Joy in the Present

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever
· Hebrews 13:8 ·

For the last few years, my quiver has looked a little different. Two of my arrows are married with families of their own, and my youngest arrow…well, this may be her last Christmas at home as she is ready to take the next steps in her life journey.

Wait, what?

Just yesterday my husband and I stayed up until after midnight preparing Christmas morning surprises and making sure stockings were stuffed.

Just yesterday silly chatter and semi-muted giggles drifted from behind closed doors—three little girls wide-awake and too excited to sleep.

Just yesterday life was a blur of church youth activities, school programs, ballgames, orthodontic appointments, and a family of five around the dinner table.

Ten years ago, I couldn’t imagine a Christmas without a full quiver. I couldn’t comprehend experiencing the joys of the holidays without my girls under the same roof.

But I’ve discovered that the Lord shows us more of Himself through each life season—and each glimpse is precious and profound.

Holding an infant reminds us that God is the Author of life and that each soul is unique and designed by our Master Creator. We are overwhelmed with the knowledge that the Living God came to earth as a babyto make a way for us to be reconciled to Him.

Parenting a toddler is our Lord’s way of holding a mirror in front of us—challenging us to grow through our childishness and to fully surrender our hearts and wills to His plans. It’s a crash-course in obedience. And humility.

Guiding our school-age children is a rocket-ship adventure of discovery, exploration, and character-building (theirs and ours). God calls us to walk in His ways, to provide a path for smaller feet to follow. We are bombarded with questions from our offspring—about life, faith, and the universe in general. We learn to lean on the Ultimate Answer.

Loving our teens is a heart-rending, soul-searching roller coaster of love, joy, worry, hurt, hope, doubt, fear, and more joy. We fall at the feet of Jesus in ways we never dreamed—surrendering everything we thought we knew and laying bare every corner of our hearts. We come to know Jesus as our Rock, our Anchor, and our Faithful Father.

Through it all, God grows and prepares us to send our arrows into the world. He knew it would be a challenge like no other.

Growing a family is not simple or easy or quick.

It’s a journey of being refined—growing into the women God desires for us to be.

Moving from toddler-like disobedience to a fully surrendered will. Growing from an infant faith to a woman with vision and purpose in her Christ-walk.

This Holy Season may we cherish where we are and take joy in the present. May we snuggle our infants, chase our toddlers, soak in our school-agers, and give our teens and young adults eye-contact and a listening ear—with the perspective that these gift-from-God moments are temporary and fleeting.

Our quivers are ever-changing, but praise God, He is a firm foundation through each precious season.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts
· Psalm 103:17-18 ·

 

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