“The joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
One of my friends posted a link on Facebook today to an awesome blog post. Seriously, it made my day.
It was written by a mom who spoke about the idea we pass on to one another that we have to love every single moment we spend with our children. Every parent has heard this – every parent has probably said it. Seen a young mom somewhere, and said, “Enjoy every minute – it goes so fast.”
Well, her point (which I love) is that there are some minutes you just don’t love. There are some moments when your children are doing something embarrassing in a store, or being disobedient at home, or torturing their siblings and you don’t feel like relishing the moment – you are mostly just wishing it would be over. That by telling one another to love every single second of parenthood, we are actually setting people up for failure, because we have built up this unrealistic expectation that you are supposed to be deliriously happy, now that you are a parent.
Being a parent isn’t what makes you happy. Just like getting married won’t make you happy and getting a new job or pay raise or haircut or car won’t either. If we go through life thinking that something external is going to make us happy, we are headed for trouble.
The author also talked about how the Greek had two words they used for time – chronos, which is the minute-by-minute, chronological time; and kairos, which are the special moments. To me, this is an instance where our language fails us. If we had two words instead of one for time, it would be easier to convey what we mean. When we tell a parent to enjoy every minute, we don’t mean to treasure everything, including the messy diapers. What we mean is to treasure the kairos time – the special moments. Like when my son sits in my lap, reading a book to me in his adorable toddler babble. Or when he lays his head on my shoulder after giving me a kiss. Those are moments that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Joy comes from the Lord – and every good and perfect thing is a gift from Him. Treasure those gifts, but don’t put pressure on yourself to be happy every single second of every day. Instead, appreciate the special moments God has blessed you with, and allow God to built you up with their memories.