It’s been so long since I’ve been here.
I’m not sure if I’ve stayed away for fear of what my fingers might type,
or for fear of what they may try to avoid..…..
The truth is……
Words matter to me.
And once I start writing, I release things that are often easier to hold close to my heart.
So sometimes it’s easier for me to keep moving.
Because when I stop,
I’m forced to think of all the things that are changing around me,
and it’s sometimes too much to bear.
I talked with a friend not long ago who is adjusting to her youngest son now being in college.
“But I liked the chapter we were in,” she said with a smile but tears in her eyes.
Another friend sent a text the other day asking for prayer.
Her daughter is getting married, and while she’s excited,
she’s fully aware that many things will never be the same.
And maybe that’s what 2018 has been for me.
A year when so much good has happened……
and yet so much has changed.
Sometimes a chapter ends.
A seasons draws to a close.
Where things were hard.
The brutal winds of winter stop beating down and new life begins to appear in the form of green grass and blooming flowers.
We long for these changes.
They refresh and restore.
But sometimes winter looms.
The leaves begin falling from the branches and the breeze shifts from warm to cool.
We see it coming,
There’s nothing we can do to stop it.
So we pull out our coats.
We find our gloves.
We brace for a new season…….a new chapter.
Because life is a story and staying in one chapter too long just isn’t part of the big plan.
Pages are meant to be turned.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
And when you’re a parent this means you won’t always get to choose when and how one chapter will close and another will begin.
If my life is a story, my kids’ lives are stories too –
and their pages aren’t numbered just like mine.
So, what do I do when I see a new chapter starting in their book but I want my chapter to stay the same?
How do I watch them move forward when my heart is trying desperately to hang on to what once was?
It’s been a year of learning for me.
A year of hanging on and letting go.
A year of embracing new memories while clinging to old ones.
I’m still learning how to navigate the empty nest.
The sticks are poking this way and that.
A few eggshells remain…..and I sometimes find myself stepping right on them.
My little birds fly home from time to time,
and I cherish every second.
But for the most part,
my nest feels empty.
And I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out.
Jesus said, “I came to give life…..abundant life.”
And I believe those words are still meant for me and you.
So this chapter,
this very different chapter,
And it’s good.
I’m realizing more and more that just because the story looks different,
we’re all still in the very same book.
So the phone rings or a car pulls in for the weekend,
and suddenly my chapter and theirs has the very same story line.
And life is still very good.
The pages turn.
The chapters change.
But love keeps out stories connected.
And today, I’m thankful for love.
Because a nest filled with love is never really empty.
And one thing I know for sure,
Love is still very much here.
And for that I’m so thankful this morning.