I’m pleased to announce that Holding the Plumb Line is approaching its second year! The journey of writing the stories and lessons the Lord has laid on my heart has been rewarding - in more ways than I expected or anticipated. And through the nearly two years of sharing my writings with the world - there has been an underlying current:
Excitement, coupled with twinges of a slightly less, well, exciting emotion.
Excitement for the mothers who are trying on different perspectives or approaches with their children and are experiencing healthy changes. Excitement for the daily rhythms of life to be influenced in a positive way. Excitement for the simple lessons that are paired with God’s Word.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
There has also been an emotion that I didn’t see coming. It sings a lonely tune and leaves a sad aftertaste in one’s soul. Its name is Regret. Yes, there has been noted regret for handfuls of women who have long since had nursing babies at their breasts, or toddlers to read bedtime books to, or school-aged children to go over their 3 Multiplication Table with, or young boys to talk about the need for good hygiene and respect, or young girls to talk about the importance of modesty and purity.
Yes, I’ve noticed an undercurrent of regret for many mothers who are in a completely different stage of life than I’ve found myself in.
These are the mothers - the grandmothers - the great-grandmothers - the older, wiser mothers - who look to us younger mothers and very bittersweetly say,
“Enjoy it. It goes by fast!”
And over the last nine years of being a mother and the last two years of writing about it, I’ve heard that phrase countless times! And if hearing it didn’t reveal the emotion that accompanies its message and delivery, the conversations I’ve had and the comments I’ve read most certainly have.
Yes, hearing someone talk about their round at motherhood with a sad, faraway look in their eyes leaves my heart aching a little.
Regret does that though. It’s an emotion that Google defines as to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).
And when you stop and think about it, we all (at some point or another) have experienced a missed opportunity. And those missed opportunities have the potential to weigh on us - heavily. And some carry the weight of regret around with them for years and years.
And a sign of someone carrying around that heavy emotional weight will utter three words:
“If I only…”
If I only knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently.
If I only had someone in my corner when I was a younger mother, I would have been spared so much heartache.
If I only could go back and do it all over again, I would do it better.
And the thing about these If I only… statements is that no matter how hard one could wish it true, no one can go back to the past and bring their present wisdom and hindsight with!
Because of that, we oftentimes find ourselves failing forward - allowing our present pain to work out God’s purpose in our lives. And God in His Sovereignty can (and does) use it all - even those missed opportunities!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
So, if that is you my dear Older, Wiser Mother friend - if you suffer from dwelling on your If I only’s… then I’ve written this especially for you. (to be continued)