learn to be more thankful for my family more then I already am, because they could be taken from me at any moment. God has given those children to us for a reason & it is our job to do the best we can rearing them with His help.
    Thank you Christa for this good reminder!

  6. Diana says:

    So so true. It can be really hard to enjoy all these days but I know they will be over way too soon!

  7. Christa says:

    hi Ashley! well, I guess first of all I should tell you that I wrote this post – not because I’m an expert at ‘enjoying these years’ – but because it’s a struggle for me too. But I know it’s a struggle worth fighting to win! let me think on this a bit and shoot you an email.
    thanks for your comments. keep struggling to win, ok?
    xoxo,
    Christa

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