Spent some time with my favorite small people, aka grand kids. They are elementary school aged, and so it is easy to communicate with them in straight-forward terms as long as the conversation does not get too long and drawn-out, due to attention span issues common for the age and seemingly the culture we find ourselves in.
I found myself speaking firmly to one of them, telling them the rules I had for their mothers in public were the same as the ones I have for them. Be respectful of others and be mindful, or it will be a good six months before we are out in public again. Eyes got big, and the light bulb popped on. I am hoping it stuck, but we’ll see.
Waking up this morning, I remembered sitting on the couch in the living room with one of my kids when they were little and wanting to just be close, hang out and tell me all about what was up with them. I would give them about 10 seconds to get to the point, and then adult responsibilities would intrude, as well as the general exasperation and impatience of a young adult, and I would move on to my next chore or duty. The child would trail behind me, still asking for time, or, find something else to do.
In conversations with those adults I held in esteem at the time, they assured me that this time would pass so quickly, and that I would regret not savoring every moment. Every moment? What moment? I barely had a moment to go to the bathroom by myself, let alone have some glorious, mommy and me moment such as they were describing. My pre-recovery, early 20’s self was scared, lonely, and in the midst of trying to survive a marriage filled with domestic violence. I literally had not one more half-inch to give in being a more attentive mother. And somehow this morning, the thought of that is making me cry my eyes out.
My children deserved so much more, but I was pouring from a cup that had a huge hole in the bottom of it and I was trying to fill it myself at the same time. It was not until I allowed God to pull the blinders off, to show me the path of restoration and redemption that I could finally see what I had been missing. The Christian life and walk is not just about grabbing your “get out of hell free” card. It’s about not living in Hell on earth. Which I was. And without recovery, I didn’t even realize there was another way to live.
The enemy wants me to see my life as though I am standing on the downside of a hill of sinking sand, slowly sliding down toward the end of life, away from those I love, with my arms outstretched in a desperate attempt to change the past or atone for it in some way. He wants me feeling shame and permanent remorse.
God says live now. The truth says be the best me I can be, each day. Be the me God created me to be. I can’t go back and sweep up that child in my arms, sit with them and be the mother I wish I had been. But I can stand up and be a good grandma and love with my whole heart and pour from a cup that God uses others to pour into.
Thank you Lord, for recovery. Even when it hurts, it is a blessing, and it refreshes my soul.