Lessons from the Nest

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It’s no secret that I struggled when it came time for our youngest to go off to college.

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Classic, huh?  Kinda funny now, but I can tell you that I was in no way faking how I was feeling.

Sometimes when we’re in the midst of a struggle we often see only the difficulty and can miss the blessing.  The first few months after we left our  son at college (5 hours away), I moped around in quiet loneliness.

Having four children these days is considered a large family, and our home was often occupied by many more than the six of us, which meant that it was seldom quiet!  Memories of laughing, playing, hungry children far overshadowed memories of sleep deprivation, piles of dishes and loads of laundry.  There wasn’t a room in the house that wasn’t full of memories that could make me cry.

It was only a couple of months after beginning this new season of life that my husband and I traveled to his alma-mater–Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

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He was asked to come speak in chapel to the football team.  He played football all four years and was co-captain his senior year, so he was thrilled at the opportunity.  I didn’t attend Wheaton, so I was just a tag-a-long… or so I thought.

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“You will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart.”  A well-known truth from Jeremiah is deeply imprinted on my heart.  Well, I had been seeking God, and He knew right where I was–physically and emotionally.  My wonderful husband was looking forward to this new season of life–and was looking at it from a completely different perspective than me.  I struggled to even talk to him about it for fear that he would think that I wasn’t as excited about our new “freedom”.  This was supposed to be a time of re-discovery and new adventures.  This trip down memory lane was kind of the beginning of a new chapter.  One where I could freely travel with him, when in the past I would have needed to stay home with the kids.

I knew that he would do a great job speaking to these young men, not just because he had been where they are now, but because of his passion for the sport and the spiritual lessons it had taught him.

What I didn’t expect was that the message I was to hear didn’t come through him, but through the young men who stood to testify to their peers.  Three senior athletes shared their testimony of how God had saved them and led them to attend Wheaton and play football.  Every story was different, with one similarity.  All three of these young men spoke of their grandparents and the powerful impact they had made in their lives…  That night it was as though God said to me, “See, Vickie! I’m not finished with you yet!  This high calling–of wife and mom–is a forever calling.  You will continue to have an impact for generations to come!”

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I fully believe that a mother’s job is never done.  We never stop caring, praying and loving on our children, and the mission continues as those precious grandchildren come into our lives.

My nest will always be a resting place: HOME

Never vacant:  full of love.

Never unoccupied:  a place of refuge.

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It’s not uncommon for me to think back on those days and cry–but more often now those tears are not the heart-wrenching “those days are gone” tears, but the “Oh, how blessed I’ve been!” tears of joy.

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  6 comments for “Lessons from the Nest

  1. May 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Kim, I am so sorry for your loss! You can see from my post in June of last year that we lost my dear and beloved father-in-law. There are so many changes we go through in this season of life… many that are incredibly difficult, but thankfully we don’t have to bear the burden on our own. I have learned to rely more fully on the Lord and pour out my heart to Him. He is faithful!

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  2. Kim
    May 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I love this post. I will try to remember it when I am confronted with my own empty nest, but for now it resonates with me as this past year was full of change. My lovely mom was moved to a nursing home and two siblings were diagnosed with cancer…so much has changed in my daily life because of it…trying to remember that a new path is not always a bad path- I suppose even under unfortunate circumstances there can be silver linings and growth.

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  3. April 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks, Denise! I am so thankful for such a loving family! ❤

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  4. denise
    April 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Such a sweet story. And what an amazing legacy u r leaving. You r a special gift to yor kids and grand kids. Love u!

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  5. April 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Linda,
    Thanks so much for your encouragement. We are so thankful for the many wonderful families like yours that God blesses us with over the years. Each of you have a special place in our heart! ❤ I am thrilled that modern technology allows us to stay connected! Keep us informed–we travel to Florida occasionally! :0)

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  6. April 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Vickie,
    I remember way back in 1997 when you impacted my life by your testimony during a Wednesday evening prayer time. I was feeling so down-trodden and wondered if there was anything to life besides vacuuming, cooking, raising kids – wash, rinse, repeat! I came away that night with a new understanding of the very high calling of motherhood and my days since then have not always been easy but you spoke truth and it was a wonderful spritual marker in my life.

    I feel the same way today and you write this. We’re not grandparents yet but the nest is empty and we are embarking on a new path with our return to FL to take care of our parents. God provides and continues to bless and I know my years of mothering and caring for others is not over.

    You and Doug will always remain a very special part of our life. We never take forgranted our wonderful two years at FBC O’Fallon. Love you guys!! Keep writing and sharing.

    Linda Safford

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