That Empty Nest

july 2006 109

Seems minutes ago we were on family adventures.

Just home from our family motel, near Yellowstone (www.theblackbearinn.com; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Bear-Inn/110109045742245?ref=bookmarks ) where there is hardly time to go to the bathroom, let alone mourn an empty nest. But now I am home and an empty nest is what I am feeling.

Even tho two of ours are still under our roof, for a few more months anyway, everything is different. They are different. I am different.
 *
I miss all the fun we had, but I also know that a new kind of sharing and fun is on the horizon.
This article (http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2014/08/16/was-sun-and-kids-were-planets/CuFppWNVG6fqJFFmfYMi8J/story.html) sent to me by my friend Cindy Walker pretty much nailed it, with a few  exceptions.
  *
For their whole lives I have prayed over and wondered how God would use them and now as they strike out on their own, we are getting closer to finding the answer to that and several other questions. Will they put into practice all we tried to impart to them? Will they be happy, will they be men of honor? Will they love God and live for Him? Will they marry, have babies of their own? What career path will they choose?
 *
While I am sitting here at the computer on my second full day home from Dubois, I am feeling bitter-sweet.
  *
A long time ago, a dear friend shared with me that every morning she gives her kids to God and thanks Him for the time she has shared with them knowing full well that they are on loan from above. After the initial shock of that thought, I also gave mine to Him in my prayers.
 *
I am in prayer daily that He will lead, guide protect and direct our kids as they head out into this big, scary world that seems to be spinning out of control lately. I am giving them to the One who made them and am trusting that He has their backs.
  *
Still, even with that full knowledge in my mind, my heart grieves as the weather turns and home and hearth goes front and center. Things, as odd as it seems, that I will miss…giving them rides home from practices, games and everywhere; dinners around our table with all the boys, Grammie, Dave and me; the fun interactions with the parents of their friends at games and activities; hysterical laughter pouring from rooms in our house; the noise that accompanies three boys and that feeling when they are all tucked in their beds, safe under our roof.
  *
When we had 3 in diapers my dear Mom-in-Love cautioned me  “Enjoy every minute you have with them Liz, because once they go to school it is a snap and they will be off to college.” It didn’t seem possible then, but someone must have snapped because they are all in college now.
  *
If you have, like us, taken your last kid on a college tour, hang in there. While this is the end to one chapter, it is also the beginning of another. I don’t believe it is the end of the book, just another chapter. We will adjust. We will adapt and we will all find that God has jobs for us to do that we couldn’t while parenting all those wonderful kids in our charge.
 *
Actually, it is exciting to have them as friends, still in our lives, and time to be used otherwise.
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