Seven years ago today (at precisely 6:54 a.m.) we heard the joyous words, “It’s a boy!”
Then I blinked and here we are.
He’s been counting down the days to seven. Seven seems so big – so grown up.
After we’ve said goodbye to the last of the guests, swept all the cake crumbs from the floor, and tucked a tired, but deliriously happy boy into bed, I grab my iPod and my running shoes and head out.
At the end of a day of celebrating seven – him celebrating seven years of life and me celebrating seven years of motherhood – how could this teaching about sevens in Scripture be a coincidence?
The seventh day was a day of completion in creation – a day God set apart and blessed.
God told Noah to take seven of every clean animal onto the ar – a sufficient amount to repopulate the earth.
The Israelites were told there would be no manna sent n the seventh day, but to gather a double portion on the sixth day and rest on the seventh.
It took seven days to make the altar holy.
Silver is refined seven times to become pure.
Seven thousand men – the remnant who remained true to God.
As my feet rounded the last corner and turned toward home, she explained that the number seven in Scripture has a connotation of perfection and completeness. Groups of seven are often associated with the completion of a work of God or a quantity of seven represents the amount of time it takes for God’s people to complete some holy purpose.
I think back over the last seven years of the holy purpose of mothering. Completion? Perfection?
They certainly can’t be described as complete. There is much work left in mothering. Much work to train him up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And there is much, much work left in me, as this journey of parenting endeavors to make me more and more like Christ.
And perfect? The memories of words flashing in anger and guilt that often floods mercilessly as watch his chest rise and fall in the dark. No – certainly not perfect.
I remember what one wise lady said several Sundays ago in our class, her own children grown and gone – her own work perfect and complete. She had said parents lay a foundation during the first eight years of a child’s life. And that by eight – you had better have completed your best parenting work, because the rest of the years would be built on the solid groundwork established in those first formative years.
I have one year left.
One year to lay a solid foundation in his life. 365 days to teach him so much. How will I ever fit it in?
I remember feeling so overwhelmed at her words, wishing I could turn back the hands of time and start over. If I had a second chance, I would be much more intentional, making the most of the minutes.
But the hands don’t turn backward, they only march relentlessly forward.
And here we are at seven. A number filled with meaning. Perfect and complete. But maybe – just maybe - we are right where God has purposed us to be. Perhaps His perfect and complete work has been done in both my son and I over the last seven years.
Are we complete. No. Are we perfect? Not even close.
But perhaps we are at the exact point in our journey that God has planned for us as we celebrate seven.
May God continue His perfect work in us.