I used to write. In fact, I used to do a lot of things.
I used to take pictures of my boys with my “big” camera instead of just with my iPhone. I used to read books that weren’t text books…for fun. I used to drink a cup of coffee in one sitting without having to reheat it-three times.
Anyone who ever, ever tells you that you can still do all of the same things you did before you had kids, is lying. You most certainly can still do things…but not in the same way that you once did.
I can still take pictures of my boys with my big camera…but it has to be a carefully and strategically planned event or either on a day in which I have nothing else planned.
I can still read books that aren’t text books…but it will be in car line (if the youngest isn’t screaming because the car is sitting still) or in very quick spurts. Think sentences at a time…rather than pages or chapters. Oh! And let’s not forget that it will take probably six months to read an average book. Just FYI.
And I won’t even get started on the coffee. Let’s just say that I’m learning to like mine iced. Or either just cooled off…extremely.
This has been a rough season for me, personally. Which explains the lack of writing. And sharing. And posting that I’ve done on this site. I find myself in the midst of an emotional breakdown. And identity crisis of sorts. Sitting back and just taking in all of the things that make up my life right now. And asking myself, how in the world did I get here?
My boys are six and two. Going on seven and three at the end of the year. I’m approaching 30 years old (yes, most of you will say that I’m still a baby…I get it). And I look back at the life that I have lived so far-places I’ve been, things I’ve done, where I’m going, who I’ve met-and wonder how I got here. Birth gives us our “point A” in life…and while I’m not at “point Z” yet, I find myself stuck somewhere in the middle. And I’m not quite sure where to go from this point. Can’t go backward obviously. But what’s in the places ahead? Where does the journey in front of me lead?
I never knew that having children would change me as much as it has.
But it has.
Would I undo having my boys? Absolutely not.
Would I trade their existence for a solid 8 hours of sleep and a hot cup of coffee every day? Not a chance.
They’ve made me better. A bit more neurotic I’m afraid, but better.
They’ve also taught me that while we all love the “once upon a time” stories with the happy endings, it’s the middle part of the story…the meat as my english teacher would have called it…that make the story good.
And just like the conflict and resolution of any story makes it better, the conflict and resolution that fill our lives make us better.
Did you hear that? It makes us better. It makes us stronger. It teaches us all about what really and truly matters.
And it keeps us pointed at THE ONE who truly matters.
So while my bank account wishes I wish that I could keep a cup of coffee hot for myself at home, I’ll run to Starbucks where they make it extra hot and put it in nice insulated cups so that I can drink it slowly and savor it. While I may not get a lot of extra reading in, I’m reading the most important of books anyway. And my big camera? She’s fun to use when I have the chance, but I refuse to not take the day to day photos of my kids, just because I can’t use my Canon.
Life is short. It’s precious. It’s fleeting.
So I’ll take the once upon a time, anticipate the ending, but cherish the middle.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. [James 1:2-4]
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.