I was going to allow myself the luxury of sleeping in, until I could no longer.
(Truthfully, I was going to sleep in until one of my children woke me up to help them wipe their bottom or change their diaper. ‘Cause let’s face it - sleeping in doesn’t really exist for mothers.)
I made it all the way to 7 a.m. when Titus began begging for a “warm baba” and needed a diaper change. I stumbled downstairs to attend to him and then decided to retreat to my bedroom once again. I was surprised when the next time I opened my eyes, the clock read 9:30 a.m.
I had fallen back asleep hard. So very hard.
I heard the coffee grinder grinding, so I knew that my husband was up and making coffee. I put on my robe and made my way downstairs, planning on making my specialty - French Crepes - for breakfast. Jeremiah had beat me to Breakfast Duty and was already making his pancakes. Slightly embarrassed, I hopped in and started setting the table and cutting the fruit.
After a cup of coffee and some breakfast in my stomach, I decided that I hadn’t felt this rough in a long time, and I had a pounding headache that agreed.
Jeremiah and I needed to be back at the church that morning to be filmed for a special video production. Not only did we need to be present, but awake and presentable for the camera. It was a tough feat after said weekend.
While getting ready, I could have cried when I noticed my reflection in the mirror. I wasn’t just feeling rough. I was looking it too. I remember doing a little self-talk in the bathroom mirror before we left. I told myself that, “I’m the most beautiful when I’m kind and sweet and when Jesus shines through.”
And my dark, sunken, bloodshot eyes would just have to deal.
The filming was a success and we returned home for one last lunch of leftovers with our company. I laid the little ones down for their naps while our guests began the process of packing up to make their journey back home.
We said our goodbyes and since my youngest was having trouble falling asleep, I decided to lay down with him for a bit. It was a blessing in disguise as I ended up falling asleep with him on my chest for about an hour. I could have slept much longer, but needed to have the children back at the church by 4 p.m. to also be filmed. I made myself move and started the process of getting them up, awake, and dressed.
I promised (a.k.a. bribed) them with suckers if they showed good behavior and I made good on my word.
Back home I let them play and found those sweatpants once again.
When my husband returned home from the office after planning a funeral and our house was back to “normal,” we took a big breath.
The weekend was a whirlwind of amazing…and exhausting.
That evening, when the noise had died down and the dust had settled, I had quite the upsetting moment when I looked at myself in the mirror.
My family was all in the Family Room watching a fishing show on Netflix. I had just made myself a cup of tea and needed to use the restroom before settling in with them. As I washed my hands, I happened to catch my reflection in the mirror.
And that was when I discovered them. They were deep and distinct.
I could have cried. And later I did.
I had wrinkles!
Not just smile lines, or creases, but wrinkles!
Under my eyes!
And then ran downstairs to show my husband.
He was undisturbed by my distraughtness.
They weren’t there the week before and I couldn’t help but exclaim that, “I look old…like a grandma!”
Lydia, my four-year-old, came over to me on the couch and asked if I was a grandma, to which I explained that I will only be one when my babies have babies.
I continued on in my shock and disbelief regarding my wrinkles and said that I was having a mid-life crisis.
Nathan, my eight-year-old, asked me what a “mid-life crisis” was, to which I explained when people buy red, fast cars that don’t match their place in life.
At this point my face was burrowed in a blanket as I was attempting to hold back the real tears in my eyes.
It was comical as my children attempted to understand what was so upsetting about my newfound discovery, but really just kept adding insult to injury.
My epiphany was Motherhood and Ministry were aging me, and up until that night, I hadn’t realized how much.
As I sat there on the couch with my eyes finally shedding those tears, my daughter came over to console me and said in her sweet, baby-doll voice, “It’s OK Mommy, everyone has something.”
And at that, Jeremiah and I just looked at each other and laughed.
He told her that she wasn’t helping me. But truly, she did.
Because she was right. Everyone, in fact, does have something.
And that night, my “something” became my proof. Proof that I love what I do.
Motherhood is exhausting and ministry can be demanding, but I said “Yes” to both of it. And because I did, I will embrace the aging process that accompanies the job.
Even the long days, late nights, gray hairs, and yes, wrinkles.
On the positive side, my newfound wrinkles aren’t from worry or from stress. They’re the best kind of wrinkle - they’re from laughter.
Lots of it.
And although I do feel that they’ve aged my face quite a bit, I guess it’s OK.
I’d rather be happy and wrinkly than empty with flawless skin.
I’m encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4:16:
”Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’
So, find your “something” and embrace it. It may shock you. Even humble you. But once you come to grips with it, it just becomes another part of your story.
My something is that I laugh too much - and have wrinkles to prove it.