We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
For the past several months I’ve been wondering what it is I do now. I’m still a mom, but I’m no longer in charge. I don’t plan anyone’s schedule, cart anyone to gymnastics, or tell anyone when to go to bed. It’s a big deal when a control freak is no longer in control because all her kids become college age or older and they have lives of their own. I must admit, I’ve been at quite a loss.
And then God invented Sawyer.
When my eldest announced that she was pregnant (a surprise to us all, including herself), my life was very busy and I was still homeschooling our youngest. I shared in the excitement, and we enjoyed each stage of the pregnancy together. Then, my youngest graduated, and my middle two children left home for two separate colleges.
And Sawyer was born.
His mommy was able to stay home with him most of the time during his first few months of life, but recently began working full time. Which means I get to babysit a good bit.
Mr. Sawyer is a bit of a ham, much like his mother in her day. He’s got 6 jack-O-lantern teeth, a little hair, and a BIG personality.
Sawyer is now 11 months old and into everything AKA I now know what it is I do. It struck me the other day that I had four of these little rug rats and I still got housework done. Now, I just watch Sawyer because I don’t want him to hurt himself. How did I do all that back then? Or maybe it’s just that now I have the choice and I just choose to watch the baby. I think that is the prerogative of the grandparent.
The other day every time I turned around he had pulled up on something new. It’s quite humorous to turn around and see the top of his little head peeking out over top of a stool or a trunk. He also learned how to climb all 15 of my steps in my foyer. So that’s fun.
He is exploring new sounds and words and his most favorite word is ball. But he doesn’t say “ball”, he says, “BAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!” with all the love and enthusiasm he can muster. Because, after all, it is a ball, and he is a boy, and, well, it’s a ball.
He has one other new word that has me a bit jealous. It’s “papaw”. Which would be my husband. Every time he walks by, Sawyer points and says, “papaw”. There is a picture on the ‘fridge of myself, my husband, and Sawyer’s mommy all together on her wedding day. He points to the ‘fridge and says, “papaw”. Last Wednesday I babysat Sawyer all day and Jim saw him for 5 minutes. That evening his mommy asked him, “Who did you see today?” “Papaw.” Does this seem fair to you? Of course, “Gigi” is harder to say. I should have gone with “mamaw”, that’s closer to “mama”, which he does say. But he is enamored with his papaw, and if you know Jim, you know why. He is the fun guy, the noise maker, the lover of life. So I will put up with this a little longer. But I’m not above brainwashing….
I don’t think Sawyer was an accident. God knew what He was doing when he fashioned him in his mother’s womb. God had his own timing, even though Sawyer’s parents hadn’t planned to be parents yet. And God also had this Gigi in mind, and He knew that I would be floundering at this time in my life. He’s not a God of mistakes. He is a God of surprises, a God of love, goodness, and faithfulness.
There is a verse in Psalms I’ve been mulling over and I think it fitting to mention it now. In fact, it is mentioned verbatim three times in Psalms 107. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (verses 8, 15, and 21). God does wonderful works for us because He is full of goodness. Right down to the little things, not the least of which is creating a human embryo. And let this next verse soak in, Psalm 107:9, right after the Psalmist expresses his wish for the first time that men would give thanks to the Lord, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness”.
He satisfies the longing soul…the longing soul is satisfied in God and His goodness. And along with that, only God knows what each of us need in our lives at that moment. God decided in my wanderings and lost-ness that I needed a Sawyer. What a gift! I have a purpose! I have a job to do. I know what I’m supposed to do now.
Maybe you are lost, too. Maybe your life seems empty, or maybe it seems too full. It may feel too fast or maybe time just drags. I would encourage you to look at what God has put right in front of you, and not at what God hasn’t given you. To give thanks for what and who you have RIGHT NOW, not who you’re missing or what you wish were different. Even the little things. Make a list of everything you are thankful for, realize that you have those things because of God (James 1:17), and then give thanks to Him!
A season of thankfulness is what I am speaking of. This is what is transforming me from the empty feeling of the empty nester to the full feeling of the care giving Gigi. I can be sad because I’m getting older and I’ve lost people important to me in the past year both to heaven and to college. Because life is just so different now and uncomfortable, and times are scary. Or, I can choose to be thankful. Because after all, a thankful heart is a much lighter thing to bear than a sad heart.
Won’t you take the thankfulness challenge? After all, what have you got to lose?