I was in many ways still a child myself.
Yes, I had a college degree.
Yes, I had a job.
What I didn’t have, though, was any kind of credential qualifying me for motherhood.
I had little experience with children and practically no experience with newborns.
I had no answers for tough questions or solutions for tough problems.
My view of the world was limited to road trips to and from Oklahoma and a few vacations that took me as far as California and New York.
I was a young girl still trying to figure out who I was and why I was even on this planet.
I started the journey of motherhood much like a hiker who sets out on the Appalachian Trail having never hiked before.
And yet extremely excited and ready for this new and scary adventure.
I’m almost on the other side of full-time parenting; and just like a hiker who finishes an expedition,
I now realize that my journey was more about what I learned along the way than it was about what I completed.
Branches had to be cut away as I blazed this unmarked trail,
but the pruning was often parts of me that had to go……
God used and still uses my kids to shape me into who He wants me to be.
As I stumbled along an unfamiliar path,
my search for water often took me on detours that left me feeling lost and alone.
It was these very times of loneliness, though, that taught me Who I really needed to survive.
There was always something, even in the times of feeling lost, that brought me back to a place where I could find my way again………………a guidepost, a marker, something.
I just had to learn to live with my eyes wide open, constantly aware of His presence and His voice whispering,
“Walk this way.”
I realize now that all along the way, as I thought I was teaching my kids about love. honesty, selflessness, kindness, and humility, they were actually teaching me those very things themselves.
There’s something about NOT having all the answers that forces a mom to look to the One who does.
There’s something about falling short time and time again that causes a mom to reach out for the hands of Someone who is always there to soften the landing.
There’s something about wanting a do-over in so many conversations that turns a mom to the Person who says, “My mercies are new every morning.”
There’s something about NOT being able to provide the perfect home and the perfect life that sends a mom running to the only place of Perfection.
My kids are almost all a part of the adult world now.
I’m nearing the end of the trail of “mommy-hood,”
and I’m seeing a different kind of light in the branches up ahead.
I started the hike with new boots and a not-so-impressive backpack of supplies.
Somehow, God kept my boots from wearing thin and my backpack from running low.
He provided just what I needed every step of the way even when I thought I couldn’t make it another step.
I wouldn’t trade this hike of motherhood, though long and sometimes painful, for any other experience………
and I’m excited about the hike that’s still ahead of me.
The hike with adult children.
But for today, I want to say to all young mommies,
Spend less time trying to teach your kids and more time sharing life with them.
Every time life gets tough or the day seems way too long, stop and ask yourself this question,
“What am I suppose to be learning on the motherhood hike today?”
If I could go back in time and be a mommy all over again,
I would talk less and listen more.
I would get out of the way and let my kids lead me down more uncharted paths.
I would stop along the way and climb more trees.
I would taste more berries.
I wouldn’t be afraid of what I couldn’t see up ahead,
because I realize now that I was never, ever alone…………
even in the darkest moments.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.