Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Transitions

I am middle age...well, that's probably being generous - I am in my mid-50's. I married in my mid 20's - just celebrated my 30th anniversary - YAYAYAY!  Took us 10 years to have a child - who has now completed his second year of college. Life has been in transition the last few years. I guess it is ALWAYS in transition, but when your child grows up and out, it seems more life-altering.

I guess that's why I need a little "therapy." Some days, I'm OK with the empty nest of college, and the adult decisions my child is making, and other times, I'm not. I'm also at a place where I'm wondering all over again...what do I want to do with my life? I've been in the same job for 14 years, and to be honest, I'm bored. My responsibilities have changed over the years - I don't have as many now. Some days that's nice. But I'm a take charge kind of person, and truth be told, I don't feel the passion and doubt my usefulness.

Also in this mix is the fact that my husband and I are dreaming of retirement. Of mornings where we can sleep in, take day trips, work less, volunteer more. That MAY become a reality in the next 5 years. So can I just hang in there? I don't know...

Part of reason to revive this blog is to give me an outlet to voice my questions and  question my choices. Not really expecting anyone to read it. Don't know that I will find answers, but sometimes it helps just to get those feelings out. I am trying to listen for God's voice in the midst of these questions, doubts, decisions. And maybe avoid the high price of therapy and drugs!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Here we go again!

So, will the third time really be a charm with this blog? IDK... But right now, I'm hoping it will be some cheap therapy! My co-workers think what I really need are some "happy pills." I probably just need a vacation!

Most areas of my life are running along just fact, way above average. But I have this one place - isn't there always one - a place where the passion seems to be seeping out daily. I keep asking God if it's time to move. But what I seem to be hearing - especially through sermons - is that there is growth in the perseverance. Not what you want to hear when at times you allow yourself to feel miserable. But God works miracles in the desert...He brings dry bones to life...He brings light where there is darkness.

This weekend during my walks, I listened to a couple great sermons by Pastor Steven Furtick, part of Elevation Church's In-fin-8 series. The first one was on the obedience of Elijah and the second was on the disobedience of Jonah. Right now I relate more to Jonah. One thing Pastor Steven said (I'm paraphrasing) is that sometimes our ministry comes out of our misery. Like Jonah, we may not want to do what God is telling us, but that may be the very thing where He is calling us to obedience.

Instead of making New Year's Resolutions, the last couple years I have been attempting to hear certain themes God has for my life. Last year was "Awakening."  This year I have felt like my theme is "Surrender." And through this difficult place, I seem to hear God asking me to surrender. It's easy to surrender when it's something we want...the difficult part is surrendering when what we really want to do is give up, leave, move on.

So, therein lies my need for therapy right now. Maybe this blog will help me sort things out: journal what I feel God is speaking to me and give me an outlet to voice my emotions. Is blogging as good as therapy? I don't know...but it sure is cheaper!

Monday, September 12, 2011

48 Hours for 48 hours this weekend the universe was back in sync. From Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon, our boy was H.O.M.E. And all was right with the least our part of it. It was so wonderful. We not only had D home, but his best friend was with him most of the weekend. It was so great hearing boys' voices - talking, playing video games, re-connecting. But then Sunday afternoon came. The boy was excited about going back to school - which is what you want as a parent. But we couldn't stop the tears from coming in our eyes. We weren't as bad as when we left him at college, but we couldn't control the filling of our eyes. Thank goodness we had a birthday celebration to attend after he left. It helped us get back in the empty nest groove without too much pain.

Now we are looking forward to our trip up there for Family Weekend in two weeks. He has friends who will be visiting as well, so I know our time will be limited, but we'll take what we can get! Let the countdown begin!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Observances - Week Three

Here are some things I've noticed as we work our way through week 3 as Empty Nesters:
  • There is life after your kids leave home. We have settled into a new routine, and it's not so bad.
  • You get to know your spouse all over again. Usually by the time kids go off to college, they aren't home much anyway. But with no kids at home, we have each other to focus on.
  • It's good to have something new and different to look forward to. K and I are taking Shag dance lessons during the week which we are both enjoying. We also practice during the week - which takes up some "empty" time. It's like a mid-week "date night."
  • We are thankful for all the different avenues to communicate. During the last 2 and a half weeks, D has Skyped us, called us and texted us. I love them all because it's an opportunity to see how things are going.
  • We still miss him! Just because we are adjusting doesn't mean that we don't miss Drew. At times we can feel the emptiness inside us. We have our phones with us and charged at ALL TIMES in case he calls or texts. We watch Facebook to see how it's going - with him and his friends. We are thankful for every update.
The boy is coming home this weekend, and we are so excited! I have no illusions that he will spend all his time with us. In fact I have an all-day Bible study on Saturday, but he will have time with his dad. I'm hoping he will spend Friday date night dinner with us. He has friends to see - but I'm hoping there will be a "Cave Night" at our house on Saturday. I know he'll be at church on Sunday and eat Sunday lunch with us. We'll spend some family time on Sunday and try not to cry when he leaves for school later Sunday afternoon. After all, it will only be two weeks until Family Weekend. Yes, right now, our lives still occasionally revolve around the boy...but that's OK.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week Two

