Time has passed. I have called out to numerous children at dinner time to set the table and those children are gone. They are grown up. Our eldest three girls and one boy are out of the home.
Now, three boys and one girl remain, and I am calling a very different family to the table! Four children, my husband, and I comprise a family that is still larger than the average American family but, oh, the dinner table seems empty.
I never knew that I would be the mother of eight, spread over a span of twenty years, and that they would launch themselves into the world here and there. It happened so quickly.
It's a balancing act; one moment I am struggling to appreciate the young adults who take long showers and are so busy with work and school that they are rarely home. Then, oh-so-quickly, they are out of the house and on their own; working hard and skyping from across the state and around the world.
How exhausted I was when they were mostly very young. What a hubbub and battle there was as we trained them in the basics of manners, hygiene, and Bible knowledge. Now, we have girls teaching Bible clubs in the public schools, another nannying and teaching, a third, cooking for the elderly in a rest home. The son who didn't read until he was thirteen is teaching English in Korea. Our arrows have "twanged" away into the world and, by the grace of God, the world is blessed by them.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. Psalm 71:17-18
Only 15 short years ago, I was a tired mother of many young ones. My vision was too small. I mouthed the words,"Life is short" but didn't truly believe them.
I will say them to you, "They grow up fast. Teach them, train them but...most of all....love them. You will never regret the time you spent loving them."
Today my table seems empty but, with God's help, we will send the remaining four out into the world to change it for Jesus, too. Oh, may He give us the strength!
May you make the most of the time you have with your children. You are doing a great work, you are raising up the next generation of living souls.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9