Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a young mother, looking frazzled and exhausted from caring for her brood of small children walked into church carrying an infant and being trailed by two toddlers. A wise, older woman smiled at her tenderly and said, “Treasure this time, dearie, the years will just fly by.”
The young mother, being polite, smiled and nodded, but on the inside she thought to herself, “The years may fly by, but these minutes are exhausting!”
Indeed they were exhausting, and lovely. Many years have passed, and that infant in the mother’s arms is packed and loaded for college…five hundred miles away. The toddlers? One is a soldier, seven hundred miles away, the other a college-grad, launching a life six hundred miles away. Their older brother? A soon-to-be father, dedicated husband, and businessman two hundred and fifty miles away.
And the mother is remembering that smiling older woman, thinking “she was so right.” The years have flown by. The babies are grown. They are leaving the nest.
And as I sit in this soon-to-be-empty nest, I am filled with thankfulness for these loud, crazy, brilliant, beautiful children that God has loaned to me for a while. It hasn’t all been hearts and flowers, but it has been rich and life-changing. And it’s just beginning!
We are all starting our next chapter — college, career, service, parenthood, and whatever else the Lord has planned. It is a very exciting time, filled with so much emotion. We are excited, anxious, sad, happy, exhilarated….
Last night we had a rare moment where five of us were connected by Skype, laughing and smiling. I drank it in. I have been so blessed to have these amazing humans inhabit my nest. I know they will periodically land here. I look forward to it.
Children are a heritage from the Lord.