My heart felt the morning. I wish I could be more specific, but that would be impossible. I could say that my heart hurt, that it leaped with joy, that it was full, that it was broken, but none of those things alone would be accurate and all of them combined wouldn’t do it justice. After a lovely break from the monotony of school and sports and work to enjoy the holiday with my favorite humans, routine began again. Just last week we were resting and playing and Monday we were back to working and scattering. Part of my morning routine is to stand at our glass door and watch as Sydney gets on the bus for school. Gone are the days when I stood at the stop with her.
Even the days when I stood near her yet far enough away to give her freedom have slipped away.
I can still remember each time she became a bit more independent. I remember the days of sitting in the car with her rocking out to our current favorite music while we waited to see the flashing lights. I remember finishing up runs at her stop so we could walk home together. I remember standing on the front porch and watching for her to come bounding off the bus and run down the street to see me, and most recently when she told me she understood that I enjoy watching her get on the bus but that she could do it on her own. The truth is I can remember every season of a new level of independence for her. Her separation from me began long before her days riding the school bus. I remember when she began to feed herself and when she began to crawl and when she started walking and when she announced she could dress herself and when she told me she could wash her own hair.
I’m so proud of her independence because after all that is my job as her mamma…to raise up a Kingdom changer…a functional woman…an independent person…a healthy human…a lover of God and people.
She is becoming all of those things right before my eyes. Through her, and my sons as well btw, God has given me a front row seat to how He moves and breathes and works in and through the lives of His children in His perfect timing. I am forever grateful for that. As grateful as I am and as full as my heart is watching my tiny daughter prepare to leave the nest, it’s also hard…it hurts…it’s sad…it’s happy… it makes me anxious with excitement and anticipation but also nervous and fearful. It makes me dream of my own independence but also my thoughts flirt with loneliness. Basically, all the feels!!! The reality is seasons of life change. A few years ago it was time for me to hold her hand but during this season it is time for me to loosen my grip.
We can’t hold on to a season that we love anymore than we can run away from a season that’s painful.
We can only be present in the season that we are in…confident that God has us right there. I miss the time of bedtime stories and jammies and daily adventures and naps because in many ways they were easier, but these days are a different kind of good. When I’m experiencing a flood of emotion, I can find myself remembering those days or dreaming of the days to come, but I have to be intentional about bringing myself back to the moment in space and time that I’m actually in so that I don’t miss it.
And so I stood Monday morning for an extra minute after the door closed and the bus pulled away just storing the memory in my heart.
I’m in a season of change and transition and as I adjust to all of it, I don’t want to miss or forget gifts of the sweet moments. I want to one day be able to look back and pull these precious memories from my heart and remember how good our Father is to us. Seriously, there are days when I’d prefer to sleep in or leave early for the gym, but it’s not the right time for those things. One day it will be time for those things, but not yet. Recorded in Ecclesiastes, Solomon, arguably one of the wisest men to ever live wrote that there is a right time…there is a season for everything we do this side of eternity. He says there is
2 A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to collect the harvest; 3 A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to tear down, a time to build up; 4 A time to cry, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance; 5 A time to scatter stones, a time to pile them up; a time for a warm embrace, a time for keeping your distance; 6 A time to search, a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, a time to throw out; 7 A time to tear apart, a time to bind together; a time to be quiet, a time to speak up; 8 A time to love, a time to hate; a time to go to war, a time to make peace.
He goes on to warn us that if we are constantly working to gain more possessions…if we are too focused on thoughts of “one day I will”…if “I’ll be happy when…” is our mantra, we will miss out on the beauty that God weaves into every single season we walk through. The same is true if we continue to live in the past…lamenting the good times…longing for easier, sweeter, happier times. The truth is it’s good to remember and it’s right to dream but not to the extent that it takes our focus away from our daily living and the gifts that God is showering on us right in the middle of our current season. I believe that since the beginning of time, empty nesters have advised younger parents coming up behind them, “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!” I think what they really mean is don’t lose your focus or you’ll miss it. Parents of littles, parents of teens, people who want to be parents some day, people who never want to be parents, I know it’s hard but don’t lose focus on today. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. There are many life circumstances that come our way that we cannot change nor control, but God is in them and still has gifts for us there. He is a good Father who loves to give us gifts if we will stay focused enough to receive them.
He is in the best, the worst, and the down right ugliest of our circumstances. He is in the celebrations and in the mourning. He is in the waiting and in the movement. He is in the mundane and in the unexpected. He is in the failures and in the victories. He is in the pain and in the joy. And he is in the sweet kiss goodbye at the bus stop just like He is in the silent goodbye from behind the glass.
He has gift for you in every season and there is a season for everything. I pray that you will find something to hang onto in whatever season you are currently in. If you want to throw something at me right now or kick me in the shin because you are walking through a brutally painful season and can’t imagine finding a gift in it much less wanting to stay focused on it, I get that…I’ve been there too. It’s ok. I see you. I will stand with you.
I love you. And I’m glad you are here.