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  1. Hi Monica,
    I’m so thankful for you, and your writing. Just today, I had a moment like you are describing. I have three little boys. (Well, one is now ten and not-so-little.) I do have a 30 hour a week consulting career that pays for Christian education, but Wednesday is my day off. I go to Bible study in the morning, and then pick up my 5-yr old Isaiah from preschool. On Wednesdays, my inclination is to run every errand and organize my house, because it my “my chance” but it is also my chance to be a mom. So I signed up for lunch duty for my 10 year old Elijah’s 4th grade classroom. I love listening to their conversations and asking them questions. 10 year olds are a dream. I also got to see my 8 year old Caleb, and it wasn’t lost on me that every child in his classroom knows my name. ❤️

    Anyway, as I walked back across the street with Isaiah, through the ice and snow to our home, I had one of these moments. We live across the street from the Christian elementary school, and the several houses around us are filled with neighbor families that love us and love God the way we do….what an unexpected blessing, an oasis. Elijah is starting middle school next year, and we will have to drive him to another building. But THIS year, all three of my boys live in a world that feels like heaven on earth to me. I cherish my “mommy days”, as Isaiah calls them. And I stood there in the ice and snow and counted how many years I have left of any of my boys at this school across the street. Five. Five more years till Isaiah goes to the middle school. I know that I am currently living in the “The Good Old Days.” I waited a LONG time to have kids, and lost a fourth son along the way. I am very aware of the blessings God has given me (including my career). I feel like I am holding on so tightly! It will not always be this good. I could fall to me knees in gratitude and worship if I think about it too much! Your writing helps me think about how to raise these young men well. Thank you!!

    1. Oh Becky…You brought me to tears with all of that. (i was there with you in the snow for a minute!) Yes such blessings and treasures you’ll remember forever. But you are embracing it now and that is SO wonderful. And each season will be amazing in its own way…Do not fear that this is the only “heaven on earth” — each season can be so rich. Just keep that gratitude and you are golden! Blessings and thank you. xo

  2. Monica!!
    You slayed this post. Thank you for your true and valuable words, and for being such an amazing sister to so many!


  3. Thanks, Monica! I’m home with a sick middle schooler- maybe the last time he will “need” me when home sick. Seems likely that in the near future he can rest and recoup from minor illness on his own with me a mile or so up the road and a phone call away at my school. Instead of feeling stressed about ALL OF THE THINGS waiting for when I return to work tomorrow (hopefully) I will enjoy this time. Chatting, cuddling if I am lucky, maybe teaching him Yahtzee!
    Side note- I thought I was the only one who teared up when I tried to recall by boys at specific ages. If I can successfully recall moments tears come. If I cannot recall Cullen at 7 or Evan at 4, the tears come. Growing up is a tricky thing. If I could choose a superpower it would be time travel. I would love to spend a weekend when my oldest was 10 months and he learned to walk on a trip to the beach. Or, just an hour to watch the joy in the littlest one’s face at his super hero parkour class at age 3. Or just a little while in the park and hear “Mommy look at me” and really cherish it. Big sigh…

  4. Penny Nakamura says:

    Well said and beautifully written Monica. Oh to have those youngsters back in our daily lives. When my kids were toddlers, and older woman once said to me, “Don’t wish these years away, they go by all too fast.”
    She was right, though I didn’t always fully embrace those words then.
    Much aloha to you and your boys 😉 from S.Africa with love,

  5. Monica, this is something the Lord has been reminding me in the past year and a half, since my homeschooling days came to an end. That my motherhood is still meaningful, even if now it consists of teaching in new ways and my days are filled with cooking for daughter-in-law, babies and a girlfriend in the mix. My “world changing” looks more like supporting two sons who are faithfully serving, helping my DIL wrangle two toddlers (and one more due in February), loving and supporting my husband and having time to actually love on my home more now. I’m still contributing, just behind the scenes, and yet, somehow this important work I’ve been doing is what has enabled my kids to go out and live out their dreams. All those simple days add up over the years and it’s those day to day memories that all come flooding back when we think of the important women who had an impact on us, in our own lives.
    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. SO beautifully said, Debbie! Thank you for sharing that! 🙂 I love to imagine being in the season you are in also, and hope and pray I will be near my grown children then. Keep up the great work! xo

  6. Erica L Solbrig says:

    This is SO good. I am crying, tears of everything here. You are so right. Thank you for sharing, as always. I appreciate your wisdom and taking me on your journey of motherhood with you. It is incredibly hard, yet incredible in all others ways too.

