And like that, it’s Quiet.

It's official--I have all school aged children. And they seem really happy about it. A 7th grader, 4th grader, and Kindergartner. Oh life, you keep changing.

The silence is almost eery around here, and when I poured my cup of coffee just now it had a lonely ring to it as it filled it’s way to the top. Even the washer has stopped and the only sound is the ticking of a clock in the other room.

It’s weird. All three of my babies are in school now. And if you think about it, I have 12 years worth of noise and child-like hubbub to wind down from, since it’s been 12 years of always having at least one kiddo underfoot.

12 years can seem long and it can seem short. When you think about it looking forward, it seems like it’ll never come, like there’s plenty of time left, plenty of days to make memories and do the things that Moms with littles do. But then when you get there and all of a sudden your littles walk into school all on their own, and even have to be reminded to get a hug, you look back and it seems like a blink of an eye.

I think this process of sending your kids off to school in stages is good. I honestly can’t imagine having them all at home for 18 years and then sending one to college cold turkey. Lots of people do it, I just think for me I would probably have to go into hiding for a couple of months to recover from the grief and the shock and the change.

I remember the last few days of school this past May when Landis and I did things together “for the last time,” like snuggle in my bed and read books, snuggle on the couch and watch movies, play hide and seek and Go Fish. And it was good, but I just don’t think you can ever feel like you’ve had enough.

I don’t think you can make enough memories with someone to where you think, “Okay, I’ve had enough, my cup is full, go and do your thing and live your life, we are done here.”

And I guess that’s the beauty of relationship, whether it’s between husband and wife, parent and child, or friends, that if you love each other, you really aren’t ever going to feel like you’ve had enough time together. So it’s good, but it’s also a little sad.

People keep asking me, “So what are you going to do with yourself now that your kids are in school?” A completely reasonable question, really. The truth is, I feel just as busy when they are in school as when they are home, it’s just a different kind of busy, and with less noise (which has it’s perks).

Really, the day just shifts–I get stuff done while they are at school and then I focus on them when they are home–homework, eating, extracurriculars, etc.

That said, there is a part of me that wonders what I can do with my creative side now that life is changing for us. I’m thinking about ways that I’ve set aside things in my life to be focused on raising my kids, and wondering how I can purpose my time and be creative again, as my creative juices have been put on the back burner in recent years.

God spoke to my heart this morning and reminded me Psalm 44:21b,

“He knows the secrets of the heart,”  

Of MY heart, which is both a comfort and a bit nerve racking. But mostly comforting in this circumstance when I don’t fully know how this next phase of like will look (truly, we never know, right?).

It’s uncharted waters for me, and I honestly don’t just want to spend my time washing dishes and toilets, as glamorous as that is. But He knows, He knows what my strengths and weaknesses are, He knows and lovingly relates to the conflicts in my heart, He knows my sorrows, my joys, He knows even this, the separation of parent and child and the newness of this change.

I’m trusting Him and praying that He will direct me into wisely using my time, remembering Colossians 3:23-24,

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance;

for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Praying that I would listen well to the keeper of my soul, and not be tempted to do things for the sake of pleasing others, or to look good in other’s eyes, or to keep up with them or somehow feel good about myself.

Praying that I would truly believe that we are created and loved individually by Him, and each of our lives looks different from each other, and that is part of the amazing beauty of creation–the differences and the freedom in those differences.

I’m praying that I will feel the freedom to choose something creative to do with my time, even if parts of my house are dirty or disorganized and my to-do list isn’t fully complete.

There are going to be things that threaten to press in on my time that I know in my heart aren’t going to be the best for me or my family, and I’m praying for discernment in making the right choices for us, and not feeling the need to explain to others why or why not.

It’s a new era unfolding here in this home, and mostly, I think I’m gonna like it.


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