Moving into different seasons of life is similar to changing seasons. One thing we have to remember is God is in control. Seasons change, but God never does.
We marry. Things change. We have to adjust to different toothpaste, different ways of cleaning, being messy, being neat, introvert/extrovert and on and on. We have to learn to love all the good things and get past the bad. We have to learn to sit down and talk about our differences, what is bothering us, what we need.
We have children, but we walked through a season of not being able to have them because of miscarriages/toxemia, etc.. You can read about that here. Being a mom is tough and I wrote a very long post about that here. During this season we were suffering through staying up late, ear aches, changing diapers, excited watching them learn to crawl, walk, talk and then go to school, and grades, and sports, and off to college and then there is another adjustment:
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
It has been years now since our nest became empty, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the day our daughter pulled out of the driveway to go to college, and I bawled. Really! She was only about thirty minutes away and would be coming home most weekends and our son was still here and going to the same college, but I bawled.
She finished college, moved back home and got married just three months later, and our son was still here and working and we hardly ever saw him between work and hunting and dating, but soon he married and left. I didn’t bawl, but I sure missed him driving up each afternoon from work or worrying about him at night not being able to fall asleep until I heard his pick-up pull up in the driveway.
We adjusted easily. I suppose many have feelings of grief, loneliness, anger, but for us it was a time of excitement. Both left and married and we gained another son and another daughter. They married Christians. What a blessing!
We had each other and that’s how we began – in love and helping each other. Sure I missed them running up the stairs. I missed their help. I missed them talking to me, but they were just down the road a bit. But GOOD GRIEF there was less washing, less ironing, less cooking and it was like we were first married again. We would lay on the sofa, or I would lay and put my head in his lap, and watch television. We went out to eat more. And well, it has been a wonderful season. We still DO!!
There are times I still miss them if I don’t see them for a few days. I do see our daughter and daughter-in-love usually a day a week because I love watching the grandsons while they work or run errands. Today I had some alone time with our daughter shopping and lunch. She’s expecting her second child, and her birthday is this month so we went shopping. Last weekend we went with our son and his family to our lease and next week we are going on a fishing trip with him and his family and her family. It’s gonna be fun.
The empty nest is what we make of it. Rekindle that marriage. Build a new relationship with your kids and their spouses. Let me tell you though that being a Mom can still be tough watching your kids suffer through miscarriages, infertility, and for some even worse – divorce and loss of a child.
It’s another season and God planned seasons. Engage it and accept your new family members with love.
TAKING CARE OF AGING PARENTS
As tragic as it was to lose my Dad at 68 with a heart attack, I can count my blessings that he didn’t have to suffer, and he didn’t have to watch Mom suffer.
After Dad died we watched Mom go through so much depression. She could never get back to her self. Until the day she died she was ready to be with him. She came to live with us girls after he died and we maintained her home and her yard miles away because she wouldn’t let us sell it.
People if you are living with your kids sell that house so they don’t have to walk through that pain when you are gone.
Mom fell one day, broke her leg, and while they were replacing the femur in her leg she got a horrible bacterial that ate thru her leg. She spent months in the hospital, and then they had to amputate and she was in a nursing home. It was a hard time, but it was a blessed time and I focus on that. I focus on all the activities I attended with her. I only missed one – her last Fall party because we were out of town. I spent days up there taking her meals, and reading to her. You can read a little about walking through that loss here.
This was a difficult season, and I dread our kids having to walk through this one with us, but I know it will be, and they will get through it. Today, I cling to all the sweet moments and the precious little trinkets I have laying around that Mom gave me like her little tea cups. I think of her every day through those reminders and I thank my Lord for her and my Daddy as I look at his old radio, pipe holder, and desk.
I’m retired. My husband is not, but he’s talking about it because well come next March we are going to have three more grandchildren. Three. Can you believe that? You can read more about that here and here and twins here and another one here. And yes, twins but it is going to be like triplets with three new babies due the same month. Can you tell I’m excited?
Retirement for me has been bliss, but it’s also been a little hard because well I have filled up my days. I’ve heard of people retiring, sitting down or quitting, and they don’t live long. Shortly after I retired, I began spending more time with my Mom. I became a volunteer for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies. I began to substitute teach. Now I help with the two grandsons, and soon I’ll be helping with five children three and under. Oh MY!
For me every season of life is what we make of it. Moving on with God because without Him some of them I would never have gotten through – seasons of not being able to have children, seasons of losing our parents – too hard to do alone, seasons of watching our children suffer through infertility and miscarriages. I’m overwhelmed by His love for me through all my seasons.
I would love for you to check out my other #31Day posts: