When I stepped out the door this morning to go on my walk with my old friend and fellow blogger Tonya, I was mystified because of the mist -- the fog -- that enveloped my neighborhood. Fog in Florida? Pretty rare! I lived near San Francisco for many years and visited Scotland for a summer, so I've seen plenty fog before -- but not much here in sunny Orlando! It was actually a bit refreshing, even lovely, and I snapped a few pictures with my iPod camera. It's funny that I thought the sun was the moon, because its light was so obscured by the fog. Tonya assured me that it was, indeed, the sun!
As Tonya and I walked, we were musing about the fog, and I told her that I've often shared with other moms how my years of mothering babies and toddlers was like a two decade long fog for me. I got pregnant with my first baby in September 1986 and weaned my tenth baby in the spring of 2006, so I pretty much was pregnant or nursing for 20 years with only a dozen scattered months "off" during the whole time. With the constant physical demands and the lack of sleep, it just does something to the brain cells. I felt like I was in a fog of just getting through the daily stuff. It's only been in the last five years that I've really started to emerge from that and "come into my own."
I'm not saying I was mentally dead for all those years. In fact, as I said to Tonya, it is the fact that I was actively reading and writing (2 books and a global e-magazine!) and talking to other moms that kept me going until that season of life was over for me. I am so grateful for that. It's actually still what keeps me sane, since I still have so many demands with a full house and the noise and mess that entails. The years do pass. Children do grow up. Of my ten children, five daughters are now adults or almost adults: my oldest is married and has a son of her own, my second is planning her wedding for this fall, the next two are preparing to return to college after a few months in Italy, and the fifth daughter is excelling as a sophomore in her first year of public high school after 10 years of being home schooled. But I do still have five very active younger kids, including a daughter in kindergarten who will graduate from high school when I am almost 60! Oy!
Back to the reading... I get my daily dose of encouragement on my iPod from several blogs that I subscribe to via Google Reader. Now I'm going to share my weekly culling of the best of these blog posts with you for Friday Favorites in hopes that they might be a source of manna to you who are still in the years of mothering young children (and older ones, too)!
These posts are mostly about grace in parenting, which fits this post since part of the fog of motherhood was that of trying to meet up to everyone else's expectations and live by their rules instead of walking in the grace of what God had for our family.