Last week we celebrated our 40th anniversary and watched our oldest grandchild graduate from high school. The month before our youngest child graduated from college. We had kids in college for twenty-one years! Now we’re dealing with a threatening health issue we never imagined.

Like dust in the wind, life seems to blow by.

But when you’re home with a houseful of kids experiencing four bouts of stomach flu in one winter, one right after another, you may not feel as if time is flying. Neither does it fly when you and your husband meet to pass one child to the other and then drive off in opposite directions to sports practices most weekday nights, or if you’re a single parent handling all that driving yourself. When you don’t remember the last time you had a really good uninterrupted quiet time or night’s sleep, you can get lost in the challenges of rearing a family.

You don’t know yet that these are the good ol’ days. I mean that.

I know it’s hard to believe, but when you take the long view, you will regard the days of peanut-butter-smeared banisters, spit up in your hair, and a baby permanently attached to your breast or your hip to be the best years of your life. You will treasure the memories of full sports schedules and student driver anxieties. During this time, your children are with you; you have a sense of purpose and mission as you raise them; your lives are full. Their words, expressions, and antics are precious. They delight you with their discoveries. There is laughter and joy. There are challenges.

You need Jesus’ help every single day.

One day you will look back on cleaning up vomit as a blessing. You will treasure being able to serve your children so intimately. You will grow from the lessons you learned.

Look around you and thank God for whatever is happening in your home today. God is in it. You will cherish the memory of it, even the hard times. I promise. Praise Him now for the pleasant and the unpleasant, for through these He is crafting you to be a mature and selfless human being.