We are going to call August the ‘Grace period’. Because our daughters are here with us and we are helping them transition to their ‘next chapters’, I keep telling people things like “After August, we’ll have you over for dinner,” “After August I’ll be available for that.” People are very happy to give me a month. And I am comfortable giving myself a month.
I have said publicly that I am not going to start looking for work until January. And I will hold true to that. But yesterday a gray area appeared. I was asked by my husband’s superior if I would meet with two different groups to offer ‘input’. I gave him my standard, “nothing in August” response. And he was fine with that. But the question arose internally, “What are you going to say ‘yes’ to, little girl?”
Am I going to actually rest? Or am I going to fall into my old pattern of getting busy and filling my time? How much is manageable? How much is too much? Certainly a lunch meeting will not interrupt this season of restfulness. A few conversations won’t overtax me, right?
I don’t know.
I have been in Ann Arbor for eleven days. We have unpacked boxes; we have set up our systems in the house — kitchen, laundry, office. We have visited with old friends. We have made new friends. I have blogged. I have walked. I have napped. I have visited two doctors. I have renewed my Michigan driver’s license. I have baked a pie, and made mimosas. I have laughed. I have watched movies. I have almost read a whole book. I opened the first puzzle box.
It’s been lovely. It’s a grace period. A time when I make no commitments. A time to heal. And I already know that August is not going to be enough.
The nest will be empty starting on September 5th. I am going to need grace to adjust to that, I know. After all, the nest has been pretty darn full since 1992! If I start making commitments and filling my calendar I won’t take the time to feel whatever I will feel when they are all gone. And I do want to feel it.
In confirmation class I learned that grace is ‘undeserved favor’. I don’t know why God has given me this gift of time to rest. No one else I know has been given all these months to be still. But who am I to take this gift and throw it away?
I am God’s child. He has given me an undeserved gift of time to be still, to recover, to heal. I am receiving this gift. I need His grace, period. So I will soak Him up during this ‘Grace period’.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9