2 ½ years. That’s how long it took to conceive. 60 pounds and 180 cherry Icees later, the contractions were coming. Slowly. They were questionable but coming. The next night, James took me to hospital. They confirmed I was having real labor with real contractions, just slow and far apart. It was Saturday night, I was tired. They sent us home and put me on the best medicine I ever had. Good thing it wasn’t legal on a normal day. I slept like a baby. The next morning, I woke up rested and in labor. My husband was supposed to preach his usual Sunday morning message in just a few hours, but we welcomed this interruption and had our first baby, Ansley, on Mother’s Day.
Eighteen years later with many years of homeschool and private school, a set of braces, years of payments on piano lessons, many, many walks and precious moments of heart to hearts, endless deep theological discussions, memories of eating popcorn while watching the rain and dancing in it, and 17 broken bones later, my blond-headed, sweet doll was about to walk down the graduation aisle. Coming off a month of events planned almost every night of the week, from speaking engagements to celebrating the accomplishments of all of our four children, church events, Mother's Day, and birthday parties, I was sick. What’s a mom to do? Drink coffee. Pray and keep moving! Sick, cleaning house, cooking, and getting ready for 40 party guests with the help of a friend was what was happening. My gracious daughter loved it all, graduated with honors, and is now gathering goodies for “move out” day.
This is when I ask myself, “Have I done it well?” All year, as I knew this day was coming, I have randomly cried at the drop of a hat. Will I miss her? That’s like, “Do I like chocolate?” We all will! She is a breath of fresh air to all who know her. She loves Jesus, leads worship in authenticity at its realest, knows her Bible and her theological worldview, and loves people. Even in my endeavor to raise her in the best way I knew how, I have failed over and over. Despite me, she is amazing. I just thank the Lord for who she has become and answering many early morning and late night prayers over her (and my other kids). I am humbled and reminded to keep diligently teaching my other children God’s truths (Deut. 6:6-7), to keep pouring my time into them in meaningful talks and walks together, and ask the Lord to do for them what I cannot do and what I certainly fall short of even in the best of my efforts. As long as we are raising our kids, our job is not done. Do not grow weary in well doing! (Galatians 6:9) Especially in this, I want to hear the Lord say, "Well done."