Monday, August 16, 2010


It's that time of year.
We have been so busy.  Lots of hay was made.  There's all of it yet to haul in.  It seems every single day of summer has been full to the brim.  It went by so quickly and here we are near the end of it already.  This past weekend we decided it was time to celebrate the end of summer, so to speak.  The FourthBorn was packing up and getting ready to go back to college.  This is the LastChild's final year of home school and the cousin who stayed with us a week for his Last Hurrah before school starts,  had to go home.  So we decided to have a barbecue while everybody was still around.  Country ribs with homemade barbecue sauce, fresh corn on the cob, salads, ice cream cake and brownies, lemonade and iced tea made for a good celebration meal.  The grandparents came, the kids were all here (minus one), we played croquet in the yard and visited.  We told jokes and laughed and in the evening we roasted marshmallows over the fire pit coals.  It was a great day.  Then.  Everybody left.

This morning at 7:30 the FourthBorn and LastChild left along with the cousin.  And not long after that, Hubs left for town to do errands.  I was home alone.  Normally, I really like being home alone.  I enjoy puttering around, doing the things I want to accomplish and not having to worry about stopping in the middle of a project to get a meal and then clean it up.  But today felt different.  I went about picking up all the things left behind from yesterday's fun -- the croquet set, the campfire forks, lawn chairs, the extra leaves for the table, sheets to be washed, dishes that didn't make it into the dishwasher.  Then I moved on to tidying up.  I vacuumed and emptied garbage and went to FourthBorn's room and found it so bare and hollow.  Everything was gone except for the bed and a few pictures on the wall.  I cleaned in there, moved the bed and vacuumed and decided to wash up the comforter and bedding.  I've been in this situation before -- the situation when one of the kids moves out to go to college or leaves home to find a job.  It always leaves me hollow.  When the FirstBorn left home I cried all day long and many times through the next week.  It got a wee bit easier with the other children, but the same twinge and the same hollowness always came back for a little while each time it happened.  Then I would begin to count my blessings and the hollowness would go away.

Parenting is such an amazing thing.  You look forward to it.  Then you become one.  Then you don't know what you ever did before you were a parent.  You lack sleep, much sleep.  Later on, you wonder why God made 11 year-olds and think that that year should be a parental sabbatical year.  The teen years you realize what interesting people you are living with and how quickly independence is creeping in between you and your child.  Soon enough, they leave home and you wonder why it's so easy for them and why it's so hard for you.  But we raised them to one day fly on their own.  To be independent.  To fledge the home nest and begin new lives of their own.  It's the way it's supposed to be.

I live in a part of the country where all four seasons are very distinct and each has its own unique gifts.  It seems to me that when one season begins to fade away, the soul longs for it to last just a little longer, but ahead is a whole new season with its challenges, its anticipations, and its blessings incomparable to any other season if I will only embrace it and live it to the hilt.

"Wherever you are, be all there.
Live to the hilt every situation
you believe to be the will of God."
~Jim Elliot


  1. Have I ever told you how much I love your blog? Well I do very much! I can so relate to this hollow feeling and have been there done that many times now and it always hurts. They only thing that makes it a little better is when they get married and have these precious grand children just for you! I have missed you! :D

  2. What a sweet post. I can so identify with all of it.

    The only part about the changes in life that I have not been able to accept yet are the failings of the body! I have been so blessed with excellent health, but I see so many of my friends whose bodies are being treated with medications. That bothers me and scares me; this is something I need to learn to accept. But I'm working on it!

  3. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" Eccl 3:1
    IWhat a wonderful summer celebration you had and a perfect ending wityh campfire etc. So good to have everyone home again and so hard to see them all leave...stages and seasons.
    That will be what my Fall looks like too...but I know God will give me grace for that season as well.
    Thanks for sharng and for your Mother heart toward your family...such a gift to them!

  4. I love that Jim Elliot quote, Jody.
    Oh, I pray for an amazing year for fourth born. He'll have those happy family memories forever in his heart as fuel for future relationship building and real love for when he feels lonely. The parental investment is so holy, so powerful, and so extravagant - just like His eternal love for our wobbly little selves. Are you teaching Hazel Peach how to golf already? She's ALSO storing up family love for the future. Someday soon, she'll be out there giving her life away and impacting others. It's a whirlwind. Yesterday, Birdie hugged and hugged me. She knows I won't be home during the day anymore. ):
    Thank you for your dear friendship. It means a lot to me.

  5. Oh Jody -- you've brought tears to my eyes -- with a chuckle over the parenting sabbatical year -- for me that was at 15. 11 was a piece of cake, by comparison. I do miss my lil' chicks and often wish we could just go back to before they left home. {Sigh.} looks like you had a wonderful end of summer party!

  6. It's funny, even as my children are driving me crazy, which often they do on a daily basis, I don't want them to ever leave! But I know they will and they must, and it will be exciting to see what happens with their lives. Still, I anticipate your hollow feeling.

    And that Jim Elliot quote was something I needed to read this morning!


  7. Your post made me tear up, but for different reason's than the ladies mentioned above. You see, my "chick's" are still that. With a four year old and two year old twins, no family close by and miles from town my breaks are few and far between. Just yesterday I found myself frustrated with the little messes. I realized while reading your post that to soon, will I be praying for little one's again and all their mess. Even if the three little's around here do make me want to run away on occasion. ;D I've got a sewing machine that litteraly yells at me each time I walk in my bedroom. With fall coming on it yell's louder and louder. Thus I want an afternoon of sewing more and more. Thanks for the gentle thump upside the head to snap out of it and scoop up my little's and just be content. There will be plenty of time for sewing in the future.

  8. Rain,

    Enjoy those Littles while they still are little. I remember so well wanting to spend time sewing and I did it too! Even with five kiddos. I tried to steal 10 or 15 minutes a day to sew and it worked pretty well. Little bits at a time. And yes, there is time in your future for sewing. God bless you and the work you do loving on those kids.



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