A Long View

So, the night we got to {surprise!} invade Disney World at the Young Life All Staff Conference, I had the sweetest revelation.

Five thousand young life staff {and a handful of nursing babes – hello Finn} were running about, hopping on rides with no lines, grabbing free turkey legs and devouring ice cream shaped like Mickey on a stick as everything in the whole park was OURS and FREE.

The first thing Marshall and I did was to make a beeline with a bunch of his buddies for the new Star Wars ride. I promptly deposited Finn with a dear non-riding friend and sprinted with the boys thru vacant tunnels typically containing hundreds of patient park-goers to arrive at the Millennium Falcon seconds later. Our wait was all of two minutes and we snapped a quick selfie in the midst of our excitement.


As I looked up {literally; all of them were over 6′} to Marshall and these four young men who I love like brothers, it hit me.  Eyes open and heart full, I whispered, “this is my family.”

For a split second, I was given a long view of things.

Indeed, about 18 years from now, this will be my family. My tall, thin, dashing, salt and pepper husband {perhaps a bit saltier by then} and my four grown boys, all of us laughing hysterically, in moments toeing the line of appropriateness, running toward a Star Wars ride… and I am having the time of my life.

Let me be clear: I don’t want to wish away these stages when my sweet boys still fit in my lap and want to snuggle and need and want so much from me. It is such a privilege and a crazy responsibility to be mom.

But, if I am really honest, some days I can be so myopic. Sometimes I think that if I hear “mom!” one more time I might jump out a moving car and take one of them with me. There are moments {and hours…and months} that are just plain hard in child rearing – the diapers and the tantrums and the defiance and the trying to force food in their mouths so they don’t have another melt down and the teaching of self-control {and the me learning self-control!} And it feels like groundhog day.

And I need to pick my head up and have a longer view. I need to be reminded that there will be a day when they can wipe their own bottoms, make their own meals, set their own schedules, drive themselves to soccer and run like mad with me to the Star Wars ride in Disneyland. And while some of that grown up stuff I might lament, I am also really excited.

I so look forward to enjoying young men who have wrestled with each other and with me and with life and with God. And who are authentic and hilarious and scarred and healed. I don’t doubt there are a lot of trials ahead. Heck, Tucker was determined to run away this week and Bennett decided he “doesn’t fit in our family”. {We’re starting young, people!}

But the passion and the determination in them I pray will one day be channeled toward right and noble causes. And the snuggling and bedtime stories and hugs around my waist will give way to adventures and conversations around the table and me hugging them around their waists.

No, I don’t want to wish it away. I really do what to treasure every minute of it all. But I need to remember why I am doing this craziness day in and day out. I need to have a vision for why I am working so hard to build this foundation under my boys. I need to so that I don’t lose sight of today and begin to think that obedience is the goal and not relationship, so that I don’t lose hope and let my tired heart and tangled tongue get the best of me and my little ones.

So that one day, I get to reap the benefits in that moment at Disney world, when we snap a photo and I am the littlest by a foot because all this craziness has gotten a little bit taller and a little bit wiser and I realize it has all been worth it.



2 thoughts on “A Long View

  1. Oh this is sweet. And yes, right where I’m at right now. Thank you! So love our chats and hoping for longer ones in the future (I almost said without interruptions but those blessed interruptions…may I see them as Jesus did!)


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