Simpler Times?

Can we go back to the days when life was easier?

Was there really such a time? I am not so sure, I have been told that hindsight is 20/20. When you look back things seem like they were easier and simpler but were they? Parents look back and remember they used to think the toddler stage was hard, as they go through the teenage stage. Or when you had a good system going at work and then one small thing gets tweaked which changes everything. Or when the family dynamic gets changed but the attention of one furry little floofball who doesn’t like you when you wear your work clothes so she cowers and barks until your clothes are changed. Or when your teen decides that she wants to do things her own way and you have to step back and fight your battles in prayer. Over the last few weeks, ok months really life has been changing, I didn’t really notice the changes so much until I looked back and saw the “simpler times” compared to the times I have going on right now.

I remember as a young momma people telling me to enjoy them while they are young, time goes by so fast. So I would do my best to enjoy my times with my kiddos and to try not to worry about the upcoming teenage years. I am a newbie “teenage momma”. I have two teenage girls who are very, very different but the same as well. I was joking with them the other day about them teaming up to see how many grey hairs they could get to pop out of my head. I really do think they target me as the softie momma who tries to hear them out, but there are days where this momma heart can’t take any more. You can’t really prepare for the teen years, you can really only guard your heart with prayer, make sure not to take too many things seriously, have room for laughter and know most of what your teens throw at you is them feeling you out because they are trying to figure out who they are and they need to know you are in their court. This knowledge doesn’t stop me from wishing for the “simpler times” when their opinions closely matched yours, the biggest problem you had was that they didn’t want to eat the dinner you made them and the fact their fashion statement of wearing undies on their heads was the big thing that caused tears.

So where does joy come into all of this. I try to joyfully live life, and I do most of the time. But joy isn’t about happiness and laughter. Joy is about something deeper. It’s about knowing who you belong to. It’s about surrounding yourself with people you love and who love you back and will have your back. Joy is knowing that you don’t have to be ok all of the time. Joy is love of family and friends and knowing that your crazy teenage girls still trust you enough to talk to you even if what they tell you blows your mind and makes you want to bury your head in the sand. Joy is admitting to yourself that there are some things that are out of your hands. That you really don’t have control of “everything” Joy comes from knowing you don’t have to to have control.

I love looking back on the days when my kids were younger. The pictures show how “sweet and innocent” they were. I know when I was going through those times I would look back and remember how “easy” things were before kids. The problem is I keep looking back. It’s in the past. It doesn’t matter if they were “simpler times”. Those times are gone, being in the now is where I need to be. I learned a lot “way back when” but I am learning a lot now. I love having conversations with my kids. I love using the knowledge I gained from the past to grow in the now. I know looking back will happen. I know the future me will look back on what is happening right now and think “man those were simpler times”. I know that I will grow from these experiences I am having. Right now is stressful, right now is hard, right now is right where I want to be. Surround yourself with people and things that bring out the joy. Find God again, and pray, not as a last resort but like you are having a conversation with your best friend, because you are. Until next time:

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