Wednesday, May 4, 2022

one year later of this new phase of life

 

Happy Wednesday, friends! Do you ever go back and look on your Timehop app or Facebook memories and just want to remember and possibly even relive those days? That's been me this week. I don't necessarily want to relive the days that have gone by, but I always want to remember them. No matter the age of our sons, I have tried to love and be present at every point in their lives and I think both Todd and I have succeeded at that. We rarely wish to go back to the days when they were younger, though sometimes I do reminisce and long for simpler days when I thought life was hard. (More about that on another day, though.) 

I can't believe it's been a whole year since Jonah and Noah graduated. I mention just the two of them because they're our youngest and when they finished school was when my life drastically changed. It was a gradual change over the summer, but still. When Graham graduated in 2017 and then Drew in 2018, I still had the other two to keep me going and busier at home, even though they were independent even at that point. It was at the end of their high school careers that I became "retired" from my job of homeschooling them the decade prior to them graduating.

Most of you know that they opted not to go to college, and we're okay with this. I don't really feel like I need to explain this here, because I think most of you know us by now and how much we love our sons and want them to succeed in life. College wasn't for us as their parents, either and for a lot of people, I believe that is the case. The only requirement we had for them was that if they opted out of school, that they would work full time. Not just for them, but for all of them. 

We did have one son who went to school the fall after he graduated, so he didn't work an actual "job", but he did work around town to make money by cutting yards and helping people when they needed a strong back. Graham went to work full time at the end of July in 2017 and Jonah and Noah went to work full time at the beginning of August in 2021. To say we're proud of all of our sons is the understatement of the year, regardless of their choices on school or their occupations. 

When they were young and impressionable, I remember telling them over and over one very important thing.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

I don't know if they would remember the reference or even the verse if you were to ask them, but once you mentioned it, I assure you they would remember me telling them that over and over as we sat around the kitchen table. I always told them we didn't care if they were doctors, lawyers, teachers, garbage collectors or maintenance workers—that as long as they did whatever they did for the glory of God, that that one thing was all that mattered. I do also believe that in glorifying God, whatever you choose to do, you need to do with all of your heart and to the best of your ability. My husband instilled that in each of them and it's true of all of them as they work. 

We are happy for them, we are proud of them and we support them in whatever they do in making the effort to becoming independent. We used to have plans in mind for this phase of life and when they were all younger and still in school, but basically all of that has flown out the window. At this point in life, we're happy to see them be successful and able to support themselves. Now, you know that three of them still live at home, but they pay for everything. They eat our food and I'm prone to buying them fun stuff like socks and conditioner when they run out, but they're also more than capable of buying that for themselves. I think it's a funny statement that we used to have plans for this phase of life—isn't that just how life goes? There's nothing quite like thinking you know how it'll all play out and then having life come and just knock the breath out of you.

You have no idea how often I've repented of being so prideful in those days! The Lord has been sweet to show me a thing or two about all of this whole parenting adults thing. I have no problem saying that either, because nobody knows better than me how judgmental we can all be as women, as wives, as moms, even for some men, I would guess. And by the way, I don't really still consider myself to be "parenting", but rather walking alongside them, encouraging them and offering them advice or wisdom when they are seeking it. I have sons, though, so I believe it's different for someone who has daughters. Now my husband is another story and he's busier than he's ever been with our sons and there are days that they wear him out. He never says it or complains, but I know it to be true. He may not freely admit it to you if you were to ask, but I believe that deep down he loves that they call him and always seem to be needing him.

I remember thinking a year ago about all of the free time I would suddenly have. (Not that I didn't have it before, this was just the guilt free version.) I had aspirations to get a part time job and to fill my time with all sorts of fun things. And as it goes, this past year has been almost the polar opposite. I've never stayed home more in all of my life! Seriously. I don't know why, either, because it's not like anyone is forcing me to be at home. For one thing, I'm a mom to dogs, so they require dedication and care. I even have a grand dog, as you also know, whom I feel terrible for leaving in her kennel for too long. (She wouldn't complain, trust me—she came from someone's back yard and is probably just happy to be living and that she has owners who love and nurture her and don't threaten to put her down.) 

