It was nearly a year ago that I wrote the post below. Yesterday, my Michael and I absconded for our annual day at the lake and I marvel at how different I feel, how God has done a work of healing in my mother’s empty nest heart since then. Next week I will share about my reflections on yesterday and how God grows us while helping us navigate the seasons of our lives, including tips for transitioning to an empty nest.
In this season of endless days that end too soon, we stop our world and all our work at Longings End to slow down.
To spill our stress.
To take our fill of serenity.
Afternoon at the lake stretches out before us, and we stretch out on blanket basking warm in love.
Clouds overhead content to sit a spell too, before moving on in windless sky. Shapes changing, and we laugh on our backs as a duck waddles here and a scorpion walks there, and then we see clouds like a Cross.
His Cross, without which we wouldn’t freely be enjoying all His lush beauty. Our hearts wide open receive Him. Surrendering all to the One who gave all for us.
And a portal of blue peeks from white fluff, God winking down on us, His barefoot children playing in the sand. All of us.
Sand hot between our toes we walk quickly and Dearest Husband coaxes me into the water. Though it’s chillier than I like, I plunge in.
Splishing and splashing we race, and I don’t win. And we laugh some more.
And just for a moment, I catch a glimpse of them among the little ones playing in wet sand, or swimming, calling out Marco. Polo.
Three browned boys.
And my heart skips a beat the way they used to skip stones.
Fish glistening glides by and I remember their fishing net and how determined they were to bring a catch home for supper.
When the sun went down and the life guards went home, those three of mine would sit at water’s edge and build sand castles. Lost in the land of make believe that vanished as quickly as fairy dust sprinkled over the sea.
And those days of dinosaurs digging in the sand, the wisp of a memory.
So my Daddy reaches down and whispers that a season has ended, Daughter, exactly as it should.
Past, present and future sometimes blending. So I guard the fragile present He gives me each morning, or lose the gift of today and never get it back.
This lake, swimming with shadows of the past, was a favorite cooling spot when my babies were growing into men. Men who have moved far away, other side of the Rockies.
Yet for the first time in a year, I step back and release — like a fish caught but too small to keep — and more freely swim among the fragile moments of now.
Accepting the passage of time though missing my sons, heart rests secure in Father’s love.
All of it a gift.
All of it His Grace.
Brimming with gratitude for what was, for what is, and for what is yet to be.
So I pass an invisible baton to the moms on the beach this day, the ones with bellies swollen and young children they will tuck in at night.
Wonder-full days full of little people full of wonder. Childhood more fleeting than summer.
And my once young-mother’s heart watches three boys of summer run down the beach, every step taking them further away. Footprints in the sand growing bigger and bigger until three men with shoulders square are walking into their own lives.
And I turn back to the man at my side. The love of my life. Dearest Husband who has waited but a split second not even aware I had left, and I wrap my arms around his neck.
Embracing him as I clutch this fleeting gift of now.
Teach us to number our days, Lord, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
That’s what His Word says. So I pray for wisdom to know that moments become days, and days become years, and years slip away like so much sand through my fingers. I squeeze tight, yet can’t hold on to them.
And when the sun slips low on the horizon we pack up. Rested and relaxed. Summer’s day at the lake restoring us.
We discover a village small and quaint where we eat pizza outdoors, early evening stilling.
Share the last banana split of summer. Icy sweetness twirling on tongues with every spoonful.
And childlike delight twirls inside me, and him.
So I tuck this day inside the secret chamber of my heart where all the precious pieces of the past sleep. This day when God held hours slow, all sun kissed and love drenched.
And then we hear a rumbling. Loud. And bells sound a warning as gate closes shut.
City train rushes by in a blur. My heart heeds a warning, too.
Stay in each moment, fully awake and receiving every drop of life He gives.
Blinking, time rushes by…
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