I'm dwelling this morning on the seasons of life... ages and stages of ourselves and our kids... changes in life that take friends far away from us, whether geographically or emotionally... moves, job changes, illnesses, death.... growing up and then growing old... relationships that blossom and grow... and sometimes fade away...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I think one of my greatest strengths is the ability to hold on loosely... and yet still treasure everyone and everything that travels with me for a time. I've learned to appreciate things/people more because I realize how temporary our bonds can sometimes be. Just because someone is in your life for only a short season... doesn't mean they aren't there for a reason. In fact... sometimes its those brief relationships that teach us the most. The trick (I think) is to realize that sometimes it's about quality, not quantity.
Jim and Angie are leaving today for New Orleans. Their dearest friends moved there two years ago and they make an effort to visit them when they can. They treasure the relationship they built with this family and they work at keeping those bonds strong, even from a distance.
I know how they feel... my Purple Michael is in Chicago which might as well be on the moon for my ability and resources to be able to travel. But he is as close as a memory... a note... a card... a phone call. Those bonds remain. I guess because I didn't allow distance to end the story of our friendship - nor did he.
I have lived in 8 different places since the year 2000... which is really odd for someone like me who is such a homebody. Circumstances changed... opportunities arose... opportunities departed. I did - am doing - present tense - what I have to do for me and what's mine to be safe and secure.
There are these rubbermaid containers of "stuff" - little treasures, memories, photos, certificates, baby clothes, quilts I embroidered for my boys - that I have schlepped from place to place with me, no matter where we lived. And at the time of each move I would take a few moments to open those cartons and remember and realize how rich my life has been, in memories, if not in millions. Those containers were in the attic... and they burned... not completely but they suffered quite a bit of damage. And I'm ok with it. I had those treasures for a time and if they're gone... I've still got the wealth of those experiences.
I lingered at the dinner table last night with Sarabeth and Angie and Jessie. Sarabeth is reading a book called "Body Talk" that is all about puberty :shiver:... and it encourages kids to ask questions of people in their lives that they trust. So I shared some of those memories of awkwardness and such with her... and we laughed... and bonded... and, wasn't it just a few years ago that I was changing her diaper and now she's changing... I loved who she was then and I love who she is now in such a deeper way...
When the time came for Ryan and then Cody to move out of my nest... I was sad... but I also felt a great sense of accomplishment... I did it. I raised them. They survived childhood with ME as a mother! Who knew I could do that?
Looking for a home is a real pain in the tukas for me... literally... it's a bit daunting, overwhelming, frightening... I don't wanna. I wanted to stay there in the nest I had feathered to my liking. But moving doesn't make me sad... it's just a new adventure. I'm glad for it, in a way, even if I feel slightly fearful... it's exciting.
It's corny and cliche but you have to think about the example that God gives us with the butterfly... they're these icky, creepy, disgusting worms... and then they spin themselves a nice quiet "nest" of sorts and get comfy and warm there... and then the time comes where they have to go through the pain and awkwardness of change AGAIN and... the result is beauty, far greater than you could ever expect from a fuzzy little caterpillar. Pretty amazing, if you think about it. A beautiful monarch butterfly flew past me yesterday and I smiled, thanking God for the reminder.
Or as my niece Jamie said last night, "I remember the last time your house broke and you stayed with us for a little while and then got your other house that broke and now you're here again!".... That's about what it is. One house "breaks"... and you get another.
Again. Letting go. Moving on. Changing. Growing. Learning again how powerful God is and how deeply He loves me and how completely he provides for me.
I'm hitting the road this morning to check out a few more places... have a wonderful Sunday! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 8:12 AM