And I tried getting a part time job! Not once, but twice. I almost tried one more time and I had an overwhelming sense of peace wash over me that maybe it just wasn't my time to do that at the moment, so I quit trying. My husband was not asking me to do that, it was just something I put on myself and expected to be an easy thing to get. (Maybe it is, but I wanted one job in particular—I wanted to work at the library.) I remember one day a lady from the library called me and we talked on the phone for an hour. She'd gotten wind of my name through an application I'd filled out on online to be on the library board, which also is one more thing that didn't happen. She encouraged me to volunteer at the library and to get my name out there, so that when an opening appeared again, they'd know me and likely hire me. But I never did that either, even though I filled out the application, I just felt like it wasn't right at the moment.

So, what have I done, you wonder? Well, not much outside of our home. I do all the typical wifey things in the daily mundane schedule, but I've done some other things. I've written articles for magazines. I've started and stopped writing books that I want to write. I've talked to a literary agent and then ruled out the need for one. I've gotten offers to publish a children's book that I wrote. (I had no idea it cost so much money to write a book! Anyone can write a book and pay to have it published, but only the good authors get advances on publishing deals and for now, that is not me.) I've co-written another women's Bible study. I've edited said study. I've blogged more frequently and gained a bit of a slight "audience", or friends as I like to say. I've learned a whole new techy thing at church and have started doing the words for our worship pastor or sound for women's events. I've helped plan a retreat. I've been on a girls getaway writer's retreat with my co-authors and dear friends. I participated in one of the studies we wrote and led a small group and I've done the same in the spring semester of this year. I've prayed and prayed and prayed until I am blue in the face and through it all I've said one thing repeatedly to God—that I am ready for Him to use me, however He sees fit and that I trust Him wholeheartedly with all of my life. 

I trust Him with my husband as I grow into a godlier wife who is finally, after 25 and a half years of marriage, easing more into that role, not that I have fully arrived by any means. But I'm better than I was and that, my friends, is progress in the right direction.

I trust Him with our sons, who sometimes let me down with choices they make. Now, I say that they let me down, but I still love them unconditionally. I pray for them endlessly everyday of my life, as do their grandparents, and I have hope that they'll come back around in their later twenties. I say that because it was at that age that the Lord got ahold of me. They're following in the footsteps that I didn't want them to, but I know they love the Lord in their own ways and that as much as I love them, He loves them even more.

I trust Him with our safety and wellbeing. We've walked through a few hairy moments, like when Jonah totaled my car on the interstate last summer by hydroplaning on the interstate and ending facing oncoming traffic. And then Drew and Jonah were recently involved in another minor accident. Graham was involved in a minor accident as well and Noah's car's brakes (or something made them not work) went out completely one day on his way in to work. There've been countless trips to and from different places for all of them and the Lord had His angels watching over them the whole time, as my dad likes to say. I trust Him with our mental wellbeing as well, as we've walked through a few iffy moments with Drew working in an impossibly difficult and heavy job. (Again, more about that another day, there's a whole story there.)

I trust that He accomplishes exactly what His will is for our lives. I trust that His word never returns to Him void. I trust that He never tires of me praying for their safety as I lay in bed at night and wonder where they are or when they'll be home, because I DO NOT WANT TO BE A NAGGING MOM. I trust that He has completely healed me of anxiety and that it's been at least eight months since I last suffered from an anxiety or panic attack. I trust that He works out everything for our good and for His purpose. 

I trust Him, needless to say. His plans are much better than any I could have made and I know that if it is within His will that I go back to work someday, that He will let me in on it at some point. He knows I am willing and that I want to serve Him all the  days of my life. I'm always excited for what is to come and I believe He has something up His sleeve. 😉 Meanwhile, I'll be here waiting patiently and enjoying the days when I have unexpected times of one of them being at home with me, like yesterday when Jonah worked from home all day.

Who knew a year would go by so quickly? 


This was me all unassuming last year at their graduation, which will be one year ago Saturday. Time flies! Thanks for reading my blog, friends and allowing me some creative space to ponder on all that has happened. Love to all! 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Parenting young adults has its ups and downs and lots of "letting go" moments. I have thought about getting a part time job when Jack goes away, but I am at peace with being a full time wife and letting things settle into place. I just listened to the Midlife Matters podcast today and the topic was parenting adult children - "Mothering Ourselves Out of a Job." They talked a lot about letting go. One thing that stuck with me: you can't be the Holy Spirit for your child.

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  2. You're welcome, Tanya! You are not kidding. It's such a balance, isn't it? I too am peaceful being a full time wife and that's basically what I've done- just settled into my new routine. I'll have to go listen to that! It sounds similar to what I've written and what has been on my mind. That is such a true statement! I've heard someone else say that before, regarding the marital relationship as well!

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