The Hardest Part of Mothering

Desiring God | 6/14/2018 | Jani Ortlund
samtetley (Posted by) Level 3
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No one warned me. No one told me that after training our children to sleep through the night, after helping them learn the ways of kindness and the value of hard work, after teaching them the joy of reading and the delight of knowing the living word, after determining to most gladly spend and be spent for their souls, no one told me that the hardest part of mothering was still ahead — the part when they leave.

The hardest part of mothering, for me, has been emptying our nest well. It’s not that I hadn’t looked forward to it. What mother doesn’t long for nights of uninterrupted sleep and days free from the responsibility of keeping little ones safe and happy? Who doesn’t anticipate dates without making babysitter arrangements, cooking and doing laundry for only two, flowing conversations between you and your husband without the guardedness of what little ears might hear?

Ray - Ourselves - Children - Day - Kind

Ray and I had invested ourselves deeply and wholeheartedly in raising our four children, hoping to one day send them out to serve our kind King in whatever ways he asked of them. In those days of intense parenting, I admit that I did look forward to a more moderate pace of life. When the time came for each one to go to college or to take their final leave of us as they married, they eagerly stepped out into their future. We had, by God’s grace, prepared them. The problem was, I hadn’t prepared me!

I hadn’t prepared myself for the loss of their precious faces around our dinner table, the absence of our daily interactions of care and love for each other, their unavailability for our prayer times after family devotions. As we shopped and packed for college for each budding adult, I found myself wanting to say,...
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