A couple of years ago when I was in a group for young mothers I was challenged to do something that I’d never done before. Our leader, Karen, asked us to think of the stages that our kids are in and to write down all of the things that we are thankful for in this season with them. It was a cool lesson in contentment. An exercise in being fully appreciative of the current.
Asher is 20 months old now and a season of his life has come to a close. He is no longer my little infant totally dependent on us for his every need. It seems like the past few weeks have ushered in a new toddler who loudly exerts his will and desire for independence. His vocabulary is growing and he wants to hang with the big kids. It makes me sad to think that those days of baby Asher are behind us.
Yesterday morning, I was gifted with a sweet moment with Asher. He was in heaven as all of my attention was focused on him and he performed for me in his little way and I laughed at him and he laughed right back at me. I got to hold him and swing him and he just laughed never fearing that I would drop him. He totally trusted me and we were enjoying each other.
As I sat there watching Asher I realized that he was perfectly content to just be with me. There are no stresses weighing him down and as long as he is fed, gets his sleep and has a playmate he is a pretty happy boy. Seeing Asher like that was a gift to my soul. It was a breath of fresh air. It gave me a picture of what it might look like to God when we trust Him completely and just relax in knowing that he is in control and that no matter what, he will take care of us.
These days as we wait, those Asher moments are rarer than I care to admit. It’s hard to clear my mind completely and just relax in knowing that He’s in control. These days my thoughts seem to be consumed with the what if’s of our situation. What if we don’t make it to Austria in time for Ellison to get into school before winter break is done…what if we can’t find a place to live to fit our family on our budget…what if we struggle to learn German…what if people outwardly oppose us being there and our children…what if our kids don’t make friends, what if they get mad at us for taking them away from everything familiar. I can spiral down a loooong road of what if’s because I have no control over the timing of our next step. When I live in the land of what if’s, I miss the moment of now.
I recently read that being discontent with where we are is showing ingratitude. When I focus so much on the next step, I miss the now and it’s impossible for me to be fully thankful for where I am now. When I can stop and just be in the now of where we are, it gives me the power to change those what if’s to even ifs’. Even if all of those things are true I still believe that the maker of the universe and I have a relationship with one another. Even if these things are true I can trust that He has a plan in mind. Even if those things are true, He loves our family deeper than I can fully comprehend. Even if those things are true I know that it’s only because of Him that we’ve made it this far.
The uncertainty of our departure date threatens to steal my contentment daily. And I can imagine that the months ahead will also bring situations that will try to do the same. In these moments and in those to come, I long to be that 20 month old version of myself trusting completely in the timing and ways of my Father in heaven.