It's Sunday afternoon and I'm sitting here in a completely empty house.
Void of commotion. Void of chaos. Void of people.
It's just me here ....even Nick is gone which is unusual. One of the blessings of the ministry that we have been called to affords us to be together 24/7.. and we both love it.
But today..this afternoon... it's just me.
It's so ironic, because I remember the days when I longed for solitude. When I would do anything for a little "me" time.
When the girls were little, I just wanted to use the bathroom by myself. I longed for those days of uninterrupted time to take a bath without an audience or to be able to make a phone call without hearing the word "Mommmma" a thousand times.
Then it shifted to the teenage years and the girls not needing me physically as much but there was still constant commotion in the house. Friends over, in and out.. one daughter would get home and another would be pulling out. Our house was grand central station...the hub where all the action took place... and I loved every second of the chaos. ...it was good chaos.
Then the first graduated and then eventually married.
Then the second graduated and will be married in three weeks.
Then the third graduated and is starting college in the fall.
Sigh. Hence the quiet house today. Now granted..today is not the normal. The quiet.
It seems these last few months leading up to the wedding...our house has kicked it up a notch in the action department. The girls are home more than ever....it's as if they are hanging on to the last little piece of our "normal" as we all know it and they are soaking up every opportunity for us all to be together. Just being a family doing normal family stuff. Soon it will become family "get togethers" and family suppers and family holiday gatherings. But the everyday, get up in your pjs with bed head, fighting over who gets the last raspberry yogurt, borrowing each other's clothes from their closets, chilling on the couch doing nothing kinda everyday happenings are about to change. The girls have been hanging out together and with me and their daddy every free moment and I have totally loved it. I thrive the best in this climate..
Which is why today has left me a little unsettled. Instead of enjoying a much needed afternoon of rest and solitude...I'm sitting here thinking... "Wow. This is what my new normal is gonna be like." It makes me a little sad.
Me and the girls when they were little at our annual beach vacation.
This pic was taken just a few months before Elizabeth got married. I remember when I took this picture, that it hit me as they walked down the little path as sisters...our family as we knew it was about to change.
I knew what the year was gonna bring...lots of change. And my prayer was that I wouldn't just endure the change and just get by and survive. But I wanted to embrace the change...to soak up everything the Lord wanted to teach me in the midst of it. Embrace it so that I can share what I gained to help others who would face similar situations. I love the definition of embrace....
to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly.
That is so my heart. That is what I'm fighting for each day. When my thoughts begin to wander to all the things that are about to change, I have to consciously make myself focus on what I'm about to gain when I choose to embrace instead of what I'm about to loose in the midst of the change.
"..casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5
You see, not only is my middle daughter getting married in three weeks...
And not only did my baby just graduate and "Holden's Academy" closed it's doors to its last student...
But to turn the heat up on the emotions that are brewing in my heart, my oldest daughter and son-in-law and my three grand children will be moving next week....11 hours away.
It's a lot to take in for a mommas heart even if you spread it out in a years time.
But when all this takes place within weeks of each other... well...it can be overwhelming if I let it.
So.. I'm choosing to embrace. I'm choosing to focus on what I'm gaining..
- A daughter whose husband is the spiritual leader and strives to live daily in the center of God's will...even if that means moving hundreds of miles away to follow in obedience the call the Lord has on their lives.
- I'll have a new place to travel to. I love road trips.
- I'll have awesome FaceTime dates with my grand kids and I'm thankful God has provided the tools I need to do it.
- I'm about to gain another incredible son when Lydia gets married.
- I'm about to have the possibility of MORE grand kids and watch them experience cousins!
- I'll finally get my craft room I've been dreaming about.
- I'll get to experience the empty nest with the best looking Paw Paw ev-ah and can I just say....THAT is something I'm looking forward to.
Even so, this isn't an easy thing for me.. to choose to embrace instead of merely enduring. It's not natural for me in the flesh. This is a supernatural thing the Lord is doing in my heart through His grace. I am amazed daily just how sufficient His grace is.
Now, don't get me wrong... I've had a few moments when the emotions erupted. I'm not a crier. And I hate to cry in public. Hate it. On one particular day for no good reason, the tears were at the surface all. day. long. They finally just oozed out over lunch with Nick at Chili's. Nothing was said that triggered it... It was just one of those days and I just couldn't hold them in and they just came out right over my salad. This is not a bad thing.... I just wished it had happened in my car. Or at home. Oh well. At least they came. They were needed.
So I say all this not to get sympathy. This is part of life...this season I'm in. Millions of moms have lived through it before me and millions of moms will live through it after me.
I just ask that if you think about me in the days ahead... during the move, the wedding.....when me and my girls are all trying to get used to our new "normals"... would you pray for us?
Pray for us to have contented hearts.
Pray for us to look to the Lord and keep our eyes on Him and the prize that is before us.
Pray we will embrace it all.
Every last thing He has for us in the midst of the change.
I may have to give up our "normal" but what I have gained in the process is worth it all...
The change is bringing growth in more ways than one.
I definitely have a lot to embrace now!!