Recently I learned a valuable lesson from my little one. A lesson to slow down, to appreciate the small things, and most importantly a lesson in God's Grace. This weekend we made a big transition, we moved our 2-year-old daughter from a crib to a “big girl bed”. I think the transition was much more emotional for me than for your little peanut. This transition brought to mind a poem I had read a few years back, the author, though unknown, surely pulled some heart strings with this one:
The Last Time
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
(The Last Time Poem, www.mykidstime.com, 2015)
This change, moving the baby from crib to bed made me realize a few things about God’s awesome grace and how He has blessed me in my life. As I have written, we have 3 kids, a 15-year-old, a 10-year-old, and a 2-year-old. Although you probably couldn’t tell by observing our family now, my first two children have a different father who has little involvement in their lives. Six years ago, after my divorce, a wonderful man walked into my life and never looked back. He not only fell in love with me but my children too. But, I have to rewind a minute to pull this all together, to help you follow my train of thought.
Nine years ago, I found myself in a troubled marriage, making lots of mistakes, missing lots of moments. I don’t remember moving my older kids from cribs to beds, or much of their potty training years. I don’t remember a lot of the little moment’s that in reality, were the BIG moments. So, after my marriage fell apart I was a single mom, still making many mistakes and still missing moments. It took me some time to settle down, to really look at life with a different perspective, it took lots of prayers and lost nights to genuinely realize what was important. I spent a great deal of time listing to “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller, (It was my “go to” song for years!) knowing that God had a much bigger plan for me and my kids, I just had to be patient.
So now, fast forward to today. I have this family that I had always longed for, a husband, Richard, who is perfectly fine with sitting home on a Friday night playing card or watching movies, just spending time with us, with our family. I have another baby I am blessed to raise, I am blessed with the opportunity to cherish all the “lasts” I will get to do with her and all the “firsts” that are to come with all three of them. You see, God took my story, my life of failure and turned it into so much more than I could have ever imagined. Although I may have been a bit distracted with my first two children, although I missed things, God didn’t miss a thing. They are turning out to be great people, hopefully having a positive impact on those they encounter every day, and this is not by my doing alone, mostly this is the work of a Mighty God who can take any bad situation and bring an ample amount of good out of it.
So, God brought me Richard, for many reasons I probably miss, but I know that because of my husband I have the opportunity to embrace the “lasts”, the “firsts”, and the “everyday” moments that I may have missed if I had not found the contentment that I have found with him. God's ultimate gift of forgiveness is forever evident in my life! God definitely had a reason for Richard!
If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.
Psalm 130: 3-4
BibleGateway. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2017, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2B130&version=MSG
The Last Time Poem. (2015, September 14). Retrieved March 14, 2017, from https://www.mykidstime.com/for-parents/the-last-time-poem/