Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where Is That Empty Nest?

Every little girl has a dream.  She dreams of falling in love, getting married, and having a family. I was no different.  I wanted to find my Mr.. Right, marry him and have two perfect children:  a boy that would hunt, fish, play baseball and do all the manly things with his dad; and a little girl that would let me teach her how to do all the feminine little things that girls like to do.  Well, I had a little boy and a little girl and my life was perfect. 

When the kids grew up, a new dream began to unfold.  I was looking forward to be a grandmother.  I would be the type that would spoil the grandkids because they would only be visiting.  Well, I did enjoy the kids and did spoil them BUT I was given custody of them and now I am responsible for their daily needs and all their wants.  This can’t be too bad, I thought.  I will just be raising kids all over again.  In fact, it was fun having the grandkids around all day everyday.  I did not stop to think that they would grow up and I would grow older.  That is the life cycle isn’t it.  Kids grow up and grandparents grow older.  Although, I am not as young as I used to be, I still manage to provide for these precious little ones.  I have four active kids that are now in school and I get to attend all their functions.  I have been able to attend all of the social events of the seasons from ballet recitals to championship baseball games.  In fact, I am on a first name basis with the superstars and coaches.  What could be better than this?  I do admit I get tired but when I look at the bright expectant faces I gain a new sense of strength and love every minute of sharing life with these gifts from God.

When I hear people talking of the empty nest syndrome and how lonely they are, I realize that I still have the sound of kids’ laughter and fighting in my house.  My house doesn’t always stay clean and I do get frustrated trying to keep up with the housework.  When I feel overwhelmed by the lack of time to get all the housework done, I realize there are more important things than a shiny house.  My house does stay clean enough for health but has that comfortable lived in look and feel.  In fact, my house is well lived in.  I do keep my floors clean enough you can eat off them.  Yeah, over here is some bread, there is a french fry or two and if you look closely you might even be able to find a cookie or two for dessert.

I always thought that when my kids were grown and had kids of their own, my husband and I would be able to retire, spend time getting to know each other again and travel whenever and wherever we wanted to.  I guess that will have have to wait because God has given me a task that is more important than any other I can think of.  Sure, I could be working and obtaining new possessions but what could would material possessions give me when I have the love of my grandkids.  Of course, they don’t get everything they want but God is good and lets me provide everything they need.

No matter how tired and discouraged I get I realize the blessings God has given me when He put these kids in my life.  I always ask Him for strength and grace to make it through the day and He is always faithful to provide what I need.  I do not get paid for caring for these children in earthly ways but my reward is much more valuable because I am paid in pure love.

I hope I leave these kids with a legacy of love.  I want them to know that I loved them but, even more importantly, I want them to know God loves them.  I want to teach them about Him and His love.  They should be taught that with Him by their side and holding their hands, they will be able to accomplish anything and do whatever He asks of them.  I can provide the material things they need but I want them to know that God can provide for them even more than I can. 

While other people are suffering from the empty nest syndrome, I consider myself fortunate that I still have children in my life.  I just ask God to give me the wisdom and strength to bring them up in the way He wants me to.  I know He will because He said He would and my God keeps all of His promises.