Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday nights...

This is how we spend most Friday nights now. Not that we were all that adventurous before kids, but still, we might have stayed out past 8pm. I remember when Tyler and I were living in Arizona early in our marriage, both working at a small retail pharmacy. It wasn't uncommon for us to put in 70 hours a week... a great excuse to eat out every night after we got off at 7pm. Sounds luxurious, until we remember how miserable we were. Even though I've only had my nails done twice in my life (one was on my wedding day!), I'd still choose a Friday night with Play-Doh stuck underneath my nails, including the one severely warped by a Chuck E. Cheese bathroom stall door.

Tyler and I were married four years before we had Jack. We're so grateful for that time that we took for each other, to work, travel, and enjoy a little more freedom (ok, a lot more!) than we have now. We poured ourselves into a decent social life and ministries galore. It didn't feel selfish to live that way at first. And then one day it happened. I remember telling Tyler that I was tired of my life revolving around me. Even though there were a lot of good things weaved into how we spent our days, we wanted to reach a little more outside of ourselves. We longed for a ministry a little bit closer to home.

There's no turning back when it comes to parenting. Friday nights will forever look different to us now. There are Friday nights that are full of contentment spent at home with our little ones. Then there are the Friday nights when we long for a little bit of peace and quiet and the chance to come and go as we please. We long for friends and restaurants with decent food. But thinking about how parenting has changed me, I would never want to go back.

I love this quote by author Elizabeth Prentiss. My challenge today for myself: to not spend too much time looking back, so much that I miss all that God has for me today...

(She had just found out she was expecting her third baby and was delighted. Her sister-in-law, however, had a different outlook; much like the one I can be so prone to have).

“She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing. Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers!”(Stepping Heavenward, p.228-229)

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