The last 22 years of my life have been the most exhilarating I think a girl can have. For all of those 22 years, I have been a mama and this milestone of my life has been the most rewarding and still is today.
There is nothing sweeter than watching your own baby sleep, all wrapped up in their blankie, that they just can’t sleep without, snuggled in your arms as you hum softly, while rocking them gently in your favorite rocking chair. My mother used to say to me, “Becca, enjoy it now, because before you know it, they will be all grown up.” I really didn’t listen to that advice and it wasn’t until City Boy turned 21 years old that I took a long, hard look at what that really meant.
So much of our lives are cluttered with the busy mornings of rising early, getting everyone ready for the day, putting our little people on a bus, where they will go off to school and be gone for several hours. Sometimes, no, most of the time, for much longer than just a typical school day, because many of us mamas work full-time jobs away from home. The days, weeks, months and years pass by and before you know it, they are all grown up and ready to start a family of their own. Your left to wonder where the time went. How much of that time was wasted and how much of it was quality time spent?
I used to find myself lying awake at night wondering if I’ve done a good job at teaching my children the important lessons I wanted to impart on them. Like, how to be grateful for what they have, because all of it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. That life is gonna get hard, really, really hard, but that they can always rely on their dad and I to help them through it the best we can. That life isn’t about the money or the things or the junk that clutter up their lives, but about how much they loved, really, truly loved. That regardless of how many times they go to bed without saying their prayers, that the Lord is always there, no matter what, to comfort them.
While I’ve worked hard to instill these values in my children, I have forgotten that they apply to the mama as well.
The first month on the homestead was quite the adjustment for everyone, but I have to admit that I think it had been the hardest on me. I came here with really, big plans. Plans for chicks, goats, gardens, running water and full electric and an entire home remodel. Some of those things have happened, but certainly not all. I’ve had to learn that part of the homesteading dream comes a little disappointment. I’ve learned that I have to be willing to make sacrifices. But most of all, I’ve learned to be grateful for the blessings the Lord has bestowed on me and my family.
I couldn’t have learned any of those lessons without my children.
When I sit on our beautiful, front porch and watch my children play in the yard, my heart fills with warmth. It really does a mama’s heart good to watch her children’s faces light up with joy when she tells them that they can go outside and play anytime they want. It’s incredible to watch my children work on our homestead, offering a helping hand. When they murmur “I love you Mama. You are the best Mama in the whole world!” in my ear because they are able to help plant our garden. And when I tuck them in at night and I watch them sleeping contentedly, I know that they are grateful for what the Lord has blessed us with.
They don’t mind that we have to heat up water for baths, or that the refrigerator is running on an extension cord. They don’t mind that they are all camping out on the living room floor while we wait for their bedrooms to be built. They don’t mind that we wash our clothes in the bathtub.
They’ve taught me that no matter how hard life seems to be at the time, that nothing is the end of the world, except, the end of the world. That when I’m feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, they remind me, that I have the most amazing family in the world, who loves me and who thinks I’m the “best mama in the whole wide world”. They’ve taught me to appreciate the little moments in our lives, because one day, they will be the big moments. That this is the life we are creating together and that these are the memories that my children will one day look back on.
They’ve taught me, to love, to truly love. And for that, I’m forever grateful.