Settled. That’s really how I want to remember my fiftieth year. Actually, I sure wish I had been — or felt — settled a lot earlier in my life — but I wasn’t — not really. So, I want to affirm that this has sort of been the year of settling things. I’ve never really felt all that ‘self-assured’ or confident. Too often I’ve been swayed or even derailed by what others might think or what others might say about this or that decision or action I might have made or taken . Therefore, I’ve tended to doubt. A lot.
The years have brought so many changes that one thing I knew I could anticipate for sure was change. Over the years, as the babies continued to come along, I would wonder if I could be a good (enough) mother to them all. I’d wonder if they’d remember me loving them when the days were long and the weeks would fly by. So many changes. O — from early on I was very settled that the LORD is Lord of the womb — I was very, very settled in my heart that the LORD was the only determinant — for both family size and timing — I just wondered when the next baby would come; that’s what I mean about things not feeling settled. And then, in the later years, I kept wondering if there’d be one more — and finding myself praying over and over: just one more.But things still didn’t feel settled.
All that wondering led me to, or through, what I have affectionately called my “mid-wife crisis.” A ‘mom of many’ tends to think that the many will always be there — that pregnancy is the default condition, that nursing’s a way of life and that every year and a half or so a new baby would join the fold and the family would continue to grow and grow — that nothing’s ever settled for very long — from the number of plates on the table, to the number of shoes at the back door to the number of carseats in the van. And so… that question that every ‘mom of many’ gets: Are you done yet? Are you going to have any more? A ‘mom of many’ tends to answer: I don’t know – only the Lord knows – the answer is never settled though the resolve is. And I’m pretty sure most of us thinks the season will go on for a long time.
So… this has been the year I have finally reconciled myself to the fact that there won’t be any more — that that season has passed — and I’ll never travel that way again. Broaching a subject I’ve not addressed here, it’s one of the most significant things a woman faces. Sounds odd to put menopause on my list of “30 Favourite Things” doesn’t it?! There have been *many* things I haven’t liked about menopause — but reckoning with this and settling a season has been important — saying goodbye to the bearing season has been so hard – it’s one of the biggest things I’ve ever faced. So, the reason I put this near the top of the list is that I have really wrestled with — even fought against this one for many years — our baby will be eight years old in a few months. It’s been a marvelous, wonderful journey — the childbearing season of motherhood. I’ve been blessed beyond measure and surely through no great or mighty thing that I have done — but that He saved me and then gave me a loving husband and eleven precious children. I’m in awe. Ever in awe.