Monday, September 22, 2014

Still Adjusting

It's been almost three weeks since my son and his little family left for what my DIL calls "Frontier Land" There is no home delivery of mail yet, (they have to go to the post office to pick up their mail) no Internet and a much slower pace of life,  but they are adjusting. I am trying to adjust as well. The first couple of weeks after they left were pretty busy, because we had agreed to "tidy up" their house so it could be rental ready by the first of the month. Our aching and not so young backs and joints are very thankful for the young, efficient, talented help we received in getting that task accomplished

Now that we are done with that house,  I'm trying to figure out what normal looks like,again and I have to admit, it's been hard trying to find my bearings. We have been Empty Nester's for almost a decade now, I'm not sure why I'm having such trouble sorting this all out,  but I am.

We only saw the grandchildren a couple of times a week but our house and our schedules, to some extent, were geared towards them. Our room over the garage was their playroom, with playhouse, kitchen, vanity, grocery cart, stroller and toys filling the room. Another closet was dedicated to kids toys and part of our garage had bikes and outdoor toys for them to play with when they came to visit.
Since they frequently spent the night,  it seemed every room in the house had something of theirs in it.

Since we decided we would host our small group in our home, our first order of business needed  to be clearing out the playroom and closet. Thank goodness my DIL sister came over to help, she had less emotional attachment to the stuff than I did and helped make quick work, of what, if done alone, would have been a long process. We end up donating some, piled some up for a future yard sale and shipped some forgotten items to my son's family. We probably reduced everything by 50%...I know I could have done better but it was a decent start. There is still a giant playhouse filled with stuff covered with a very large sheet in the room but the closet is clean.  I hated to get rid of all my toys because I have young friends with small children that come over to visit....I know excuses, right?

This has been hard, but I am trusting God

Read this today from "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges

"God has an over arching purpose for all believers to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29) He also has a specific purpose for each of us that is His unique tailor made plan for our individual life (see Ephesians 2:10) And God will fulfill that purpose. As Psalm 138:8 says "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me" because we know God is directing our lives to an ultimate end and because we know He is  sovereignly able to orchestrate the events of our lives toward that end, we can trust him. We can commit to Him not only the ultimate outcome of our lives, but also all the intermediate events and circumstance that will bring us to that outcome"  page46

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jumping In

The last couple of months can be described as a season of loss for us. The death of husbands father, Sweet Lady's move, which meant we wouldn't be seeing some of our favorite staff members or residents any longer, our children's move out of state and the couple that led our small group stepped down from leading our group which meant there was a very real possibility that our small group would dissolve and move into other small groups in the church. Changing groups is not a bad thing. Over the years we have been part of several different care groups, it has given us the opportunity to get to know many different people. This group though, has been very special to us and several close relationships had developed. We have "lived" a lot of life with this group.

Change can be good thing, and maybe it was time for us to move on, but there was a real desire from those in the group to continue, as a flurry of emails would indicate. Several people spoke to one of the pastors as well and it was agreed, keeping the group intact would be a priority. I'll admit it, I was upset at the thought of moving into another group...I just didn't know if I was up to telling "my story" all over again

Why does this group work so well? I'm really not sure. We are a group of young couples with babies and young children, singles and older couples with grown children. The group has changed over the years as people have left and new ones were added but the one thing that has always remained constant was the groups desire for maturity in faith and servants hearts. There is a lot caring going on in this group both spiritually and practically, we have benefited from both.

After a lot of prayer, discussions with the pastor and our old care group leader, my husband agreed to lead the group. After the summer we have had, I never saw this one coming. Our lives are messy, some days are still very difficult, and my husband and I are trying to figure out what life is suppose to look like with all the changes that have occurred. I could give you several other reasons why we shouldn't be doing this....did I mention our lives were messy. 

Apparently having "messy lives" works in our favor, so does not feeling adequate. The thing is, it's not about us at all but what the Lord can do through us, if we are willing. 

So that's our new venture, we are having a small group in our home with my husband leading. My friend (who was our old care group leaders wife) told me there was nothing to it. "All you have to do is be willing to open up your home and care for people, God will do the rest" 

Okay Lord we are willing, we are trusting that you will do the rest.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Long Goodbye

I had been counting the days till they left in my head, so many times the last couple to weeks. I was dreading it, I wanted the day to be done at the same time wishing it would never come.

My son and grandchildren left last week, van fully loaded, headed to North Dakota. The goodbyes were hard, I knew they would be, but the days leading up to their departure were so busy that I barely had time for tears.

I have already talked to them, they arrived yesterday, safe and sound and thrilled to be reunited with their momma.There are still evidences of their presence all around our home, lego aircraft on the mantle, baby dolls forgotten, hair bows in the car, a ball cap in the room over the garage. Things I will be packing up to send to them.

The plan is for them to be back in the summer (mom's a school teacher) and we hope to be able to visit as well...going to need a "real" winter coat for that visit.  They are hoping to get internet so we can do "face time" and there is the phone, but it won't be the same.

I thought I would be a mess, but God has given us a peace that defies explanation.

With the children gone we will have more time, it will be a new season for us. I told a friend a few weeks ago that if our family left, I felt the Lord would fill the void with something else, he has (never saw that coming either but more about that in a later post)

I am going to miss those sweet little faces, but I am trusting that God has a purpose and a plan for all of us. Keeping eternity in view as we walk this journey.