"Time can only work age into skin. Within, near the soul, time is impotent, and we are forever young"... Ann says it again.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done, from beginning to end." Eccl 3:11
I have been feeling old lately. I look at pictures from just 4 short years ago, when I adopted Mary Beth...and boy! I look like I have aged 10 plus years since then. Seriously....
Add to that being tired all the time, by the sibling challenges, juggling, transition....I get less sleep and am more stressed when I am awake. That can age anyone. I am praying up a bucketful that this is just a season....but boy...I need some hope of some transformation.....it cannot always REMAIN like this..(please Lord.)
Ok...the cherries on top....is once, twice, three times....maybe more, in the four weeks that Olivia has been home she has taken a close examining look at some part of me (my hands, my face, touching the hollow of my neck.).....and then say. "Mommy old, me scared!" Ok how is that to thrill you!~
Finally, one day, after a couple of these close-up inspections, she asked the question..."Mommy, how old are you?" and I just grinned. She more insistently asked again....HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I told her. And her eyes widened and she said..."Mommy old! Me scared!" Poor thing, who has lost both parents...and maybe had dreamed of a young twenty-something new mommy. She got me. I explained to her how old Nanny and Papa are (she cries just thinking about that) and that Papa's momma is still living and that people live LONGER in the United States...than they do in Ethiopia. I told her she will be grown up, married and I will get to rock her babies before I go on to heaven with Jesus. (Hopefully, I know there are not guarantees). That made her smile.
So I had to go look it up. Average Life Expectancy in the US is 81 years for females. Average life expectancy in Ethiopia...54 years. So according to her standards...what she is familiar with, I have less than a year to live. I can see why she is scared.
Her comments, though, and my photo perusing and my general exhaustion lately (stress can be tiring), got to me...and my "oldness" has been bothering. A look in the mirror made me think, well hey, maybe that face lift is now justified as a post-adoption-bonding expense....I mean I don't want my new daughter walking around in fear, do I? :)
Then I read Ann's post. Although not the main topic of the post, the line quoted at the top of this entry really sang out to me. My oldness is only skin-deep, if I let it be. Within, my spirit, soul....the real me...is young especially if I allow myself to be renewed daily by God. And the King is enthralled with my beauty....wrinkles and all.
Thank you Ann.
On the other hand I think of this: 6 little years. I have 6 little years left with all four of them home, under the age of 18. I know that will zip by and I just now feel like I am beginning to understand what is needed as a mommy.....and I am past the half-way point with three of them!! How can that be??!! How in the world can God redeem the time? All those things I wanted to do with them and good ideas to implement, and life changing habits to live..... six years! Too soon. too little.....
Abba, Father, Ancient of Days...
Help us to count our days and redeem the time we have together, as a family. To walk and appreciate each day together and to live it as you would have us..to build the foundation of love for you, for each other.... Wake me up, equip me...take my brokenness and add to it your grace, wisdom, love, Spirit and make it enough.... They MUST choose you Lord, they MUST. I cannot bear it if they don't. Forgive me, my distractions...redeem the day.
In Jesus name...who took three years, and three days to turn the world upside down.