And it's called PARENTHOOD!
It is a long endurance race; filled with many hurdles + challenges.
It can be draining and exhausting.
Sleepless nights, feeding problems, communication issues, out right disobedience, messes, tantrums and melt downs, arguments + frustrations, immature attittudes and many, many tears fill the years.
But the memory bank is also filled with the amazing feeling of warm little bodies clinging on for new life suckling at the breast for the first time, of the look on a child's face when they worked out how to ride on their bike for the first time without training wheels completely unassisted. The years are coloured by squeezy hugs, sloppy kisses planted on my cheeks, the Bible shared, songs being sung together, letters and numbers learned, prayers prayed, lessons being taught about how to brush teeth or how to tie shoelaces. The years are littered with activties done together, a multitude of scrumptious goodies baked and eaten together, of family meals + conversations of the heart being shared. Our marathon will continue into the years we have yet lived and we so look forward to many more adventures colouring our world as we run this almighty race.
My marathon begins in pregnancy but does not end there.
I don't just excited about the birth and then nothing else; the pregnancy and birth are the beginning! They are special and sweet times and I treasure them greatly. BUT they are just the beginning!
The rest of the race still needs to be run!
The journey of each family is so different; each child is so different and of course each parent too.
But the outcome is still the same really...a desire to have nurtured and loved the children we've been given in the way that they need to be loved.
Having an autistic child has taught me that well. Someone once said to me, 'Love is not about giving each child the same treatment as each other. Love is about showing each child they are loved in the way they understand it - as different as that may be even between siblings'.
I really believe that to be true.
Father, as I learn to love our children from pregnancy all the way through, please help me to remember that I am in this for the long haul.
Help me please not to feel too frustrated and want them to grow too quickly.
Help me to enjoy each stage and treasure all the precious moments that pass way too swiftly.
Please Yah, help me to love and nurture, empathise and play with each one of our children in a way that ultimately shows them YOUR love and great care for each of them.
Help me to touch their hearts in a way that reminds them that there is ONE who loves them even more than I.
Thank you Father.
I'm running a marathon.
And I'm really glad; I couldn't imagine it any other way.