Still navigating my way through empty-nest-hood, I rearranged many favorite books in my Mama Cave this afternoon. (I use this word “empty-nest-hood” often, so I’m going with – it’s a real word. You won’t find it in a dictionary because I made it up, though. But it’s real, okay?),
The same empty room has, over the past 5+ years, housed four different individuals who needed homes for awhile. Therefore, my nest technically hasn’t really been very empty, after all. I’ve had mostly good experiences, but some not-so-desirable experiences, and finally decided last fall it would become my Mama Cave again. After all, if I was going to call myself an empty nester, I needed to empty the nest.
That room has gone from my study room, to my ironing room, to what is currently my reading room. I’m still in the process of sorting out all of my favorite books and putting them in some sort of order. My granddaughter loves books, and I’m certain my grandson will as well – so theirs are easily accessible on the bottom shelf! And one shelf has all of the books I’ve been waiting and waiting to read.
Oh, and by the way – I need one more book shelf – so in case anyone out there is getting rid of one, I could use it!
Throughout the process of rearranging books, I came across the cartoon my friend Cheryl’s son Chris drew of me many years ago when I was single-mothering my two sons. It’s his version of what I looked like while working from home so that the boys didn’t ever have to attend any kind of day care. Medical transcription for several local hospitals made that possible, and are probably the years of my life I am most thankful for. I wouldn’t change those years for all the cannolis in Rome. I loved our life together.
It was nice to work in my pajamas, at my own pace, set my own hours and…….. the best perk of all – getting to stand in the kitchen window on snowy days with a cup of hot cocoa in my hands while watching my neighbors shovel their ways out of the parking lot to get to their 9 to 5 jobs. Oh yes, I very sarcastically enjoyed that perk. Not gonna lie.
But what I’ve pondered most often these days is this – Did God bring me through those years just so that I could say I survived? I’d sure hate for that experience of parenting alone to be wasted. I’m certain there must be some way God will use it, right?
If you feel lead to pray for me – this is a good place to start. It’s where I’m sort of “camped out” lately in my prayer.
Why, God? Why did you so abundantly provide for me, bless me with a skill I could use to work from home? Why did you protect my children from the statistics of most single parent family outcomes? So that I could look backwards and exhale in relief? That’s it? Or have you some plan for all of this? This is how I’ve wrestled with Him the past several months.
I believe God does have a plan to use those years! In fact, I believe He has a plan to use YOUR past too! We don’t survive anything just to look back and go, “Whew! Glad that’s over!”
Nope. I think we get through difficulties for two reasons. 1) So that we recognize Him in our circumstances, and… 2) To comfort or encourage someone else.
I’m still camping out here in prayer…… and a few of my friends over the past couple of weeks, including even my mother, have unknowingly spoken into my life, answering this prayer in a way that I believe God is using them to encourage me and give me His direction.
The world will tell us never to look back – only forward. But God is constantly telling us to look back, to remember, and to look forward with His Promises in full view. Very clearly, He is reminding me of this daily. And it DOES become easy to look forward when all that you see in your rear view mirror is a constant reminder of His faithfulness.
So I pray, “Okay God – The nest is actually empty this time. Now what?”
And I’m excited for so many reasons, but mostly for what it looks like He has planned for this empty-nest-hood season!
This is exciting – but I think my bum’s about to get sore again……….
Let the season begin (again)!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4