In the past 4 months, I would bet most of you have experienced change. LOTS. OF. CHANGE.
Prior to COVID my husband and I were anticipating a soon-to-be empty nest. June was our deadline to have both of our adult sons out of the home and on their own.
Until the whole world was flipped upside down and our old ways of living turned into a “new norm.”
Not ones who get too upset by change we figured, what’s a few more months? We’ve come this far with the boys at home, what’s a little more time?
But let me be real here. We were disappointed.
Now don’t get me wrong, we love our boys. Like many of you, outside of breaking the law or something like bungee jumping off a bridge, The Hubs and I would do anything for them.
But when our plans for empty nesting flew out the window, we had to seriously take a step back and reevaluate the next timeline. How long would they be staying? When would they leaving? With COVID always looming over our daily lives, would they be leaving?
Eventually our disappointment washed away, we began accepting that we don’t know what tomorrow brings. We can plan and prepare but until the opportunity to actually help our sons move out, we’re all in a status quo.
This was our lives until, 2 months ago, our lives changed yet again. Expectations of a future tomorrow where the it’ll just be me and The Hubs once again flew out the window faster than a fly being chased by a swatter.
Mom moved home.
Yep. You read that right.
Mom moved home.
Dad passed away almost 2 years ago and the grief for mom is overwhelming. She feels lost. No one and no where feels like home. Which is understandable because let’s face it, you can’t live 50+ years with a spouse and expect to go on living as if nothing’s changed the moment the funeral is over.
Grief, loss and loneliness come in waves. They crash into her day like an unexpected tsunami leaving emotional debris and destruction in its wake.
So when the call came that she was thinking she’d like to come up for the summer, I had to be really honest, like, look Ma, we’re at capacity, but if you want to jump in, we’re here to catch you.
Jump she did.
Which basically equates to 5 humans and 4 dogs under 1 roof.
So how are we coping-slash-surviving?
Grace, grace, grace, grace, grace, grace, grace, grace upon more grace, upon more grace, grace, grace, grace and finally…grace!
Yep. All from the good Lord above.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
God’s grace. My weakness. His perfect sufficiency.
We’ve all come to reside under one roof. Seeking rest and healing from all of our own individual trials. We are broken people with disappointments, hurt, anger, frustration and now COVID. Seriously…if my house isn’t the next Instapot ready to explode I’m not sure what is.
God is able. With lots of prayers, God is able to give grace and understanding on a moment to moment basis.
Let’s be real here. It’s not all roses and candy. There are testy moments because of unspoken expectations, misunderstandings when we stop being the poster child of “we’ve got it all under control” and fight our human nature to simply explode on one another.
Prayers are my lifeline.
It’s not easy. Trust me. There are moments when I’m caught in the crossfire of a rebellious adult child and my mother giving me the “you-oughta-do -something-right-this-minute” look.
Yes, there are moments when my sanity is tested. That’s when I walk away. Clearer heads prevail. Emotions, tend to get me in trouble and make matters worse.
God is able.
He alone is abundantly capable to heal our damaged lives while giving us the tools to gracefully co-exist in a multi-generational home.
When we as believers sit at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to lead us in this new life we can find rest, strength, wisdom, grace and every tool necessary to walk with the grace of Christ in the challenges we face.
Yes it’s possible.
No it’s not easy.
It’s a bumpy ride. This is life and family. Not the Instagram version. I’m talking about the dark side. Unspoken hopes. Old hurts resurfacing. Bad habits driving everyone bonkers. Tears, arguments, curse words. All of it.
Maybe you’re like us. Kids and parents are knocking on your door and you’re watching your freedom and empty-nest expectations evaporate right before your eyes and you’re wondering if you’ll ever have quiet again. Or maybe you’re the ones forced to go back home and it feels like failure.
Pray. In every conversation. In every moment, seek His wisdom and then do what He asks you to do. Sometimes He’ll take you out of your comfort zone to engage in challenging conversations. Sometimes the Lord may ask you to step out and pray openly for your family at the evening meal which may start a firestorm.
Just remember, God created families. He loves your family and wants your home to be filled with love, grace, joy and peace so that you may be the example of all the goodness of God to a waiting world that destroys and tears apart families.
I hope this encourages you today to remember God’s goodness in every part of your life, whether it is empty-nesting, feeling the squeeze of family members moving in or if you’re the one moving home.
May you take time to honor the Lord and thank Him for it all.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise!” ~ Psalm 111:10
Until next time,
Blessings and best wishes,