growth / noun
the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase.
My youngest kid had a birthday recently and now my husband and I are officially outnumbered by teenagers. It’s just a number, of course, but there’s something about the big 1 – 3 that made my newest teen want to purge his room of clothes that were too small and toys that had been banished long ago to the back of the closet.
Standing a couple of inches taller than me, and no sign of his height stopping any time soon, he’s feeling pretty grown up. Of course, we all remember feeling that way in middle school, knowing now how much further we really had to go!
I’m wrapping up my 30’s this year and it’s crazy to think how much I’ve grown in the past decade.
I feel unrecognizable compared to my 19 or even 29 year old self.
I feel bolder, yet more reserved and more thoughtful with what I say, how I say it, and whether it needs to be said at all.
I feel riskier, knowing I can accomplish big things, but I’m more confident now in choosing which big things are worth my time and energy.
I feel calmer and more peaceful, although the world around me has become a darker place.
I feel loved and fulfilled, with few close friends but a family that has grown and expanded by leaps and bounds.
I’ve been changed by my circumstances, changed by marriage and parenthood, and changed by a desire to conform myself to Christ. And just like a middle school kid feeling like they’ve got life all figured out… I’m confident that I’m nowhere near where I hope to be in ten years, in twenty. I’m happy to be molded, stretched and to continue to grow, enjoying the process through all the seasons along the way.
While one kid is still a year away from high school, another one is finishing it. One last paper to write and she will close this chapter of her life, looking forward to starting the next. It’s the beginning of the end for me as a homeschooling mom and I’m admittedly all over the map emotionally.
She’s my daughter, my student, part of my life’s work for the past 18 years.
My first completed masterpiece.
I’m incredibly proud of the young woman she’s become and I’m thrilled to see how God leads her in the future, at the same time missing her before she’s even gone. Oh don’t mind me; I’ll just be off in a corner with a box of tissues after handing her a diploma and a hug.
But don’t worry, my next graduate in line is just a year behind, so I’ll pull myself together and make sure her senior year is filled with every single thing mommy needs to make sure she needs to know before she can graduate. Ha! If only it was that easy.
18 years just doesn’t feel like enough time.
Of course, ultimately it is, because what I really want to see when they put on that cap and gown is that they love to learn, that they know HOW to learn, and that they understand the unchanging truth of God’s Word.
Life changes, WE change, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
As we grow and mature, experiencing different seasons in this life, from 13 to 39 to the end of our days, let’s purpose to keep moving and keep becoming more and more like Christ.