A Warning About Motherhood that No One Ever Told Me.

Several years ago, I was struggling with one of those mother of teenager issues that seemed to leave me deflated and drained. Nothing earth shattering, but frustrating and completely unexpected. I mentioned my struggle to a group of friends, and we agreed that there wasn’t much “written” in books or on blogs for mothers of older children. Oh, there were blogs for the toddler years, and even middle school, but when you got to the teen years–crickets.

We mulled this over and decided that by the time mothers had gotten to the teen years, they were pretty sure of one thing–>they didn’t know anything. Perhaps this was the reason they stopped writing?

I’m not sure that’s the whole reason.

I think there’s another reason, because I’ve experienced it myself and have had several other moms of adults tell me the same thing: the teen years and college years are the busiest years of our lives and since age is slowing us down a bit, we older moms are just trying to keep it all together.

So fun when Rebekah comes home! Shopping trips and sister outings!
So fun when Rebekah comes home! Shopping trips and sister outings!

Our kids are finishing up high school and applying to colleges.

We’re discipling teenagers who are now entering adulthood.

We’re working overtime so our kids can go to college.

We’re still just trying to make ends meet.

We’re holding on to that last tie of childhood before we pack them up and send them off into adulthood.

Matt and Lydia, engaged to be married this December. <3 So much happiness.
Matt and Lydia, engaged to be married this December.

We’re making meals and hosting their friends when they come home.

We’re texting and loving on them long distance, sometimes late into the night.

We’re re-arranging life for when they come home on break and in the summer.

Peter's 50th birthday surprise. His daughter home, and a new recliner that the kids all pitched in to purchase.
Peter’s 50th birthday surprise. His daughter home, and a new recliner that the kids all pitched in to purchase.

We’re re-arranging schedules and sharing the family car for summer jobs and conflicting schedules.

We’re celebrating college graduations and planning bridal showers, and weddings.

We’re starting new traditions as married children come by for Sunday dinner or weeknight meals or game nights.

We’re helping kids move and coming by their house for dinner or to see their new decor.

We’re getting ready for grandchildren and all that it entails.

Emily and Sam, expecting our first grandchild. Em is 20 weeks along here.
Emily and Sam, expecting our first grandchild. Em is 20 weeks along here.

So, I’ll let you in on a secret I wish someone had told me: just as you begin to slow down a little,

just as you begin to feel like your job as a “mother” has just about come to an end,

buckle up,

because the ride is just beginning and it’s steady and wonderful and so full of blessings.

I admit, it can seem a little overwhelming.

Some days I can barely keep up.

As your teens leave and become adults, your circle widens and your responsibilities decrease in many ways, but extend in other ways.

In our own homes, we still have a house to manage, preparing meals, washing sheets, cleaning toilets. The dust still appears and needs to disappear. Our church ministry is still ongoing.

Our minds aren’t quite as sharp and we forget what we read two minutes ago. Our minds aren’t quite as sharp and we forgot what we read two minutes ago. (JUST KIDDING. I did that on purpose, though I’ve been told I’m starting to be THAT forgetful. ;))

Life is faster and varied, and it’s easy to become disoriented and even undisciplined in our spiritual walk.

We can be tempted to feed on blog posts and Christians memes, and think we’ll be ok,  but honestly, our souls need serious nourishment at this stage– as much as our skin needs deep moisture serum. 🙂

Here’s another secret: this is the time of your life that your family needs you to be grounded in the Word and the challenges of this stage will require the deep roots of dwelling with God.  This requires time and planning and determination. Your children and grandchildren need a well-watered, thriving example of what it means to be a Christian and to walk with God.

If you are a seasoned Christian, you’ll be tempted to take a “been there, done that” with Biblical knowledge. This is a serious error, especially if you know how to live, but don’t live it. This is the time to be serious about mortifying your sin and walking in integrity and faithfulness.

I’ve seen many, many women become lax in their later years, and now that I am in that stage, I can see how easily that can happen.

Let’s remember what is at stake when we drop our standards, chase lesser things, and focus on this world: the glory of God.

It’s the same old, same old, friends: Read your Bible, meditate on His Word, and spend time in prayer. Get rid of your besetting sin, because your spiritual health depends on it, and our kids are still watching.

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.” Ps. 119:33

 

 

 



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