I had a dream last night that we were all at my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas. Except it was one of those strange Christmases where she was obviously moving. There were moving boxes strewn all over the house among the Santa gifts. I, being the helpful mom I am, decided to help her unpack some things. Until one item I found in a box totally unglued me. It was a gently used set of children’s water colors with her sisters 1st grade handwritten name across the back. I just lost it right there in her living room where it looked like Christmas and the Moving Fairy had met up and exploded. Everyone thought I had stuck my hand in a box of pit vipers or something. Because seriously? Why would mom be practically hysterical over children’s water colors?
I am not a dream interpreter. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the meaning of this dream. Seems my dream world and my real life feelings collided in my brain for the few minutes it took for my sleep self to create this scene.
I had my first baby in 1986. And our nest did not empty until the summer of 2017 when the last of our 5 kids graduated high school and moved out. The math is easy here. I spent 31 YEARS with kids under my roof. Some of you may be wanting to ask how big the party was on that day we finally graduated from full time parenting to empty nesting. But the truth is this. In spite of the fact there were times when the kids were young that we’d go to bed exhausted, chanting “2017! 2017!” over and over, that August day in 2017 felt like it totally sprung up on us. My hubby and I almost felt blind sided by it.
Why? Because the time passed so quickly our hearts couldn’t catch up. The reality was our children were raised and were starting adulthood while our hearts were screaming that we needed to load them all up in the minivan and get them to practice on time! The reality was all the bedrooms were now empty while our hearts were still telling our kids it was time to come to dinner! Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to cook for two when I’ve cooked for 7 for so long!! Two people do NOT need an entire large box of spaghetti!! Thank you Hello Fresh for easing us into THAT!!
But I digress!
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
These are words I started singing long before I knew they were actually words of Scripture. (I’ll post the song at the end. Take a look at Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 as you listen!) Once I realized they were actually words from THE Word, I began to see them as truth. And now I can hang on to them and begin my new song. Because I can either embrace the passing of time and enjoy each new season for all it is or I can crumble.
So I sing….
There IS a time and a season for everything. I may be well past any ability to birth babies, but new things can still be birthed in me! As each new thing comes my way , I will grasp it with eager hands and let the glories of the past be sweet memories.
As I am “planted” in new places that don’t involve motherhood, I will keep my eyes open and my ears tuned to what God has for me in each new “planting”.
My heart will heal from the ache of time that zoomed by way too quickly.
I will build up my children as they race into adulthood, spreading their wings to fly. And I’ll build myself up by filling my head with God’s truths and smashing the enemies lie that I was only meant for one thing.
I have mourned the “passing of childhood” and will now find JOY in all the things. Because , quite simply, there is so much to find joy in!
I will learn to dance with wild abandon to this new song!
I will embrace the amazing things God has placed before me. And, quite literally, I will always be thankful that the embraces I get from my adult kids are so much more REAL than the embraces of their teenage selves!
I will keep the memories of the last 31 years treasured in my heart as I create new, beautiful memories with my children and grandchildren.
I will speak words of affirmation to these amazing people God gave me when they need to hear them most. And I will keep my own opinions to myself when they benefit no one but me! Because peace in the family is so much better than a “war of words”!
My heart is slowly but surely catching up with our new reality. And it’s good. Really good! I don’t know what new season you’re facing right now but I know that with each bit of new, God has something marvelous! I hope you’ll embrace it!
“Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!”…Psalms 98:1