The Best Years of My Life?

Posted by Jennifer on February 18, 2011 – 6:38 am

image_thumb11Photo by jeremy.wilburn

The other day Chloe (4), who has been day trained for 2+/- years and night trained for 1+/- years had an accident. She had a bowel movement while sleeping. She got up and changed her pj’s and underwear and as a result, the poop ended up in a pile on her rug. She got toilet paper and cleaned it up as best she can and went back to sleep. Sunday morning I had to shampoo a rug before heading out to church.

John (2) went to his Sunday School class as usual. When I picked him up he was wearing the class “spare clothing”.  Apparently he had filled his pants, then stuck his hands down there, then realized they were covered in poop so he wiped them on his new tan pants and his new white shirt and his sweater-vest. Yuck. I had a poo-ey pile of clothing to deal with. {and the poor teacher}.

Last week during Wednesday service, John filled his pants. I took him to the bathroom, changed him, washed my hands, adjusted my skirt and left the bathroom having never looked in the mirror. After Wednesday service, we gather into small groups of 2-4 and pray. John and I joined two friends and one said to me, “you have something on your face”. I swiped my face and looked at my hand. My friend asked inquisitively, “Chocolate?” Knowing exactly what it must be, I wiped it on my skirt and mumbled a muffled, “maybe” and quickly changed the subject. Maybe one of these days I’ll tell her. She’ll laugh, I know!

I’ve had my share of poo-filled days lately that’s for sure. I can’t say that motherhood is always glamorous :)

We were at McDonalds for breakfast the other day when an older gentleman and his wife stopped by our table on their way out. “Enjoy these years” he said to me. “They are the best ones of your life.”

Me, being the freakish person that I am, have thought of that comment often this week. Why? Because you would be surprised at the number of older people who say something similar to me on a regular basis. Taken lightly, I think they mean for me to enjoy my children now….which I do greatly. They give me such delight.

But “These are the best years of your life” is a sad statement, misjudging my purpose in life. You may want to shoot me for saying this but if my existence, happiness and joy are simply based on my children and child-rearing, then that seems rather empty to me. What happens when they are grown and raised? Do I live in the past, recalling the glory days?

I was not created for the purpose of being a mother (or a wife etc.).  I was created for the purpose of glorifying God and I do so through obedience to Him and fulfilling the tasks and roles that He has given me. He, in His goodness has seen fit to bestow on me the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker for which  I so am thankful. Your roles may look a little different. Roles also change through the seasons of our lives. I strive to be the best I can be in the roles God has placed me in right now, not for personal gain or because it is fulfilling or rewarding {though they are often  by-products} but because being the best wife, mother and homemaker I can be brings glory to Him. I love being a mother. But being a mother is hard sometimes and knowing I’m a mother isn’t enough to keep me going. Only He is!

“These are the best years of your life” may not be what we expect.” The best years of your life may not be the happiest, most care-free days of your life! The definition of ‘best’ is varied. One definition is ‘surpassing all others’ however I think that the definitions ‘most suitable, useful, productive, beneficial’ are much better. You see God, our creator,  knows us better than we know ourselves and He can see what is best (most suitable, useful, productive, beneficial) for us. As a parent, my children do not always understand the why of things but I can assure you that I want what is best for them. Likewise, God will fill all our years with what is best for us, if we allow Him and all our years will certainly be the best years of our life!

“These are the best years of your life” implies no hope. It alludes that “it’s all down hill from here” which simply isn’t true. Look at nature’s seasons. Each is different, each has it’s pros and cons, each is necessary and vital and each was created by the Lord for a reason. As I pointed out above, each season will bring about different changes. It doesn’t make one season better than the other for how can you truly compare? Each season is unique, filled with promise and hope; each bringing different events and challenges to look forward to. Each year can be the best year of your life if you choose to allow it to be, without comparing, focusing on the present rather than the past. 

So how can we make sure that each year is the best year of our life?

  • Do you know your Creator? That’s the first step!
  • Know your purpose (we were all created for the same purpose: His glory!)
  • Fulfill the roles you have now to the best of your ability. Why? To fulfill your purpose in bringing honor to Him! The result: the peace of being in His will.
  • Understand that His wisdom is not limited to our ability to understand what is the best. We must, in faith, trust that He has given us and will give us the best for us right now.
  • Do not compare the years. Don’t live in the past. Embrace today!

These mothering years aren’t the best years of my life, though they can be. The years I spend knowing, loving and serving Him with all my being are the best years of my life!

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  1. 1. granny Said:

    I agree that it is not fair to our spouses,children,grand children or anyone for that matter …to expect them to fulfill our JOY in life. But I believe the simpleness in life [those joy drops] are found in the child years. THAT is what I believe is meant by the best years. Innocense & joy in learning God’s promises are new everyday & every season has more to teach us. Our children grow and learn…as do we. I heard a parent say recently that being a wife & mother was a poor paying job. I myself found this a sad statement. Yes mom’s & dad’s get tired too & one day they will be tired grampa’s & granny’s. But it is the best paying job a person could be blessed with as it is generations of payback ……generations of dividends…generations of history, blessings & they last an eternity & though the stock market crash….they hold their value & more! Thank God for the blessings He so richly bestows on us all & for all you faithful (all be it tired) mom’s & dad’s!!!!!!!!!!!! Even poopy memories are growing season’s. Growth happens when we think we are least ready for it. That is when we are least & God is most! Sometimes getting tired……helps us look up! And humility quite often needs to have a sense of humor & realistic honesty;-)
    Have a GREAT week;-}

  2. 2. Beth at Not a Bow in Sight Said:

    Awesome post :) I could not agree more. It is so encouraging to know that each season of our lives we can experience God’s best for that season. It doesn’t end with having little ones :)

  3. 3. Jennifer Said:

    @Beth – A reminder that I’ve really needed as I carry our last baby!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

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