Life always changes; dynamics call for bravery

Life always changes, but this academic year is the beginning of a lot of ends for me.

A son is in the process of buying a fixer upper house and moving out. Another son is starting his last year of college which means launching into his career at the end. One daughter is getting her driver’s license and likely her first job. My youngest daughter is finishing home school.

Life’s one constant is that it always changes. For me, the beginning of these ends starts on Sunday as we move our son back to college one last time to start his job as a resident assistant.

Though it may seem cliche, it’s true. Time does speed by. It does feel like just a short time ago I wrestled with thinking I would never get a full night’s sleep or ever get through potty training.

It ought not feel scary buckling in with a new driver, but it is. I’m trusting her to listen and remember what she has been taught as I hand her the keys and let her merge into traffic. Driving can be life and death, so yes, it is a big deal even if I do know she’s smart and careful. When she’s driving, she has everyone’s safety to consider not just her own. Besides, I listened in on some of her driver’s education online teachings. That’s right. They had to pass the tissues. If anything, that made an impact. Ha ha.

As my kids purchase homes, it’s exciting. It also is clear that I’m not as young as I think I am. Since I’m older and wiser, I’m well aware of the trials that present themselves when you accept that responsibility. He loves construction and has great ideas. This transformation will be amazing, I have no doubt. Still, this mama gets on her knees and prays for the Lord’s care.

As a parent, I wonder, did I teach them everything I needed to, and were they listening? Will they eat right and clean properly? Will they make sure they turned off the gas and unplugged the toaster? Will they remember to call mama once in a while or at least send a silly GIF? Did my parents feel this way about me and my siblings?

I have heard parents say they couldn’t wait for their children to move out. I like hanging out with my kids so I have mixed emotions. Yes, it’s a proud day when they become self-supported and independent. (They can pay their own bills, hurray!) Still, it’s the end of a chapter in life so it’s a little bittersweet, just the same.

Now comes the planning for the next chapter, the dreaming of doing what I’ve put off for over two decades. Certainly, I’m still needed as a mom, but I will have more freedom myself. I can invest more time in my writing.

I’m not the same starry-eyed college graduate and newlywed I was, but the dreams that germinated back with the encouragement of an English teacher and even earlier with my love of books is still alive and well. I don’t know how it all will pan out.

I know that when one part of life ends, another begins. Beginnings can be exciting and even a little scary. In 365 days, we’ll have to touch base to see what wonders are appearing on the horizon. But then it will include encouraging another to be brave in a new environment just as I will be being brave in my new environment. I’m sure I’ll need tissues.

And all along, I’ll be asking, “Did I do enough?” I already know the answer. I did my best, and that’s all any of us can do.

What changes do you expect in the coming year?

11 thoughts on “Life always changes; dynamics call for bravery

  1. It’s true, our time with them under our roof is fleeting! Beginnings are scary, but it is so exciting to see them spread their wings, isn’t it?
    Thanks for sharing, Michelle! You and Pat have raised some extra ordinary people!

  2. Oh boy. They leave home, sometimes they have to come back, and then you help, they leave…and so the circle continues. And then…someday….grandkids will enter into the picture, and life is kind of a rerun, but better. Michelle, you have so much to look forward to…the best is yet to come. And yes, your long suppressed dreams will have a space to flourish and grow. I am so excited to see what chapter God is going to write for you next!!!!

  3. Michelle, I love you final comment, “I did my best and that’s all any of us can do.” We so often beat our heads again a wall trying to do more than we are capable of doing, a more than Jesus planned for us to do. But we CAN do our best in what we able to do. I took a trip down memory lane as I read your post, thinking of our three graduating high school and college. One moving to Missouri and then Texas as getting married, having their son born there, and finally back home again. The younger one going through law school and then moving to Austin, Texas, where he got married and had a son, and is now contemplating retiring from his government job after 30 years. And our daughter (the oldest), who retired from her income tax preparer business a couple of years ago, and now enjoying her four grandchildren. When we stop to think about it, we have all lived an exciting life.

    1. That’s a beautiful perception to share with us, Donna! Thank you for sharing about your own family. It certainly seems true that life is never dull. We may perceive it as so at times, but looking back, it doesn’t seem so. It just speeds by. As life goes along, we accumulate more people to love. That, of course, is the best part. 🙂

    2. Michelle, I apologize for all the typos. We were getting ready to go for the visitation for a very dear friend (our daughter’s father-in-law), and I was in a rush. I should have waited.

  4. Change comes in many fashions. I will have a children’s book published soon. Writing more Christian fiction and non-fiction stories, too. The change comes daily in finding time to write amidst daily activities. I am thankful for changes because I am constantly learning.

    1. Congratulations, Melissa! That’s exciting about the soon to be published children’s book. Very cool. You are right about constantly learning. I am eager to branch out in my own writing endeavors. I am thankful for the writing friends and education I am finding through ACFW and Compel. There is so much to learn that I don’t think one can ever get bored!

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