There’s More Than Just Now

I’m pleased to serve on the launch team of Brooke McGlothin’s new book, Gospel Centered Mom. The phrase “There’s More Than Just Now,” is inspired by the book and has caused me to look at the inconveniences of being a mom differently. Click here to visit Brooke’s website and learn how to purchase her book.

It’s 10:00 pm on a Wednesday night. It’s summer and the kids are in-between camps and organized activities, so there’s no scheduled place to be in the morning. They are also hyped from the evening’s bible study and worship service at church. For them, the words bed-time are not within range.

“Mom, we’re going to have a midnight snack. You want some pancakes?”

Unlike them, I have to work in the morning but the idea of late-night pancakes sounded delightful.

“Sure. And thank you for inviting me to the party.” With three teens who are 14, 15, and 16, I’ve learned that I’m not always welcome to the late night parties because #siblingcode. So when I am, even if it’s been a long day, I’m thankful for the invite and I go to the party.

Plus, nobody should turn down the offer of late-night pancakes. Ever.

By 11:30 pm, the pancakes were consumed and my tiredness started to take effect. I went to my room and slowly crawled into bed. When I looked up, the lights were turned on, someone was telling me to scoot over, someone else was making a pallet of blankets on the floor, and yet another teen body was standing in the middle of my bedroom, full of energy and exclaiming, “Can we talk about the emotional differences between men and women?”

Apparently, more happened at that lively church service than praising the Lord. There was eye contact. There was a shy smile. There was a, “What’s your Instagram?” There was a blushing look accompanied by a sly, “See you on Sunday. You will be at the early service, right?”

Whoa. I was. Not. Ready. For. That.

And once we processed that event, the conversation took an interesting turn. “Can we talk about colleges now?”

It is now 12:44 a.m. My alarm will sound in 4 hours and 16 minutes. I am starting to yawn every 5 minutes.

“Sure. What about the colleges?” Yawn.

“Well, what are the best classes for me to take this coming year for dual credit?”

With more from another member of the peanut gallery. “Yeah, mom. I was meaning to ask you if I take music classes for dual credit now, would they transfer when I go to a four-year college?”

“Well…can we…maybe…talk about this…” Yawn. “To-mo…”

There’s more than just now.

So I yawned again. But I sat up. And I used my 20 years of experience working at a college and did something I had never done before. I advised my own children about college classes. At 12:47 a.m. While yawning.

There’s more than just now.

This photo was not from the recent night in question. As you can see though, we are fond of late night sleepovers in one room.

Once we finished that discussion, I was ready to tell everyone good night and tell them they could stay in my room if they wanted to. But as I nestled my head on my pillow, there was another question.

“Hey mom. I noticed you had a text message conversation with Dad today. What was that about?”

“Really?” Yawn.

“Yes really.”

There’s more than just now.

My ex-husband and I have been divorced for 10 years. Last summer, he was diagnosed with a chronic and life threatening illness. His almost-death changed our communication style. We started giving each other more grace, more honesty, and talking more. Even more recently, we reached a place in our relationship where I would venture to say we are now friends. At the beginning of this summer, we had to work together to address a crisis with one of the children who brought less than desirable grades home. While that situation was bad, it did open up additional lines of communication for us (we’re now friends on Facebook and I’ve given him advice on managing his profile). Over the past three months, we’ve talked regularly…and there’s even been some laughter.

“Your sister and I saw a police officer that he knows when we were running errands and I mentioned that to your father.” Yawn.

“Was that all, mom?”

“If you are asking me if we discussed when you will be un-grounded, we didn’t.” Yawn. “That was all.”

“Man, okay. I was just wondering.”

At 1:41 a.m. one of them had a brilliant idea. “Guys maybe we should let mom go to sleep.”

But another did not share the sentiment. “Why? I’m enjoying this.”

“Y’all. My alarm is going off at 5:00 a.m.” Yawn.

“So you can pray? Why don’t you have devotional time with us now and then you can sleep a little later?”

There’s More Than Just Now. 

We started the devotional, and I think I mentioned something about Proverbs 3:5-7 and leaning not on our own understanding. I dozed off to sleep before anything else could be discussed. Even though I was tired, I’m glad I was able to give them those few minutes of a devotional and the preceding three hours of life stuff.

There’s More Than Just Now.

In a few short years, they will start to leave the nest. They will be dealing with relationship issues on their own. They will be in college full-time and probably living away from home. And they will probably still have questions about our divorce. The time I give them today will help prepare for the sticky stuff they’ll have to deal with on their own. Because they will be adults. And they won’t need these nights with their mama to process life.

There’s More Than Just Now.

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