So here I am, walking through life, growing up, getting married, becoming a mother, soon becoming a mother in law, when out of the blue Kristy Huntsman comes along and BAM, I’m editor of a new feature, “From The Heart Of An Older Woman”. When did “older” happen??!!! Surely not me! Why, on the inside I still feel like that confused teenager just trying to figure life out. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you think someone looks like they have it all together, they’re possibly faking it! And of all the people in the world to have any wisdom or knowledge to help younger women, what on earth can I possibly offer, because I’m still that teenager!
No, wait, I’m not a teenager. I did find that great Christian guy who promised to love me “until death we do part”, but old age and death was so far away. So now I’m a shiny new wife, and I realize just how much I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING! I began consuming books on being a great wife, of course I went to the Bible to see what God expected of me. And then came the questions, “Am I submitting to my husband enough?” “Does my husband feel comfortable in the home I lovingly decorated? Will I ever conquer homemaking?” Married life went on, we had our struggles and our triumphs, and after some time we had a baby, bringing a whole new season of my life: motherhood.
So now I’m a young mother, and I realize just how much I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING! I consumed parenting books, some written by Christian authors and some not, I went to God’s word for advice (hmm, spanking doesn’t kill them, good to know) and I prayed. Oh how I prayed. I wanted so much for this little soul who God had placed in my care. I wanted him to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. I poured my life into this one child and then wait a minute, what’s this? Now I have two children? And they’re not the same? It becomes a racing game, this child has this need, while this child has that need, and the questions always circling through my brain, “Am I doing enough?” “What am I missing in their raising that I can improve upon tomorrow?” “How on earth will I ever conquer homemaking with two children in the house???” And the diaper years (will they ever be totally potty trained?) became the toddler years, the toddler years (more juice, more goldfish crackers, more hugs and snuggles?) became the pre-school years, the pre-school years (are their minds being stimulated enough?) became the school years, and I still had the sneaking suspicion that all the other parents had it all figured out while I was totally faking it.
And so my little family kept cruising through life, some days I felt like I had it all together, but most days I was sure I did not. Am I still honoring my husband as well as I should? Am I raising my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord enough? Is my family’s light shining as an example of what a Christian family ought to be? Am I making sure that we’re living a Christian life behind closed doors, and not just when everyone is looking ? And hey, will I EVER conquer homemaking?
And the school years became the tween years (IMPENDING PUBERTY, AAAAAGH!) and the tween years became the teen years (oh, this isn’t so bad) and with the teen years came two very late nights (several years apart) in which a head peaked into our bedroom as we prepared for bed, and with humble, sincere hearts, let us know that they were ready to put on their Lord in baptism. Oh those were shining nights! Goodbye sleep, hello church building in the wee hours, and then I’m hugging my precious new sibling in Christ, perhaps I’m doing something right! The day is coming when I will be handing my child’s life into their own hands, they will be a child no more. The teen years become years of shifting, letting the kite string out, so to speak, as they learn to navigate their life on their own, and oh how I want to be sure to give room where needed, while tugging that string back at the appropriate times. The day is coming when my” kites” will fly on their own, but not yet, oh not yet.
So my teens keep growing, and romance enters the picture, yikes! Young hearts opening up to let another in, oh yes I prayed! I prayed and talked, encouraged and informed. Did I teach enough about being equally vs. unequally yoked? Did I teach enough about guarding the heart? Did I teach enough about guarding purity? Did I teach enough about cherishing the other person’s heart and purity? Ongoing conversations, prayers for wisdom, knowing that there’s still a younger sibling who is watching all this and who will walk this road one day as well. I began praying for my children’s future spouses back when my own children were infants, is this one the one for whom I’ve been praying all these years? (Yes, she is, and will be changing her name to Sparks this May!)
Oh, and will I EVER conquer homemaking???
And then one day, I am asked to become the editor for a monthly series for Come Fill Your Cup on “From The Heart Of An Older Woman”, and I realize that somewhere in all those years of diapers and sippy cups and school work, I have become an older woman. One who maybe has some things figured out…well, enough to help those just starting out upon the path that I am now 43 years along. I, with some much wiser older women, will be writing articles targeted toward helping those young teens, those newlyweds, those new moms so unsure of themselves and yet wanting with all their hearts to be the Christian women God wants them to be. I will be counting on the talents of much wiser and yes, older, women to help me out. You see, I’m still growing. I’m still learning to navigate through new waters, such as being a mother-in-law, calmly accepting those wrinkles, becoming a grandparent, and learning more and more to accept the fact that all of this is looking forward to the end of my life, and that day when I must stand before God and give account for my life. At the end of it all, the only words I want to hear are, “Well done faithful servant”, but I need all the help I can get, and I know there are so many women out there who feel the same way. And so this monthly article will be here to help all of us, no matter where we are on the path of life, to learn about the twists and turns that life can throw at us. We will be learning from older Christian women who are up ahead, clearing the path and looking back to cheer us all on our eternal journey.
And hey, along the way maybe they can help me conquer homemaking!