When you were a kid, did you ever dream of how your life would be? Like the ending from a Disney movie: No bumps in the road or dark horse characters, just knights in shining armor, 2.5 kids, picket fences, adventure and a cute puppy that looked like you.
Well, life is not that simple. It doesn’t come with a guidebook, though many an expert have tried to help us navigate it. But nothing truly has a guarantee. Webster’s defines a guarantee as a “sure thing”, a promise with a specific outcome. But in real life, this is not the case. There is no guarantee our children will be healthy, no guarantee that we’ll grow old with our spouse, no guarantee little Johnny isn’t going to skin his knee trying to ride his bike for the first time, or that our children won’t need counseling after we’ve given our “best shot” at raising them.
I pick my children up at the bus stop 5 days a week, 20 days a month, 180 days a year. I’m on standby to give them the biggest hug of the day, if they choose to take it. By accident, due to traffic or just not noticing the clock, I missed the bus twice last year and the other day my 8 year old son said: “Mom, remember last year how you always forgot to pick us up at the bus stop?” What? There’s also no guarantee they’ll remember they had a great childhood, but we’ll keep our finger’s crossed.
Life is not like the Stepford Wives – where you tell Toby to keep his room clean and he just does it, no questions, no whining, just clean! Or when you tell Ruby to drink her milk and no complaints there. No, they’re gonna throw food, pitch a fit, mess up their room, skin their knee, fight with their siblings . . . but they’re also gonna surprise you with maturity, make responsible choices when you’re not around and help those in need when the moment presents itself.
They’re gonna come home from college with a broken heart, a bad grade or a bill they can’t pay, but they’re also gonna make lifelong friendships, give you a big hug and tell you how much they love you.
It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 9 children, they all have their own personality, their own ideas and each has to be treated, punished and rewarded differently. Life is loud, complicated, fun, exhausting, rewarding, but how life turns out . . . it’s highs and lows, and how things go, is not guaranteed. But we choose to invest in life and love, as a risk, an adventure.
Life is not a bowl of cherries nor is it a bed of roses. It’s more like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump carried around. You never know what you’re gonna get, but it’s worth discovering. It’s better to have lived and loved, right?
There are days when the kids are all talking to you at once, when the baby has a great (2 week phase) and is now 7 weeks into a bad one . . . just hold on. When your loving child suddenly becomes embarrassed by you, in the school parking lot, hold on . . . in the quiet of the day, they’ll need advice, a hug or a pep talk that only you can give.
Life has no guarantees, except that it won’t be perfect. But perfect would be boring. That’s probably why this word only exists on paper and not in real life. So throw out the bowl of cherries, toss out the bed of roses and grab the box of chocolates and head to the bus stop and enjoy the Fruits of Your Life!
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed!