• Ashley Bowman

For the Mom Who Realizes It Goes By Fast

No one prepares you for how big your first child will seem after you have your second.

I was shocked and surprised when my first baby walked into the room to meet his brand new baby sister. He seemed so old and so big. It was like time had jumped forward years and my first baby was no longer a baby, but a big kid, now a big brother. Compared to his tiny newborn baby sister, he might as well have been a grown man.

It hit me, heavy and hard.

They grow up really fast.

The reality that "the days are long but the years are short" and "kids grow up in the blink of an eye" set in strongly on my newly postpartum heart. I cried for weeks after having my daughter because I believed at the time that she would be our last child and the sweet newborn smell would be a vapor in the wind too soon and this adorable little newborn was going to grow up way too fast.

It was in that moment,

God "set eternity" in my human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Combined with breastfeeding hormones, these thoughts of eternity felt overwhelming. I went to God and gave it to Him and He filled me with abundant peace.

But by realizing how quickly children grow and how swiftly life passes by, my life goals changed. I learned that I needed to do the following:

  1. Number the days to live wisely.

  2. Sow hard, intentionally, every day.

  3. Live with an eternal perspective.

With these goals in mind, several things happened.

My priorities shifted. My parenting transformed.

I went from teaching full-time to teaching part-time so I could make the most of the time I have with my kids. I have an important job to do and a limited time to do it.

I transitioned my kids from public school to homeschool so I could spend more time with them, teaching them what really matters.

I spent less time trying to turn them into academic geniuses or future all-stars and more time showing them the love of Jesus and how to walk in His ways.

Things change when you realize your days are numbered, so we should spend them well, and focus on the eternal.

1. Number the days to live wisely.

The Bible tells us to

"Number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalms 90:12).

When we number our days, we are reminded of the importance of each and every day.

We have five years with our teenager.

We have three years with our preteen.

We have six years with our child.

Three years with our toddler.

One year with our infant.

These twenty-four hours may seem like forever, each hour harder than the last, but it doesn't last long.

Our days are numbered.

So what should we do with these days we are given?

2. Sow hard, intentionally, every day.

The Bible says,

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17).

We have to be intentional. We have to make the most of each and every opportunity-because how we live our days is how we will live our lives. We need to be in the Word and in prayer, leaning on God to learn His will for our lives and the lives of our children.

Scripture also tells us

"There's a time to plant and a time to reap" (Ecclesiastes 3: 2).

This is our time to plant. We have a finite amount of time to sow seeds of love, truth, and goodness into the hearts and souls of our kids. The time is now. These days, the days of wiping noses and calming emotions and kissing boo-boos, are the time we get to pour into our kids in big ways. It's now or never.

We may not see it now. Robert Louis Stevenson tells us not to "judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant". So keep going. Keep doing the next right thing. Keep reading those devotionals in between the correcting and question answering and arguing. Keep demonstrating grace in the midst of all the sin. Keep reminding, keep guiding, keep loving.

I pray one day we are blessed to see the fruit of our labor and see our children bloom into men and women who love God and love others.

This hard season takes discipline. And this discipline, while grueling now, will produce for us a harvest of righteousness:

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness"(Hebrews 12:11).

Keep going. Even though it’s hard. Even though you can’t see immediate results. What you sow today, you reap tomorrow.

And we don't have a lot of time. So sow hard, intentionally, every day.

3. Live with an eternal perspective.

Most of what we strive for here on earth is futile. So much of what we accomplish in this world won't last.

What truly matters is what will last for eternity.

Our souls are eternal. Our children's souls are eternal. Our family, friends, acquaintances, co-worker's souls are eternal.

Are we living with eternity in our hearts?

Do you see yourself as an eternal being?

Do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you know where your kids will spend eternity?

I know I share a lot of vulnerable posts on here and talk about my love for God all the time. I'm sure I make people uncomfortable or maybe even annoy you, but it matters so much to me that all of those in my circle of influence come to know Jesus.

I want you to know the freedom He brings.

I want you know the peace He gives.

I want you to know the love He lavishes.

I want you to know the comfort, the hope, the strength He provides.

I want you to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

I want to spend eternity with you in Heaven.

Our time here on earth is limited. Heaven and hell are real.

Number your days. Sow hard. Spend time on what really matters, in both your parenthood and your life.

“Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

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