New Beginnings On The Journey

I’ve been putting off posting just for the simple reason that I don’t want to talk about what is really consuming my thoughts.

My kids are growing up.

It’s exciting and wonderful to watch them become yet at the same time it pulls at the heart.

There’s a part where I want to go back and relive those younger years of kissing scrapped knees and reading bedtime stories.  Those years go by like speeding bullets through my thoughts.  I remember others telling me it would but when you’re living it out day-to-day you don’t see it all ending until you’re faced with helping them pack their things and leaving their rooms empty.

This last month has been filled with getting everyone ready for leaving.  We have three in college now and I’m down to homeschooling only little Matthew.  It’s a new season filled with a lot of “What now?”

This weekend Dave and I also celebrated 23 years of marriage.  We were just young pups when we tied the knot.  We had big smiles and even bigger hair.

Here we are just a few days from our wedding, standing in our first apartment, believing to be grown up and ready for the world.  We were full of love and excitement with no idea of the journey ahead.  There’s a lot of “not knowing what we don’t know” in this photo. We were happy in our ignorance…. and I wouldn’t change that.  There’s something wonderful about being young and in love.  Having no money in the bank account and not even that worried about it because “Hey, we’ve got love and ain’t that enough?”

And of course 23 years later we know that “loving feeling” isn’t enough to get us through because some days I wake up grouchy… and other days I let him sleep!  (That joke is for you, babe!)

That “loving feeling” fades because it’s just a feeling and our feelings change with the day-to-day.  Marriages can’t survive on feelings. It takes the commitment of waking up each day telling yourself, “Today I choose to love you.  Today I choose you.”

There will come days when tension is high and the waters are rough and the whisper in your head tells you, “Walk away…”  But the commitment we speak before God and people and to each other holds us here and we choose to love again and again.

Yesterday we dropped off our son at his new dorm room. With tears leaking from our eyes, Dave asked me on the drive back home, “Did you think 23 years ago we’d have this much heartache and this much peace all at the same time?”

This season of kids leaving the nest is hard on the heart, ugly with tears and all-together sad.

It’s hard on the heart knowing this part of the journey is over.  They’ll never return home the same person they were when they walked out our door.  They change, grow and become…. and that’s good.  There’s peace in that.

It makes the heart sad when you wake in the morning, walk down the stairs, see their door open and think, “Oh, they’re already up!”  But in the next second you remember, “Nope, they’re not already up…  they’re already gone!

It’s hard when counting out plates for dinner and remembering they won’t be joining you…. Walking past their room but they’re not there… Sitting in the quiet house and missing the sounds of their footsteps on the stairs.

That’s the sad, heart ache we have to get through.  And we get through it by leaning into grace and finding peace.

  • We lean into the memories of the moments we have.
  • We lean into the peace of God’s hands holding and guiding them.
  • We lean into knowing we raised them to follow the direction where God leads them.

So when they step out and leave us to follow Him, we let them go. And in letting go, we gain peace.

Peace, knowing they are where they need to be for the next part of their journey and their new beginnings.

********************************************

*To all those saying good-bye this week-end to their kiddos, my heart goes out to you.  It’s a yucky part of the journey and not fun at all so I send you hugs and lots of love!

*To my hubby, Dave…. You are the best!  Thanks for putting up with me for these 23 years.  I’m glad I get to journey with you!  Love you, babe!

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