Tuesday, February 24, 2009

whatever will I do???

Is it fair for me to post a link which also posts another link? I'm not sure, but that's what I am doing. Read them both, if you would. You can then know what inspired my following words.

My 22 years of married life have been filled with raising children. When Hubby and I arrived home from our honeymoon, well....let me just say that "the honeymoon was over." Not in a romantic sense, but in the let's hit the ground running sense. He went off to work in his over-stuffed-with-tools white van. (He was every bit as handsome then as he is now. The white van set off his brilliant smile.) I waved from the window with a toddler in my arms and a 5 year old at my hip.
At age 24, I tucked my music degree in the back depths of an apron pocket, set my sights on things above, and went about making a home-life for my ready-made little family of four.

What were my days filled with?
-cooking and cleaning
-tending the needs of little ones, including learning to french-braid a little girl's long blond hair and finding play-space for matchbox cars.
-reading aloud (Frog & Toad. Dr. Suess. Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel.)
-singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" in the car while running errands.
-walking to the park
-learning what it's like to be married.
-learning what it's like to have two kids.
-stripping beds and hanging out sheets.
-reading all of Dr. Dobson's books on discipline. (This was a crash course.)
-arranging play-dates with other moms who had little ones at home.
-listening, absorbing, and learning from those who were older and more experienced than me.
-teaching myself how to cook my new husband's favorite meals. I was fortunate. He likes everything!
-serving my local church by hosting a home group and leading worship.
-attempting to keep up relationships with my single friends.
-building new relationships with married friends.
-stripping beds and hanging out sheets. Oh wait. I already said that.

A few years into this experience, we welcomed a new baby. And then another one.

Within a short time, I was balancing the teen-years with a whole new wave of toddler-hood.
My husband pastored a busy church. I sang on the worship team, taught Sunday School, and led women's meetings. I headed up the nursery staff, reached out to visitors, and hosted many, many dinners. I volunteered at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. It seemed I was forever wallpapering someone else's dining room. Regularly, I met with other pastor's wives. I volunteered in my little one's classrooms at school. (I was the "reading mom"!) I cheered people with pie, my favorite cure-all.

Spare time? I don't remember any.

Time to myself?
Well, there was a two-week trip to China to visit a friend. THAT was a bit out of the ordinary! (Thanks, Hubby!) But outside of a few hours here and there, I was always needed. In demand. Pushed to the limits in some fashion, be it physical (sick kids!), emotional (naughty kids!), or spiritual (wayward kids!).

Fast forward a dozen years. Two teens are on their own, now in their mid-twenties. Two little ones are well into their teens. #1 Son is off to college very soon. #1 Daughter is growing up way, way too fast. Of the "add-ons" that have lived with us here, Friend #7 recently moved into her own apartment. Friend #37 is studying in China. Friend #12 is sprouting wings, too. She will not be calling 3108 "home" for too much longer.

Recently, I greeted Hubby at the door at the end of his work day. The house was quiet - a rare phenomenon.
"Where is everybody?" he asked.
"Well," I answered. Then I ticked off the list of where all my peeps were roosting. It was a complicated list, as they had all flown off in different directions that night.
Hubby was energized. "Hey! Let's go out to dinner!"
Interestingly enough, I was not as enthused. I sighed a long sigh. I then sighed another one for dramatic effect.

"Those kids should be home in their cribs!" I think I remember wringing my hands and furrowing my brows while I whined this.

I was only half kidding.

A new season means new opportunities . With the independence of my teens comes a bit of breathing space. What shall I fill it with?
I am open to suggestions.

Here is a short list. Some of these things I am already dipping my toe into. -into which I am already dipping my toe. Into. Of. Which.

-more quality time reading the Bible.
-organized time in prayer
-mentoring college-aged girls
-finding new ways to serve my Hubby
-serving young families
-renovating/decorating our new (old!) home.

The list could go on. There's always my "pie-ministry." And also my personal favorite: "kayak-evangelism", in which I paddle down unexplored rivers to seek out any unreached people groups in the North Country.

When I find them, I can always give them pie.


Anonymous Lore said...

I'm #7.

Just so you know.

2:07 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

Friend #7: oh yeah. right.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Cory Reed said...

Brilliant writing. You have a gift. You should be in the newspaper or publish a book.
Beautiful. Engaging. Delightful. Funny. Peaceful. Thought provoking.

10:54 AM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

thanks, Cory!

can't wait to see you in April!!

11:00 AM  

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