I don't think I would be alone in saying that my life right now looks nothing like the things I had planned.  I never planned on getting married, but then I met the amazing man that I now call my husband.  But the wedding bells didn't ring right away.  It took us four years to get from our first date to our first introduction as Mr. & Mrs.

I had so many plans for married life.  I've never really traveled before.  I imagined we could take long train rides to the mountains or the beach.  We would ride motorcycles to campouts or rallies with our friends.  We would explore the little shops that make up the historical districts in the small towns we would visit.

But we quickly went from newlyweds to new parents.  Little shops mean you have to keep track of little hands that want to touch everything.  Motorcycles are really only made for two.  And long train rides lose all their romance when you're responsible for a screaming baby.  This was not at all what I had planned.

Now don't get me wrong.  I love my daughter.  She is smart, funny, and beautiful.  But the timing didn't really work out the way I had hoped.  I wanted to have a few years for my husband and I to go on adventures and settle into married life before becoming responsible for any children.

I often find myself wishing I could go back to the days and weeks right after our wedding.  I would jump in my car after work and drive whatever was the shortest route to get me home.  I couldn't wait to see my husband again.  I didn't care what we did once I got there.  I just wanted to be near him.  I miss that time I had with just him.

Now after work I hurry to daycare and try not to be the last mom to pick up her kid  Then I stop by the grocery store to buy diapers, or groceries, or pay utility bills.  Then I rush home to throw something together for dinner before the ticking time-bomb that is my child decides she is starving.  Then it's a little bit of playtime, followed by a bath and bedtime story.  After she has said her prayers and I've kissed her goodnight, my husband and I collapse on the couch and watch a show before turning in for the night.

Again, I love my daughter, but I often wish I could rewind time.  I would go back to the days when my husband and I held hands walking through the grocery store.  Or when we would leave on a day trip with no real plans, except to be together.

But last night I was asked to read this verse out-loud to our church youth group:

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. -Luke 9:62 (NIV)

I jokingly tell my friends that God has placed my husband and I in full-time children's ministry, but the honest truth is--he has!  We have been entrusted with the upbringing of a little girl that is very special to God.  But how can I do justice to the job I have been called to do if I am constantly looking back at the life that's no longer available to me?

The answer is--I can't.

As hard as it is, I need to let go of what I had before becoming a parent and focus on the here and now.  If I were plowing and I kept looking back, I wouldn't see any of the things right in front of me.  The same is true with my life.  If I keep looking back I will miss all the things I have been given.  I would fail to see all the plans God has in store for me.

So, when my daughter throws herself on the floor because she didn't get her way I won't think about how much I miss spontaneous date nights with my husband.  Instead, I'll think about how much God loves this little girl and how honored I am to be her mom (while I'm putting her in time-out).




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