Sometimes our temporal lives seem so mundane. We get up, we go to work, and we come home. In between we eat, talk, complete the necessary aspects of life that need attended to, and sleep.
We find entertainment and escape from the drudgery of toil in different ways. For some, it’s opening up a good book (or their Kindle). For others, it’s mindlessly watching television or videos. For yet others, it’s whiling away hours on the laptop playing games.
But that kind of life leaves us feeling empty, I think. And I must confess I can easily fall into this same trap of dull, routine tedium.
Life has been busy and full in Mama’s Empty Nest as most of you regular readers know. But even with all the activity, monotony occasionally sets in. And when it does, it causes me to ponder what will happen when all the hustle and bustle dies down. Because it most surely will. Just as morning follows night. As the sun rises, so does it set.
In between all the moments of joy the last few months, I’ve encountered sober moments as well. Yesterday was one of those days. I shed tears of sympathy and grief with a friend who recently and unexpectedly lost her husband. I listened as she shared her struggles in dealing with his death, changes that are taking place in her life, and huge decisions she is facing. And I cried with and for her.
Later in the day, my feelings got hurt by someone dear to me and that brought me close to tears. I realized I was being overly sensitive, no doubt due to the melancholy atmosphere of my day. But then, as I examined my thought processes, another reality of life slammed into me producing tears yet again.
Our first child is getting married last in the queue of family weddings. And while that brings me exquisite joy, it will be a bittersweet time for my husband and me.
Last year, she moved from the Deep South back to our home state with a new job in our nearest city. What joy that brought to our hearts to have her near home once again!
She lived in an apartment in the city with her sister, our middle daughter, until that daughter got married and the lease was up for the place. Since oldest daughter’s plans for life after marriage weren’t finalized yet, she moved back home with Mama and Papa temporarily about a month after her sister married and moved to the state just south of us.
But now, with her upcoming marriage, oldest daughter will once again move away. She and her fiancé will commence their united life in his home state, about a seven hour drive away from our home nest.
With that reality, middle daughter and son-in-law living a couple hours from here, and knowing son and his bride-to-be also will live several hours away in a different direction, it’s like going through those old empty nest feelings all over again. The thought of all my children (all six of them!) scattered away from our home dampened this mama’s day and threatened to drown my joyful heart.
I retired for the night feeling tired, emotion-filled, and weary. When I awoke this morning, crisp, cool fall-like air wafted through our open bedroom windows. Bright sunshine flooded the room as I opened the blinds. Birds sang their happy tunes and I heard the whoosh of school bus brakes as it stopped to pick up neighborhood children.
The promise of a beautiful day showed itself and I had the day off work. Still a hint of gloominess grasped my thoughts. I stumbled down the stairs with a basketful of towels to launder, threw them in the washer, and placed a full tea kettle on the stove for a steaming hot cup of tea.
While waiting for the familiar whistle of the kettle, I washed a few stray travel cups that were left in the kitchen sink from yesterday. I glanced outside my kitchen window and that’s when I saw it.
I stared at it again, perplexed. I tilted my head, changed my location and viewpoint, and scrutinized the sight again. And that’s when I grabbed my camera and inspiration washed over me.
Not just any inspiration, God-inspired encouragement. This scripture resonated in my mind: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” ~ Psalm 8:2-4
As I stepped into the cool, dewy wet grass of my back yard with the warmth of glorious sunshine radiating on my back, I snapped a picture of something that wasn’t there yesterday or I just had not noticed it in my gloomy frame of mind.
And I knew in my heart that this sign was God telling me He knows my heart, He knows my fears, He knows my mother’s heartache and joy, and He cares. And He will fill my empty nest with His love, His goodness, His mercy.
Martin Luther wrote, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
I found that statement to be most true today in yet another chapter of my life’s book of opportunity. It was as if God displayed His Word written right in front of my eyes this morning. So what did I see?
It might seem ordinary to some, but not to me. For about a week, I’ve noticed tent worms had spun their cobweb-like wispy ‘tent’ on a tree bordering our property.
This tent spread out willy-nilly with no defining shape to it whatsoever….until this morning.
This morning that previously shapeless tent was formed into a star (click on my photo at left to enlarge).
A star with a message to me from my Father God. “Shine on, my daughter, shine on. I will always be with you even in your empty nest.”
“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” ~ E. M. Forster
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