The Light on in Me

April 19, 2016

How in the world are we already into April?

Is it just me or does time seem to stall like an old jalopy and then out of nowhere pick up at the speed of the Concord?

My first school calendar year to have one less child at home is almost in the books. Happy to report that it does get easier. Not easy. Easier.

With all the hustle, bustle, excitement and hand wringing of getting our first born off to college, I felt like I had earned a major breather.

It’s like I shut the front door of all my swirling emotions, turned around and subconsciously pictured my two girls being little and ready to live at home for the next millinneum.

But one problem: they aren’t little. One is a junior in high school and one is a freshman.

The danger of feeling like I could completely relax resulted in me waking up to Caroline being a second semester junior. WAIT. I have to go through this all over again????

I just thought it’d be me, Wayne and the girls from this point forward at home, and we could look forward to seeing Jack with annoying infrequency.

Doesn’t reality just stink sometimes?

God bless my friends who have their children one grade apart. Just put me back under the rock in my backyard if that was the case with me.

Whenever I get in a pensive frame of mind, which seems to be more often these days, the people closest to me probably get a tad uncomfortable, because they don’t know what that will mean for them.

God bless my husband.

Since I leave a light on in Jack’s room every day since he left this past August, I often wonder how good of a job I am doing at leaving a light on inside of me as well.

You know the benefits of light. It dispels darkness. It gives direction. It gives warmth. Just to name a few…

I think we as moms can get so wrapped up in keeping the light on in everyone else in our family, that we forget about our own. The problem with that is if we can’t see our own way through the dark, how the heck can we add light to someone else’s path in a productive way?

So with each habitual and comforting flip of the switch on the bedside table in Jack’s room every morning, I am trying to consciously flip the switch on inside myself as well.

That means that I have to consciously surrender to the Lord, who is my source of light. Every day.

There are so many great biblical references to light, but one of my favorites is John 8:12 which says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” Good stuff.

With my personality being wired the way it is, I could hold my family hostage at any given time if I am surrendered to my feelings instead of being surrendered to God.

Raising children (especially teens) has shown me that my feelings can change easily and often.

Some of the issues that I see in me, I’ve seen in some other moms with teenagers as well. Our insecurities (isn’t it a relief knowing that it is universal?) can lie dormant until our children hit the teenage years.

I haven’t experienced anything in the toddler/pre teen years that can touch the deep recesses of a mom’s emotional well like the teenage years can. Then all of a sudden, when tricky high school circumstances arise, mama insecurities can pop up out of nowhere.

And, OUCH.

You can relate to what the myriad of tricky circumstances can be: When our child doesn’t get something they desperately want. When our child doesn’t get invited to the party. When our child doesn’t make the team or sits on the bench. When our child is lonely. When our child’s heart gets broken.

Or when everyone else seems to be skating through life and you are just trying to find where your dog hid your skates.

Oh, moms, isn’t our instinct to come in and fix it? Because you know we can if we want to bad enough. But I’ve found that when I keep my mouth shut, my head bowed and my knees bent, I give God the room to take care of it all.

And He does take care of it. Every time. But I have to flip that switch.

My mom has told me that life gets trickier the older you get. Or to quote her mom, “life gets tedious”. I didn’t believe this when I was young. I thought the proverbial white picket fence (wasn’t so proverbial when I was young – we actually had a white picket fence!), husband and 2.5 children would be the ticket to a long, happy life.

While I don’t have a picket fence, I do have a great husband and I have 3 children instead of 2.5 (never really understand what that meant), I can still see why she said what she said.

Life does get trickier. It does get more tedious. Which is even more reason I have to turn that light on inside of me, instead of just leaving it on in Jack’s room every day.

Especially since in about a year, I’ll be leaving the light on in another child’s room as well.

New additions to other areas of the website:

Banana Fiber Muffins – under Breakfast tab

Photo Wall Collage – under Things I Love tab

Favorite Penne Pasta – under Dinner tab

Skirt Steak – under Dinner tab

Bluebell Floral Centerpiece – under Centerpieces in a Snap





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  • Leslie Knapp April 19, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    This is great Julie. Love the part about where did the dog hide your skates! 🙂

  • Cara Berkman April 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I love the John 8:12 verse. I am right behind you…so what an encouragement for me to read. No better place but to stay on my knees as I parent emotional females. Thanks for your advice, wisdom, and friendship!