For when you think you’re running out of time

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I can’t seem to keep my children in non-toe crushing shoes and pants that don’t make me look like a negligent mother. Every time I look at them, my kids seem to have propelled themselves into the next size up, the next phase, the next stage of curiosity.  They add inches and air miles and an uncomfortably accurate school-yard education on procreation, and I find myself struggling to keep up. I want to stay a step ahead, but it’s as if I’m back in the baby years and once I get a handle on the current sleep-eat-play schedule, they up and change it. I want to beg them to slow down, to wait for me to catch up.

While my children climb the pencil marks on the wall like ivy, I’ve watched my elderly neighbors in the slow fade of old age. Their bodies betray their former bloom, and they replace brisk walks for physical therapy, working joints for manufactured ones. The woman on the corner used to garden the day away beside her dog Princess. Princess is gone and so are the days of tilling the soil and making conversation. Her mouth dips down to the left, as if worn out from a lifetime of speech, and she spends her days under the awning with a new dog panting at her feet.

I sat on a train, thinking these bloom and fade thoughts, and I realized, I don’t fit neatly in either phase. I am still growing, but not in inches (unless you count my thighs, which I most certainly do not). And I refuse to believe I’m anywhere near the fade. I’m caught in the middle–the long, laborious middle where the work of growth becomes denser and the roots grow deeper. I realized too, that I have time. I often worry that if I’m not hurtling towards something, or full-out running to reach the station in time, the train will pull away. I forget another one always comes along in due time.

A few days ago, as I worked myself into an emotional frenzy over what this next phase in our lives will look like, specifically for me, my husband said, Kimberly, I promise, you will be able to do everything that’s in your heart to do. And my heart went quiet with his words because once again, he reminded me, I still have time. I have time and I have his promise and I have a heart that beats strong and joints that ache to accomplish more.

You, my friend, are not in the slow fade. It may feel this way today, especially if you find yourself buried under a mound of diapers and toddler tantrums. Stop worrying about making it to the station before the train pulls away. Steady your legs, slow your breathing. You have the time, and you will be able to do everything that is in your heart to do, I promise.

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  • Fiona

    Beautifully written. Thank you for the reminder. Fiona 🙂

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for stopping by, Fiona:)

  • I so identify with this. As if entering my 30’s was some sort of doorway to the END, so I’d better hurry up and accomplish everything before my energy is gone.

    Thanks for the reminder that this is not true, especially as I was “buried under a mound of diapers and toddler tantrums” today :).

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Yes! Thirties as a doorway to the END;) TIme to give ourselves some breathing room, yes?

  • Mia

    Dear Kimberly
    What a great post!! As one who is experiencing the life after school with both my sons being university students, I can assure you that our Lord will show you which way to go. I know we often downgrade our importance when we are bringing up our children, but this is a lie. In fact, it is the most challenging, noble job anyone can have.
    Much love XX
    Mia

  • I love this Kimberly!

    It reminds me of Noah. Did you know that is has been
    estimated that it took him 55-75 years to build the ark? I was so blessed when
    I found this out; I remember thinking the same thing. I’ve got time! No matter
    what God has entrusted us to do or what he has set in our hearts to do, he has
    also gifted us with the time we need to accomplish it. No one is boarding that
    ship till we are DONE.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      “No one is boarding that ship til we are done”–well said:)