Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

The Last Stretch

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

 

I’m not sure why this is the Scripture to use or if this will speak to anyone other than myself, but here I go. I have not been writing as normal since the beginning of the school year. The reason is very specific. My last child is a senior and it is hitting me harder than I thought… Like I seriously have moments when I wonder if this is real and even more honestly, I wish it weren’t.

My youngest daughter and I are on our last stretch as her being a minor, her being in school and soon after that, her being under my roof (you all know that declaration made to kids). It’s not so much that I am sad that she is growing up, quite the contrary, I am super excited to see what God has next for her and so forever grateful that i was chosen to walk this with her and unlike seven of her school mates, she has lived to see it. The sadness comes with having an empty nest. I know that God will fill my vats and keep me doing His work, but I am merely being honest when I say I am going to miss my babies…

On a trend of being honest, there are so many things I wish I could redo. I wish there was a button to push where not only would we go back in time but it would be the ultimate do over where the previous was erased… sort of like when you are recording your voice mail recording. I wish the times when I wasn’t as patient, I could go back and see what I saw directly after flying off my well-worn handle. I wish I could do over a warning that things would get worse if they kept the way they were going with love and concern instead of trying to pump fear and condemnation. I wish I could go back and handle each time a child teased or bullied one of my three… or an adult for that matter…. maybe some hands on help there. But most of all, I wish all the times I was depressed and wasting time chasing a man or money or freedom from “these kids” that I had embraced them and gotten on the floor to play with them a little more. I also wish that I could go back and tell my younger self that the “perfect moms” that seemedĀ  to beĀ DIY queens with clean homes, no, immaculate homes while toddlers seemed to change themselves and children seemed to be suspended in space while they did their work…. that is not realistic for every mom and it doesn’t have to be. I wish I could tell my young mommy self that I can be Mary and enjoy what will not be there soon instead of being Martha and worrying about things that will remain (like dirty dishes and clothes).

My time of being physical mommy (they still call me that) is almost up and I see instances where God has allowed for me to implant His wisdom in areas that should already have it. And for that, I am grateful. But I still wish for earlier days, knowing what I know now and doing what we do now.

What I can say is that God knew what He was doing when He planned for these three to walk this hard, sometimes lonesome, most days frustrated but nevertheless rewarding journey of being their single mama. He knew that they would teach me and they have. I can say (with tears as I finish this) that I am almost finished with this race, I have fought (mostly the kids) the good fight and I am keeping the faith that this next chapter in our lives will be well worth the turning of a new page. I leave with this…. young mammas heed a not too old mammas advice, you cannot do it all. Definitely teach them to care for their things, clean after themselves and watch out for each other (OH! and do NOT forget the manners) but love them as they are… not who you perceived them to be when you carried them. God’s plans are way bigger than yours and He loves them so much more. Trust Him and love them and take the time to show it.finish the race

 

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The Shadow Killer

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Today is another bittersweet milestone for my little quad family. My son, my middle child, just turned 21 today. To be honest, I don’t know how I am handling it. On one hand, I’m excited for the life GOD has laid out for him. On the frustrating hand, I don’t want my “onlyest son” to grow up! Heck I don’t want any of them to! Is that wrong or selfish? Probably but it’s real.

What’s also real is that they ARE growing up and WILL leave eventually. And with that, in rolls the Scripture for today. This IS the day that the LORD has made! And every day I am given here after. I pray that I get to see my kids living out the good seed GOD has given me to plant. I pray that I get to see what He had me speak over them and watch what He does in their marriages, families and ministries. I pray I get to pour into my grand kids and perhaps even great grand kids. But, THIS is the day that the LORD has made and so this is the day I will live in and in doing so I am teaching my kids to.

This verse is also the anchor GOD used to keep me grounded last April when my old running mate, Depression and Suicide, decided to come pay me a visit. As much as they tried to tell me I wasn’t loved by my kids and how much poison I had poured into them and how unprepared they were for life, this verse is what GOD used to keep me. For every condemning thought that came in, “THIS is the day that the LORD has made you will rejoice and be glad in it,” is what I heard. I still remember sitting in front of my moms house after a very disappointing and frustrating day with my kids, how out of control they seemed, how rebellious and defiant they seemed to be, how ungodly my son looked walking to and from his girlfriends house knowingly defying what GOD had said and my daughters no motivation and no care or concern of godly things. I say there hearing Suicide say with fake concern dripping with every word, “you know they are better off without you. You know you are standing in their way and hindering them.” And in a smaller, gentler and more sincere voice I let hearing, “you will rejoice and be glad in it.” I’m so thankful for my kids! I had even texted them “suicide texts” and was ready to go except, this WAS the day the LORD had made! How was I going to leave it early?! Why that’s like being the guest of honor and leaving the party early!! No!! Just like at the party hosted in your honor, I was going to rejoice and be glad in it! I’m so thankful they all texted back!

My nest is getting closer to being empty, but not of hope and lessons and adventures with my kids. No, just of the putter patter of their little feet. And even though that saddens me some days still, I have, am and will continue to cherish each day that the LORD makes. I will rejoice and be glad in each one of them! Will you?

******If depression is something you battle on a regular basis, reach out. It doesn’t have to be a doctor. But reach out. Someone will reach back, I guarantee that Jesus will!! You are worth living for!!*******

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