Time Marches On

On Sunday, our church had it’s senior recognition during the service Bobby and I attend. They did a great job (they had a video play while each student brought a rose to their parents), and our pastor preached a great sermon geared towards the high school seniors. I was admittedly a little distracted by a couple of things that I kept thinking about during the service that I thought would be appropriate to share here.

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The first thing I kept feeling was a little bit of regret. I remember the spring of my graduation from high school clear as if it were yesterday. It was such an exciting season for me. We had the senior trip, graduation, I had a graduation party, then a fun summer working and hanging out with friends. This was to be fllowed by shopping for my dorm room, college orientation, and then finally moving away to college. So much going on, so much to look forward to, with my whole life ahead of me.

But, there is something else that I remember during that time as well, and it was that all I wanted was for time to speed up. Hurry up, let’s go, I have things to do! I wanted to hurry through graduation to get to summer, then hurry through summer to get to college. Once I was in college, I wanted to hurry through that to be a “grown up” and be “on my own”, you know, adulting and all that.

Oh, how I wish I could go back to 17 year old me and tell myself to SLOW DOWN. That this was such a fun time of life that I would never be able to get back, and that I would wish so hard that I could get back to it when I was older. Not that I dislike my life now, but let’s be real, the end of high school/going to college is a fun, carefree time for most. I watched as each of those seniors brought a rose to their families, most of the moms were crying, and the students were grinning from ear to ear. I knew EXACTLY the excitement they were feeling in that moment, and I felt the urge to reach out, grab their shoulders, and tell them to slow down.

College will come and go so quickly, and then you are left adulting for the rest of your life, and yall, it’s hard. The decisions, the responsibilities, I  know we all feel the pressure. Some days I wish I could get a college “redo” and really soak it in instead of hurry through it. I want them to all savor the moment and really make the most of it. I envy them all, having a chance to start from the beginning.

The second thing I kept thinking about that was bringing me to tears over and over again was the thought that this will be me in 17 short years. I will be the mom, crying uncontrollably, accepting a rose from my grown up daughter as she smiles excitedly, ready for her future.

Yall, I am so, so guilty of wishing time away. On rainy days when I am stuck inside with a hyper toddler, on days when I have a ton of work to do, and on days when my house is a mess, I just want to get through it and on to the next day. But I know if I keep wishing these days away, then I will blink, and Emma Kate will be on the senior video in front of the church. Baby dedication is in two weeks, and it was exactly this time last year we dedicated our little girl. A year. A whole year has passed. I only have 17 more and she will be gone.

It really is true that the days are long, but the years are short. I pray that in these hard seasons of being a mom, that I will not forget to embrace each moment, and that I will not wish them away for something easier. Time marches on, whether we are ready for it or not. We have a choice, if we will make each day count, or long for something else, something different, something further down the road.

I pray for those high school seniors, for my baby girl, and for myself, that we would hold on for just a moment longer, stop and take it all in for another second, and be content in the place we are, for this season. For it will be gone all too soon, and we can’t get it back.

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago this weekend, I donned a cap and gown, walked across the stage, and graduated from high school. Graduation was held in the school gym, and then my parents threw me a big party after at our house. I still remember it like it was yesterday, but it also seems so far away.

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Wow. Time truly does fly. Being such a sentimental person, this is so bittersweet for me. There are things about high school I miss SO MUCH (not much responsibility, sports, hanging out with friends non stop, etc.) But there are things I wouldn’t go back to for anything (drama, curfews, wanting to do my own thing). I flipped through my senior memories book yesterday, and it was a fun trip down memory lane. Senior year was a blast in a lot of ways, especially at the end when everyone is SO excited for the future. We had our senior trip, counting down the days to graduation, and looking forward to going to college and being “adults” with “freedom”. Oh boy.

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mom decorated my car the last day of school

We thought we were so big and bad, taking on the world, leaving childhood behind. A lot of people say they wish they knew the future, but I for one am glad I didn’t know everything the next ten years would hold. I think I would have been scared out of my mind! There is definitely a reason God doesn’t reveal the whole picture to us in the beginning, most of us would run away screaming.

I am no longer the wide eyed 17 year old who thought high school, the “worst” part of my life was over. Sometimes I wish I could go back and do it again knowing what I know now. I would tell myself to not take everything so seriously, and that even though it seems like it, the “big things” I thought were a huge deal would be very small in the grand scheme of things, so let it go. I made a lot of mistakes, and then made the same ones again. I laughed, I loved, I cried. I got home sick, I enjoyed my freedom, and I grew up.

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My picture table at graduation

I look back at my senior memory book where I filled in blanks such as “plans after college”. I wrote down law school. This makes me laugh. I am married to an attorney. I thought I would graduate college, get married, go to more school, and my plan was to have my first baby at 25. I laugh some more. I DID get married right out of college, but I am nearly 28 with no kids in sight, and no advanced degree. I am totally ok with this.

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mom and I right before graduation

There is SO much I didn’t know then, and even more I feel I don’t know now. But one thing I can say as I look back over the past ten years is that God was with me the whole time. There have been many days when I felt alone, and that things were never going to get better. Days when I thought my little world was over, and I couldn’t possibly face another day. Even though I had to drag myself through some days, weeks, months, and even years, I have never done it alone. It is my prayer as I look ahead to the next ten years, that I will use my past experiences to help myself and others get through the next hard time. I hope to remember God’s faithfulness and grace as I navigate life.

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My page from the graduation program. “Be enthusiastic in your work, and think with your heart.”

I hope I never lose sight of that goofy 17 year old girl with the world in front of her with so many plans and dreams in her heart. She may have been naïve, but on that night she took home a brand new diploma she was right about something. There is so much yet to be discovered and learned, and with my family and God by my side, I don’t have to go through it alone.

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Cheers to the class of 2003. Smile

QOTD: What are your thoughts on your high school self vs. now? When did you graduate?