Welcome to Key West

By JMathis

One of my favorite all-time memories is spending New Year’s weekend in Key West. As a good Christian girl, I know I’m not supposed to admit to loving all that hedonism and mayhem, but man, was that a fun weekend. Picture the love-child between Mardi Gras and watching the ball drop in Times Square. Yep, that’s New Year’s Eve in Key West…except the crystal ball is a big ‘ol conch shell the size of Cuba (or, a big red stiletto heel down the street), and all the freezing people in ski jackets are actually drag queens. You throw inhibitions out the window, and bam, you get knocked up.

Oh, whoops. I guess that was just me.

What happens in Key West, stays in Key West, I guess.

Um, except it didn’t. Nine months later, there was a BABY in my house—a real, live baby! And, guess what? That baby stayed over three months later for New Year’s Eve. And, the New Year’s Eve after that. And, the New Year’s Eve after that. And, the New Year’s Eve after that.

You get my drift, don’t you? I will never, ever, ever have a New Year’s Eve like I did in Key West that weekend. In fact, until this kid is 16, I think I can pretty much kiss New Year’s Eves goodbye. That’s the one night even babysitters go out, for crying out loud!

A Proverbs 31 wife would probably say, “Who cares, you ninny? Who needs to waste away (or get wasted) on New Year’s Eve? It just gives me more time to select wool and flax, make clothing and bedspreads for my children, prepare meals for the week, feed the poor and sell hand-made scarves to merchants for a profit…all in one night!” Yay, Proverbs 31 wife. You go, girl.

Me, on the other hand, I still mourn for all of the New Year’s Eves I will never know, will never meet and will never experience.

I know. Childish, right?

But, guess what? That’s okay. It’s okay to grieve a little, ladies, for parenthood truly is the first time one becomes an adult. Next to accepting Christ, it’s the single biggest adjustment you will make in your life. For many years, you followed one path as ‘footloose and fancy free’ as you could be, and with one screech of the record, like Bindu said, you become a mom. Your life is changed in one fell swoop.

When Paul said in I Corinthians 13:11 to put away childish things, he didn’t promise it would be easy. In fact, in Philippians 2:12, he told us to continue to work at our salvation with fear and trembling. In the same way you don’t become a model Christian overnight, you’re not going to become a model parent overnight. In the same way you might not love everything about being a Christian, you may not love everything about being a parent.

We always hear that the second we follow Christ, poof, we instantly become new creatures. While the Bible tells us that we indeed do, it often takes a lifetime for us to realize this fact. It’s the same thing with motherhood. Poof. One day, you instantly become a parent. For better or for worse, it often takes a lifetime for us to realize this fact.

Doesn’t make you any less of a Christian, or any less of a mom.

And, that’s okay.

After all, we are not perfect. We’re redeemed.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to Key West

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Angie! So humbled that you even read the piece. While being honest is always tough as a writer, it’s so much more meaningful when we all can connect in an authentic way. Have a blessed day! XXOO


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