Lord, teach me to number my days.

I leaned over and picked her up from her crib.

I rocked her gently in my arms and sang the song I’d sung countless times before. Our lullaby. Our hymn. The one I sang as I swaddled her newborn body, barely 7 pounds yet my hands heavy with the weight of responsibility for her tiny frame.

Bless the Lord oh my soul,
Oh my soul.
Worship His Holy name.

I sang this song as I tended to her needs in the still, small hours. Those times when the world outside was sleeping. Not us—we were sitting in our rocking chair, void of sleep yet full of hopes and dreams. I was the mama, rocking her baby and holding on for one more snuggle, because, as the saying goes, babies don’t keep.

And sure enough, the saying is proving itself true. Two years on and the song comes quickly as the words pass my lips, but it no longer spills out with the same familiarity.

It’s been quite some time since I needed that lullaby to help ease her into a land of sweet dreams. Her older sister has long since required a lullaby to calm her and so, as time had passed, I stopped singing it.

She weighs much more than 7 pounds now and as I sang our lullaby tonight, I ached with the knowledge that the littleness is leaving our home. I remembered how these days are numbered. This time with my children is passing so quickly, and though I long to savor each moment and etch every memory into my mind, I find myself wishing away the time. I wish that tantrum stage would be through. I wish this diaper stage could be hurried along. I wish she could read and write. I wish she would stop behaving like a toddler. I wish, I wish, I wish.

But really, deep down, I don’t wish for any of it. I know tomorrow is no guarantee, yet it seems to come rushing on in like a freight train.

So, my prayer for today is Lord, teach me to number my days.

Thank you that through all the challenges and tantrums and messes, you remind me of the beauty in this season.

Thank you for the contagious toddler giggles, the cuddles from sticky fingers, the spontaneous dancing and singing, the unprompted “I wuv you, Mama” and “kiss and cuddle pwease” and the late-night lullabies that remind me that this season is such a privilege.

I finished singing the lullaby as she began to drift off to sleep. Her frame felt so bulky in my arms—she’s growing so quickly.

I laid her back in the crib and as I leaned over and looked at her, I realized she was outgrowing that, too. Not quite ready to face the fact, I sang our lullaby—our hymn—once again:

Bless the Lord oh my soul,
Oh my soul.
Worship His Holy name.
Sing like never before,
Oh my soul,
I’ll worship Your Holy name.

I left the room, trying to silence my tears with my gentle tiptoeing, knowing I was only fooling myself.

Lord, teach me to number my days.

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Sina Steele

Sina is a wife, mom and creative from New Zealand. Along with raising her daughters, she enjoys working from home in social media, design and writing. She serves alongside her husband at a Christian missions-training college in New Zealand. She loves encouraging women to step out in faith, and you can find her writing ministry over at Her Mustard Faith.