I’ve been waiting for this season for awhile.  All three of my kids are in school full-time.

The past ten years have been filled with sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and physical exhaustion.  Endless days of doing my best to keep up with the busyness of my kids and longing for just a few minutes to myself.  I would look ahead to the day when all three would be in school.  Freedom.  A chance to catch my breath.  Granted, most of it was selfish.  I have given so much of myself to these little people and the thought of doing something for myself had me la-la land.

Over a year ago ETCH was birthed.  It’s an overflow of my heart.  It’s what I pray about, what I dream about, and what I love to do.  All summer I struggled with finding the balance in being with my kids and finding time to work on ETCH.  I felt guilty if I worked.  I felt guilty if I didn’t. My heart was torn in two directions and all summer my mantra was “soon the kids will be in school.”  That both motivated me to spend intentional time with them and relieved the stress of balancing work and family — knowing it was just a short season.

Well, my kids have now been in school 9 days and guess what…I miss them.  After a full day of school, they come home and play outside with our neighbors.  They beg and plead to eat a picnic dinner so they can keep playing.  Soon their sports and extra-curricular activities will begin, which will bring a whole new crazy.  My new reality is setting in.  The moments I have with our three kids are now few and far between.  They are precious.  I realize more and more the need to be uber intentional with every second that I get with them.  Without a plan and intentionality, our time together will vanish.

I hope you hear my heart… I love my kids.  I love spending time with them even when other things tug at my heart and my time.  I also love that they attend public school.  We have built relationships with teachers and other families that I wouldn’t trade.  Also, my husband works a nightside shift, so it gives us time during the day to work on our marriage and spend time together.  That’s invaluable.

What I want you to know is I’m just realizing how quickly time goes.  Just yesterday (it seems), I had kids attached to me and all I wanted to do was use the bathroom by myself.  We are officially transitioning out of that stage.  My kids are now away from me more than they are with me.  That’s not bad, but continuing to disciple them is key.  Using the moments I have to encourage them with God’s Word, pray with them over situations in their lives, and show them what it looks like to be a light in the darkness.

So, no matter what stage you are in…God will meet you there.  He cares about you as you wipe bottoms, take tests, and teach kids at public schools.  He cares about you as you homeschool, run errands, and go to work every day.  Make the most of every moment.  He can use you in the craziest ways and in the places you go all the time.



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