A Testimony to God's Faithfulness
Sometimes when my husband is at work, this old house is extremely quiet. No TV on. No noise coming from upstairs. No pitter-patter of feet coming down the steps. No children arguing with one another. No sound of movement in this big old house. Stark quietness!
I can remember the time that this house was bursting at the seams and louder than any house on this block. We were blessed with two boys and two girls. Most of the time, we were also babysitting a couple of other children. We considered them our extended family. So, you can imagine the activity. Kids running up and down the steps, meals to cook, clothes to wash, spills to clean up, babies to rock, schoolwork to do and that was just the activity within the house. There were also church activities, ball practices, theatre practices, music lessons, and more outside the house. It was non-stop activity and non-stop noise.
But now it’s quiet. Sometimes I sit in this big old house and remember the activity. I remember craziness in the kitchen during our meals. I remember all the birthday parties in the backyard. I remember all my kids gathered around me on the couch while I read aloud an interesting book. I remember kneeling beside my children’s beds at night and praying with them. I miss those days and it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. I miss my kids.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven". We all go through different seasons of our lives and we are always "unsure" of the next season.
When I was expecting my first child, I could not imagine how life would change. When I brought her home from the hospital, I could not believe that we were responsible for this little human being. How on earth would we take care of her? God helped us through that transition beautifully. We loved being parents and our new baby was such a blessing to us.
When we decided to have a large family, it was a major transition. I did not know what I was doing. Sometimes people would say to me, "How in the world do you handle ALL those kids?" Sometimes they would merely ask, "Are ALL those kids yours?" I was tempted to wear a t-shirt every day that said “YES, THEY ARE ALL MINE”.
I would tell people, they were not all born on the same day. I had one at a time and I transitioned after each one. The older ones helped me with the younger ones. God helped us through the transition of becoming a larger family. We all survived and most days we thrived.
When I decided to homeschool my kids, everyone thought I had lost my mind. I didn’t know what that transition would look like on a daily basis. In those days, not very many people made that decision. I relied on the few families I knew that were homeschooling to encourage me. God blessed and we made it through that transition. I ended up homeschooling for 23 years. Note: I did not get a gold watch for my retirement. Hint: It is not too late.
When I started thinking about the empty nest and how I would make that transition, I was not looking forward to it. I did not know what to expect, as with all seasons of my life. All I knew was my identity was tied up in being a mom and I didn’t know anything else. I loved having my kids around everyday. Honestly, I liked them "needing me". God did not leave me during that transition either. He provided a job for me that included showing love to college students every day. He knew exactly what I needed at just the right time. He always does.
There are other transitions I will go through as I age. Some may not be pleasant. Some may be scary. But I will remember that God has always been faithful to me down through the years. I realize that no matter what season I enter, He will not leave me. In fact, he goes before me and he goes behind me.
What about you, what transitions are you experiencing? Starting a new job with apprehension? Starting a family and concerned about taking care of that precious little one? Starting to homeschool and feeling very inadequate? Getting close to the empty nest and wonder how in the world your life can go on without your kids nearby? Experiencing life-threatening health issues?
Remember that God is faithful. He has not forgotten you. He knows exactly what you’re going through. He will go before you and he will come behind you. He will provide exactly what you need at exactly the right time. Relax in Him.
This old house is very quiet, but I'm so thankful for all the memories that we made here and are continuing to make. Now I have time to pursue other things in my life like blogging and encouraging others. I have much more time for my husband. By the way, I'm still mom. My relationship with my grown children is different now, but still very close and precious. Christmas is coming and the house will be full again (with all 19 of us) for a week. I’m so glad they come back to visit this big old house and bring their families with them.