Tick Tock, The Mommy Clock

8:54 AMHeather

Sunday before last, I walked into our worship service and smiled at seeing the 2013 high school graduates lined up, ready to be honored in the annual Senior Recognition Day.  I took my seat, and then began to look down the line of young adults.  It wasn't long before my smile turned to leaky eyes.  Having been part of this church family for ten years, I've watched these young people grow up.  My mind began to race as I looked from one smiling, proud face to the next.  And I began to sniffle.  I felt a sense of pride and admiration and nostalgia, all mixed together. 

By the time they were each introduced, one-by-one, with a baby picture and a senior picture of each graduate flashing on the big screen, I began to feel my heart race.  I felt a bit short of breath, and began to recognize the signs of what was happening.

Full on panic attack.  Well, not literally--as in the kind that can be diagnosed medically.  But, within my emotions, I felt a sense of panic.  Like a movie scene where the heroine is racing the clock to save the world from mass destruction and it seems to tick faster each second.

Tick tock.  Tick tock.  Tick tock. 

I saw the years flashing before me as the reality settled over me about how very quickly my own 8th grade graduate would be walking across that church stage, in cap and gown.

My mommy heart ached as the panic spread throughout my heart and my mind.

Have I done enough?  Have I seized every opportunity?  Have I taught him what he needs to know?  What life skills have I yet to pass on to my offspring?  Will he be ready?  Have I taught him the Word enough?  Have I showed him love enough?  Have I made memories enough?

Of course, the answer is no.  

Because I never could.  I never could do enough.  When it comes to mothering our children and pouring ourselves out, its an endless endeavor.  Enough is not part of the mothering vocabulary.  

Except when we tell our children, "That's ENOUGH."  Or, "I've had ENOUGH."

Oh, bloggy friends and fellow parents, my heart is seized up with joy and pride and angst and grieving as I watch the days slip by, faster and faster.  Just like people warned me.  They told me that it would go more quickly the older they get.  I was forewarned that the middle school years would fly and the high school years would be but a blur.  

Now I realize that truer words were never spoken.  As I prepare to send my first born off to high school.  As I sat with him while he explained his four year course plan for high school.  Just days after a college application packet appeared in my mail box.  And he has the nerve to routinely tell me just how many months are left until he can learn to drive.  Worse yet, he often contemplates just how he will fix up the car he expects to inherit when he turns 16.  And he can drive wherever he wants to go.  It's about eighteen months away.  How can this be?

Tick tock.  Tick tock.  Tick tock.

My baby boy.  My first born.  And the next one follows closely behind.  Even for my baby girl, the third of our children, I have recently witnessed the packing of certain toys and the board books, marking the end of an era in her childhood.  

It's nearly more than my heart can take.  Yes, indeed, part of my heart is walking around outside my body within those three children of mine.  I'd walk through fire for them.  I'd throw myself in front of a train for them.  

Have I conveyed my fierce love for them enough?


What a dangerous word.  Because it taunts me and teases me and tells me of my failures.  It's like a neon sign pointing to my short comings.  And I hardly know how to resolve that kind of mommy guilt.

But, this comes to mind.  This is the balm to my aching soul.  My weakness. It's His opportunity.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Of course, on my own, I can never do enough.  But, I do have a choice to make.  I can lament my mistakes and mourn over what I haven't done.  I can wallow in that sense of guilt and shame, comparing myself to Pinterest perfect moms who have plenty to brag about on Facebook.  

Tick tock.  Tick tock.  Tick tock.

Or, I can stand firm in this promise.  My insufficiency--the gaps I leave--are an opportunity.  For Him to show up.  For Him to fill in.  For me to surrender to his sufficient faithfulness.  For me to rest in His provision.  Which never runs out.  Which is always enough.

My heart rate slows and my pulse becomes steady.  And I remember, once again.  These darling children who stretch and pull at my every ability and deplete every ounce of love and patience and adoration and strength.  They were His first.  They always will be.  Our Heavenly Father is their Abba. Their faithful Almighty God.  He goes where I can't.  He does what I can't.  He will carry them through every hurdle, every obstacle, every challenge, every stage of life.  

He is their God.  And He gave me the privilege of being their Mom.  

He will carry me through the panic attacks.  The racing clock.  He is the superhero who has saved the world from mass destruction.  

He will equip me to make the most of my days.  

He will shoulder the burden and calm my mommy fears. 

Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

He holds our times in His hands.

Praise GodWhat a precious promise.

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