Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Looking forward

The last 11 days have truly been a vacation for our family. We didn't go anywhere exotic or warm. We stayed here, played, ate, slept, and just relaxed. Mike's last day of work was the 21st of December and then he took the rest of the month off. He goes back to work tomorrow and I have to say, I'm sad to see this all end.

The past, nearly two weeks, has really taught me to be thankful. I'm thankful that I have a husband who is really good at his job, but isn't a work-a-holic. He understands the importance of being with his family and he absolutely loves playing with the kids. I'm thankful that he understands that I need a break every now and then. I'm thankful that he isn't afraid to clean a toilet or vacuum a floor.

I'm thankful that my kids are still young enough to want to be with us. They don't crave their friends every moment of every day. J isn't involved in school sports yet so that we aren't consumed with practices and games over Christmas Break. I know that this break was a very special one because by next year, he'll be in junior high and this could all change.

I have a friend who has four children. Her youngest is a junior in high school and the other three are in college. The love she has for her kids just radiates from her and whenever I talk to her, I think God is using her to show me and remind me that these precious years I have with my kids are fleeting. There are days when I feel like I'm running in circles and I can't get everything done that I need to. Thoughts run through my mind on those days such as, "If I could just be alone in this house for two hours, I could get so much done!"

And then I have a stab of guilt in my heart because I know that one day, I will be alone in this house and I will be so very sad. I see Kirsten as she puts her daughter on a plane to another country to visit the love of her life and I don't know how she does it. I listen to her tell me about how her oldest son has met a girl he deeply loves and if he does marry her, they'll move several states away and I don't know how she doesn't try to talk him out of it! It's not because her children are making poor decisions because they aren't, it's because she has to let go and I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to do that.

For right now, I'm glad I can still grab them all and cuddle on the couch. I'm thankful for their warm, slobbery kisses and tight hugs. And I'm so, so, so thankful to God that he allowed me to be their mother.

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