Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I just recieved my Harding Alumni newsletter today (along with Laura Beth's and Miss Cheryl Wrights, not even kidding). I love flipping through it and reminding myself of the fun I had and the place that it somehow continues to be. It never ceases to amaze me how Harding can change so much, yet remain to similar to how it was when I attended and even when my parents attended. My favorite part is looking in the back and seeing who got married and who's having babies. The baby pages are by far the longest, as we tend to be a prolific bunch.

But at the end of the baby section, is another section, the Deaths. Normally, it's older alumni who have lived long and godly lives and you read their stories and are almost jealous to hear that after a lifetime of service, they are finally meeting the Lord. Sometimes it's middle aged alumni, who didn't have a chance to live out their days, and you are sad for their families, but still glad that they are no longer in their cancer ridden body and are rejoicing with God instead.

And then there are the saddest ones. The ones that died while in school or shortly thereafter. It breaks your heart for their families, and you sit and wonder about a life cut so very short. It was one of these today that got me.

At the very end of the newletter, was an tribute written to Micah Gifford by his mom. Micah graduated from Harding a semester ahead of me, and while I did not know him personally, most everyone knew of him. A football player, an all around nice guy, and one of the few that honestly tried to walk his talk. Micah signed up for the Army in October of last year, 3 weeks later he went to an Baghdad, and 3 weeks later he was killed by a road side bomb.

As I sat and read his mother write about her son, I just cried and cried. I can not even fathom writing such an article about my sweet tiny baby boy or my vivacious and energetic little Tot. And it was that thought that threw my vision back into line.

I won't contradict myself and say that doing what I'm doing isn't very hard. It is. Staying at home with two children who are in almost no way self sufficient, is draining and exhausting. I am up almost every night with a baby who is wet or a Tot who is scared, and I'm running around all day after them trying to ensure they don't get hurt too badly.

However, it is nothing, nothing, compared to not having them at all.

I wouldn't trade my life or my kids for anything. I wouldn't trade my over active and downright frustrating little Tot for a thousand perfectly behaved kids. I wouldn't trade my clingy little boy who wants nothing more than to be attached to Mama's hip all day, for a thousand little boys who play by themselves.

This article served as a notice to me that this time with my babies is for me to thrive in, not merely make it through with my sanity intact. At what other time in my life will I have them so close? At what other time will I not have to worry about where they are and if they are making wise decisions that will glorify God? At what other time will I not have to worry about whether someone wants to harm them? They are at my side and in my arms almost constantly, and I have become all too aware that they can not stay there for life. While now I am in the business of putting out physical fires, soon I will be leaving that stage to putting out the emotional and spiritual fires. The work on my body will ease, but my heart will be putting in overtime.

I know that eventually my Tot and my boy will be grown ups. They will make decisions based on what I have taught them during their years with me at home. I can only hope and pray that in the midst of the baths and the diaper changes, the poison control calls and the potty training, the fights, the tantrums and the sleepless nights, that I will hug them as much as possible and snuggle them as often as they want, storing it up for when they are farther away from me than I am comfortable with.


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17


Sarah said...

This is very sweet, Kristen. Your kiddos are very lucky to have you!

Daisha said...

Kristen-- thank you for wording this sentiment.

Being a stay-at-home mom IS hard, but it is the most rewarding thing we will ever do.

Regena said...

Kristen, I read that article too. I didn't know Micah, but because he graduated with us it was a little personal. I really felt what his mom said at the end when she said that she was able to look a little beyond her troubles and situations and see Jesus just like her son would somehow find her face when he was in pain. That's something to refocus your vision!

judyjudybobudy said...

K, I treasure the memories that I have of rocking, nursing, changing, snuggling. Yes, being a stay @ home mom is the toughest job ever, but I wouldn't ever change a thing about that time.
See you soon,
Love, J~