OK, so we are in week two without child, and things are going pretty good. Day to day life is settling in. Yes, I am still cooking supper - even though I thought that might change! Just less often because we seem to have more left-overs and so less need to cook each night! We are looking for projects to keep us busy and our minds occupied. I started cleaning the "spare room" this weekend. But at the same time I got wrapped up in some movies. So, it doesn't look like I accomplished much! K started trimming shrubbery and doing some yard work.

The boy is settling in with classes, homework, studies, and juggling of college life. He and the girlfriend decided to take a break. It's difficult to keep up a relationship when you are in different places - physically and mentally. He is moving on to adulthood, and we are trying hard to let go and let that happen.

In the midst of all of this, I know that God is in, there and everywhere. We will all survive and mature and hopefully, thrive, in this new environment. And when it's time to reunite, we will do so with so much love and excitement, our hearts will just about burst. Then, we'll settle into the rhythm again. Life...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The tears...they did flow! this last week has been one of the toughest for us. Preparing for D to leave for college, and then the actual act of driving away was tough. I think even tougher was the next day - Sunday - first day he wasn't home with us. Church was so emotional. I wasn't sure we would make it through...two baptisms, one baby and one friend of D's affirming her baptism, then a video of a middle schooler - a boy, of course. It all just reminded us of how fast time flies. E.M.O.T.I.O.N.A.L!

The week before D left, I opened my Bible one morning to Numbers 11:16-23. It's the part where Moses is about to lose it! Leadership of the Israelites is about to get the best of him! God tells him to select 70 elders, and God would take some of the spirit that was on Moses and put it on the elders to help him lead. Moses is still struggling with the lastest issue - feeding the Israelites meat and is questioning God about how they are going to do this. God said to Moses, "Is the Lord's arm too short?" I felt right then and there in my spirit that God was asking me the same thing. "Is the Lord's arm too short? Am I not at college just like I am here? Won't I continue to look over D there just like I'm doing here?" That gave me, God's arm is not too short. Now my stomach was still in knots - but I knew that God was not going to drop my son. That HE would be at college watching over him.

Back to this past Sunday, just as we wondered how long it would take us to get over this feeling of emptiness, God blessed us with a Skype visit with D. It was like he was right there in the kitchen with us. We saw how well he's doing (at least now before classes start - haha) and something inside both K and I just settled down. God's got this. No, it won't all be wonderful all the time. Yes, there will be struggles and disappointments. I'm sure there will be moments of crisis. But God's arm is not too short.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Working at it!

If you read Priscilla Shirer's Blog then you know that she's talking about the Revolution Resolution Project. Last Friday she focused on Resolution #10: I will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation, in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord. I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential. She asked us to honor our husbands by not challenging them for anything they said for 24 hours. Needless to say, this was a tough challenge. So much so, that she extended the deadline because there were so few "takers."

I'm not only trying to do this with my husband, but with my 18-year-old, college-bound, son. He needs to learn independence...I need to learn to let go. One good way to practice this is to watch what I say - especially in trying to tell him what to do and how to do it. I know in my heart I'm just trying to help him be prepared. But, unfortunately, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. So...I need to let him do things his way.

Ladies, why is this so difficult for us. To let the men in our life lead? In fact, I have trouble with this in EVERY ASPECT of my life. I think I have good ideas, and everyone needs to hear them - at work, at church, at home! I guess it all started in the Garden of Eden with Eve giving Adam some dietary advice, and we've been going with it ever since! :)

You know what I've found since I started this challenge? That when I am successful at watching what I say, things roll smoother. Life really does move on - without my advice...and pretty well, I might add. I'm not saying we shouldn't ever say anything, I'm just saying maybe we can learn the right times to speak and the right time to stay quiet...pick our battles...don't be so quick to get on our soapbox...let our children make some mistakes and learn and grow...let go when the time is right. I'm afraid it will always be a challenge for me...but one I want to take on!