    1. Oh thank you Erica! blessings to you as you keep doing the important work!! xo

  7. Hi Monica
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. When I was reading I thought you have written keeping me in mind. Today I have been contemplating taking up a full Time job and yes my 10 yr old is on my mind. I always wanted to be present for my kids, raise them and guide them. My older one will soon go to university and I thought the younger one will need me more than ever. I know me being present has made a difference in their lives. I am in two minds. Take up full time job or persue part time work. The decision is difficult as I too need to work to maintain my sanity. Hope I get an answer soon from within. Thank you again for sharing the blog.

    1. aw, yes…big choices and important ones. I’ll pray for you!!

  8. Awwww! I’m right there with you. So often I have to remind myself that these days are fleeting and I can’t believe how fleeting. I think it has become such a reality as my oldest daughter went to college this year. I love it when she’s home and love watching her spread her wings!! God has blessed us and I’m so thankful for the kiddos and loving husband He gave me. I am humbled as I watch what He has done for us and through us. It is incredible to watch Him at work as He raises up my kiddos for His purpose. I love it and I am thankful for your reminder to love on the two I have at home that still need me. I have been trying to be more intentional and it is fun to watch our relationship go deeper. We all went through a time of adjustment but I think we’re finding joy in the journey again. Thank you for sharing your heart. You encourage me.

  9. Thank you for your words. I’ve read your blogs off and on since my kids were younger. They are now 20 and 18. My son is in Marine Corps in California and daughter graduating from high school and headed away for college. It all happened so quickly. I appreciate every moment with them and can’t wait to know the people God has chosen them to be in the future and no matter what, I WILL BE PRESENT WITH THEM. 🙂

  10. Tania Kallish says:

    This is timely because I am learning to say No. I say it with love and sometimes a little regret, but I’ve come to realize that when I’m overextended and over-scheduled I can’t be all I want to be as a mom and wife. I have to work and I love my part time job as a 2 year old teacher in a Christian preschool, but some of my outside interests have had to take a back seat. This meant saying no to the Community Chorus and Theater I would love to be a part of and taking a step back from the Board of a local woman’s club and being “just a member” of the PTA. I’ve kept my kickboxing class (for my sanity), going to Bible Study and directing Sunday School because these feed my body and soul. The rest can wait and it’s really been the right choice for me.

    1. Hi Monica, Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post and sharing what you’ve been going through in this phase. Our oldest son is also a Freshman in college, and like you, I’ve found myself on many occasions since he left lost in thought, straining to remember him through the years and questioning where the time (and my little boy) have gone. One thing we did that I believe has been helpful in easing the pain of going into his room is that we cleared out a lot of things he no longer needed and packed up a few boxes of possessions that he wanted to keep but didn’t necessarily need to have out any longer. Everything is super organized in boxes so if he needed something he’d know where to find it. His room is still very much his room, and we kept out the things that are most him and most precious. When I go into his room, I feel a sense of peace rather than sadness, and I think it’s because we decluttered to some degree. I also couldn’t agree with you more about your advice to moms about really thinking about how they choose to spend their time during these precious years. I left a 6-figure job in 1999 when our oldest was born. Yes, we had to sacrifice along the way, but we found the sense of peace gained when one parent is always available and not stressed by external obligations priceless. I always felt grateful that I could be there if one of my kids was sick and there every day when they got home from school. And like you, my attention now turns to my two children who are still at home. I will do my best to savor the remaining days I have with them now that I know what’s ahead. All the best to you and your family during this time. xo Ellie

      1. Hey Ellie, Thank you so much for the comment. I love hearing a little of your story! Such great advice about clearing some things out and organizing (doesn’t that make just about everything in life better!? I’m always telling myself that! haha) I especially love your story about choosing to leave the corporate world and stay home with your kids. That must have been hard, but now you are seeing the fruit! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Blessings and aloha!