Friday, November 01, 2013

Empty Nesting: Chapter 1. Revelation!

The day has finally arrived.  I am now an empty nester. My two youngest two daughters have left and are now settled in New Zealand...and I am left with a house full of quiet.

In case you are wondering, yes~~I am feeling the full effects of "empty nest syndrome."

During this first three months, however, I have discovered something:

In a house that has, at one time or another, boasted a 5:1 girl vs. boy ratio, our toilet paper consumption has decreased from 15 rolls a month to 3!  Now you might laugh at this; but until you have spent years with a houseful of females, you have NO idea!!!  (There was actually a point in time when Keith calculated that 3 sheets for #1 and 6 sheets for #2 were plenty per person per bathroom visit, but he couldn't figure how to enforce the new rule!  I. Am. Not. Kidding.) 

Add to that shampoo and other hair products, razor blades, baby lotion, cosmetics and~~BAM!!  We are meeting our budget for the first time in YEARS!

That is only the insurance~~I can pay a whole year in one setting!...the grocery bill~~ohmygoodnessgraciousalive!~~we even have leftovers, and fruit and snacks don't disappear in one day!  Let's talk gasolin~~We filled up the truck the beginning of September and didn't return to the gas station until the middle of October...the fuel in the van lasts ALL week long!!!


Dadgum, it's quiet.

And the space is huge whereve I walk.

And I discovered I don't know how to cook for just two.

And I realize that I actually ENJOY being chauffeured wherever I go and not have to actually drive myself. 

And there's no one with me to bribe into pumping gas.

There's no one to braid or updo my hair.

There's no one to look forward to walking through the door every night.

I walk into their rooms, and there is nobody there.

And that unchanging mountain of toilet paper in the bathroom looks like overkill.

Today, I came across Ecclesiastes 3:
   To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;

"A time to mourn...
and a time to dance."


How can mourning and dancing possibly exist in the same sentence?! 



A smile. God knows how to bring us back to where we need to be...and in that one small verse, I am reminded~~it's okay to mourn, but it's always followed by dancing. 

Maybe I can grab a few yards of toilet paper and use it for a ribbon dance...!!

Thank you Yeshua, for filling my cup to overflowing!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Tell Me How to Make Time Stand Still

How quickly time fades from our grasp to leave us standing on the edge of transition...the fading fog our only image of the past and a vast chasm the only image of our future.

Knowing how quickly time would vanish before my eyes, I clung to every moment as if it would be the last

Then August came.  Like a tape on replay~~just as I watched Hannah, I watched Rebeka pack up her life in two small suitcases (with much more success now that she had all the traveling tips and shortcuts) and boarded a plane to Paparoa, New Zealand, slowed only by layovers in Dallas, Texas, and Sydney, Australia. 

For three months, she will be in DTS as a student for YWAM (Youth With a Mission) before embarking on an outreach somewhere in the Pacific for another three months.

Her violin greets me each morning from the wall in the parlor...looking as useless as I feel.  The kitchen offers more hope~~her face greets me from behind a laminated piece of paper on which her warped face is printed in black and white ink!

Come February, she will return home a new creature to us.  In just six months, we will become acquainted with the freshness of a young lady who, though has been an "adult" for more than a year now, will have grown physically, spiritually, mentally and academically without our daily presence.

Until then, she is on an exciting adventure, with nothing to hold her back, to go and to be all that she is meant to become...and I long to hear all that God reveals to and teaches her. I long to hear her thoughts and ideas.

Most of all, I long to hear her voice and see her beautiful face!
In the meantime, I will be faced with the reality of her absence every time I pass by her clean room, face her empty chair at the dinner table...and walk by the violin on the wall..

Once again, I find myself reflecting just like I did with Hannah~~on the past years of infancy, toddlerhood, elementary and middle school, through these last years of high school, my cup runneth over with joy of having been privileged to watch her grow and blossom!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Last Child part ii

No sooner did the music fade from prom before we found ourselves standing to Pomp and Circumstance...

The time between prom and graduation slipped by faster than the days in between!  But invitations were completed on time with the help of lots of coffee...

The sign was delivered...


Before we knew it, it was Baccaleaureate time...




 After lots of good words and great music, it was over...






...And the big day arrived...!


We were honored that Mom, Bert, Jessica and the girls came to celebrate with us.



Sooo....Rebeka finished her high school career with an Honors degree graduating 64 out of 464 students (considering 95% of her classes were AP or IB, i think that's an exceptional feat!); and like all the other seniors, she spent the week before and the week afterward party hopping; then she hopped on a plane for a her first week-long mission trip to Jamaica.

Two months later, our home has been filled with lots of activity as everyone tries to squeeze in time with each other before going their separate ways to pursue their future journeys, whether it be college, work, or in my Rebeka's case, a "gap year" with YWAM in New Zealand. Rebeka's summer has been spent working and seeing as many people as she possibly can fit into a 24-hour day.

Soaking up every minute that we can with the knowledge that this season of our life is quickly closing in on us, I am filled to overflowing!