Photo: iPhone. Our 12yo son and 14yo daughter, playing badminton in our back yard.
The pregnancy and toddler season was physically exhausting and I'm sure I lost brain cells for lack of adult conversation for a few years there (bless the poor, poor WalMart cashier who innocently started up a conversation with chat-starved me).
The early elementary season was mentally exhausting as I learned how to teach. That season was also full of beautiful memories, of mostly at-home days, baking together, nature journaling, creating hilarious clay faces, and going to the beach without notice (to anyone, even ourselves).
This season, the middle-of-child-raising while they're-half-independent-half-not is the most exhausting of any season I've lived so far. I'm physically tired from all the go-go-going, but not as tired as in those toddler days. I'm mentally fatigued, sure, but not in the way I was in the elementary season.
Mostly, this season, I'm soul-fatigued. I can feel the world tugging at our older children with strength equal to my own. I can sense the passing presence of the devil as he "roams to and fro throughout the earth, seeking whom he may devour." I daily feel my soul stir with warnings and conscience-pricks and convictions. "Teach this child that," it says. "Let that go," it whispers another day.
"It's hard work being a parent," I say to Tim.
"I know," he says.
Then we carry on.
I listen to my on-my-knees playlist.
And I put one foot in front of the other, trusting that God will help me through this beautiful... unbelievably beautiful, incredibly hard, unforgettably wonderful season of raising teenagers.