Reasons your daughter should not move out of the house!!!

I am a firm believer in helping others in this walk of life. I believe we are all on this journey together and as I walk my path of faith, I need to look back and hold out my hand to encourage someone who may be behind me. In the same way, I believe there are others further along on this journey who reach back to me and pull (and, let’s face it, sometimes they DRAG) me along!

Because of that I am compelled today to write about this whole empty-nest thing that my husband and I are experiencing. Granted, we still have our 17-year-old (gulp – can’t believe he is that old!) son at home. But, for this week we have been empty-nesters. You see, our son has been at camp for two weeks and during that time we moved our daughter back to Kansas City to attend college. So, for the past week we have been practicing empty-nesting.

I have to say, it is quite different than what I expected. My overall view of it is that, while I have gained an almost-perfectly-clean house for the first time in 29 years, it is WAY too quiet! I have to honestly say, as much as I ranted and raved about keeping the house clean when the kids were at home. I would give it all up to hear them laughing in the other room or break out in song while driving down the road.

There have been some specific disadvantages to our daughter’s absence, that I didn’t feel the effect of when our oldest son moved out over 10 years ago. (Yes, there is 10 years difference between our first 2 children) While lamenting to my husband over the fact that our daughter was leaving, he responded to me, “What am I, chopped liver? I will still be here.” To which I replied, “Are you going to go shopping with me, paint my nails, and dye my hair for me?” To which he promptly retorted, “Nope, not me!”

There have been some other disadvantages of her leaving as well:
1. She took HER clothes out of MY closet!  How rude! I thought possession was 9/10 of the law!
2. She took the good fingernail polish with her! The fact that it was HER fingernail polish to begin with is beside the point!  Couldn’t she have left me a parting gift? (Smile!) 
3. She is/was my right hand in almost everything I did. And now that she is an adult, I can say with full confidence, we are “BFF’s – BEST FRIENDS FOREVER! Therefore, I miss her terribly!

Amy's Empty Closet

Amy’s closet looks awful empty

Yet, with all the changes – and  my selfish reasons for missing my daughter – I am so thankful to hear the joy in her voice when she calls; to know the excitement she feels when returning to the comfort of what she calls home. I draw peace from the fact that she has a huge support system with our church family back in KC and I am confident that, as much as I love her, there is a Heavenly Father who loves her more than I do, and He is watching over her.

Oh, I know the next few years will hold many changes for me and for our family but there is one thing that will remain the same: the steadfast love of God. He is faithful, and He will never leave us. I know that I can call on Him whenever I have a problem and He will always be there.

And in those times when I feel alone and afraid, unsure of what the future holds, I rest in the confidence that I know who holds the future! When I have that desire to be in control and try to figure it all out on my own, it is in those times I must learn to sit back and lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus because He is my rock, my fortress, and the only one on whom I can depend

A friend posted these words on Facebook this week and they are absolutely true. “I know that God always supplies our every need according to his riches in glory. I’m starting to understand that walking with God is just one leap of faith after another. I don’t think it ever gets easier, I just think we learn to trust God more.”

 ” I’m starting to understand that walking with God is just one leap of faith after another. I don’t think it ever gets easier, I just think we learn to trust God more.”                                                                                                                                                   January Lare                                                                                                                    

”Isn’t that the very basis of our foundation in Christ – “Trust”? We have to trust or there is no foundation for our faith walk. And that is what this life is, whether you are a new mom, empty-nesting mom, or unsure if you will ever be a mom. It all comes down to trust. If we have truly surrendered our heart to Him, it is just one trusting leap of faith after another.

My daughter states there is one phrase that has helped her keep it together through this time of transition for her and it is this: “If your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough”

 ” If your dreams do not scare you then they are not big enough ” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I hope today, that whatever dream God has put in your heart, it is so big it scares you to death! Because, I know there is a God who is right there beside you, ready to hold your hand and walk with you.  He cares for you and wants to see you succeed in everything you do.  Sometimes it can get scary, getting to the place where He wants us to be, but we can rest on the fact that He is working “all things for our good !”……..

Won’t you trust Him today?

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASB

 

 

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Lost, But Now I am Found

Although Amy has lived for 13 of her 19 years of life in the Kansas City area, it now appears that, unless it had something to do with going shopping, she hasn’t paid much attention to where we were going in the car! She can’t really tell you how she got to a place; she just recognizes that she is there – unless you are in the mall. She knows where everything is in the mall, and can give you directions to any store in there!

Never was this so apparent as when she headed out for a job interview. Her father and I had warned her not to take the highway because this trip would be during rush hour. Well, she was determined to do what she normally does: just put the address to wherever she is going in her GPS and take off! And, sure enough, on this particular day, there was a bad accident that had the highway backed up. Because she had an appointment to get to, she decided to get off the highway and take the side streets to get there. When she did, somehow she got turned around and headed back in the opposite direction. Because her GPS continued to try to direct her back to the highway, Amy called me in a panic. So, as her father and I are looking on the computer trying to find where she is to give her directions to get her headed back the right way, she is saying, “I am never driving again, I am done! I can’t do this.” Amy was ready to give up before she even completed the task.

Amy was ready to give up before she even completed the task.

 

 

This got me thinking…. Isn’t that a lot like us and our walk with God? We can be following the directions He has given us, and for some reason get confused about the direction we are going and become lost! Even though it is sometimes only for a few minutes, we can get frustrated and afraid on this new path we are on and are ready to throw our hands up in the air and say, “Forget this! I can’t do it!” and go back to the safe place where we are comfortable. But God is wanting to take all of us to a new level with Him and that doesn’t mean we are going to be comfortable. In fact, most of the time, He stretches us to the most UN-comfortable place we think we can be in at the time, and although everything within us may be screaming, “Go Back! Go Back!” God is calling us to “Go Forward!” He says, “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Gods Word – Matthew 11:28

God wants us to come to Him with our problems our worries, our concerns, and trust Him to work it all out. Amy’s father and I finally directed her onto the right path and the whole process only took about 5 minutes. But how many times do we wander for hours, days, weeks, because we are unwilling to ask for help as soon as we realize we are lost. We become afraid because we don’t know where we are. We fail to call on the One with the aerial view of the situation. Her father and I could see a bigger picture on the computer map then Amy could while in the middle of her crisis.

If only we could all just learn to turn to God as soon as we realize we are off the path we should be taking! Like Jeff and I looking on the computer’s aerial view, God can see what is ahead and will guide and direct us to the place He wants us to be. As I told Amy, “Don’t focus on how you got turned around! It is easy to do and we all have done it! Just focus on the fact that you figured it out quickly and you now know where you are going.” So many times we can get too caught up in perfectionism in every step we take in life, instead of enjoying the process.  We forget God isn’t looking for someone perfect. He is looking for someone who will walk with Him through this life

 

We forget God isn’t looking for someone perfect. He is looking for someone who will walk with Him through this life

 

Today, I hope this challenges you to ask yourself, “Where am I in this process of life? Am I taking the next steps to go on to a higher level of trusting God?” If He is asking you to do something that you have never done before, let me encourage you to do take that step of faith. Dip your big toe in the sea that lies before you and watch God part it! If you will only take the first step, He will see you through!!