I remember being six and making penny backed wishes into the fountain at the mall for my baby dolls to be real babies. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything else. I suppose on some level I always knew what I was going to be when I grew up. I did consider being a lawyer for a long stretch of adolescence though. The idea of being paid to argue appealed to me and likely gave my mother hope my skills would be of use someday. But she chose to instead curse me with the threat of "I hope you grow up and have six kids just like you!" The last laugh is on her of course; some of the children are just like their father. Thank God.
When I was in fourth grade, I had my entire life planned out. I was going to be a mommy to four children, two girls and two boys. I had names picked out and whereas I no longer remember them even though they were doodled all over my school folders, I am certain they were beautiful, flowery and totally impractical especially considering I had no idea what their last name would be. In fact, at one point on the bus I was having a very deep conversation with a classmate about all these life plans I'd made when she asked me what I would do if my husband didn't like the names I chose. I assured her the children's names would be agreed upon before I would choose to marry that guy. She then suggested much to my dismay that I could end up with four girls or four boys. I rolled my eyes. Clearly that could never happen. "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
But alas, God blessed me repeatedly with the honor of being a mother. The reality is those sweet cuddly babies turn into people with their own personalities, temperaments and ideas. We work our way through season after season as a family but often wonder at the end of the day where I could have handled things differently. Some days feel very much like I am living my calling and others are
"growth opportunities". Ahem. I have been gifted with friends who offer
chocolate and tea regularly and even one who occasionally reminds me I
would look terrible in orange so I can't kill anyone. Because as my
wise fourth grade friend tried to teach me, I don't get to run the show
and plans are often made in vain.
Life is a journey and I am riding alongside a houseful of young people as they too learn and grow. I am fulfilled. My pennies weren't wasted and my wishes have come true because God knew I needed many opportunities to let go and let Him take the reigns in my life. Watching my children wrestle with life lessons, I have only caught a glimpse of all God endures as He continues to work on me.