We all get busy in our lives, especially when we're raising our families.
It's fair to say - however, that my family raising days are now behind me. I know a lot
of women that have a really hard time with that transition. From being a day to day mom
in the trenches of raising a family -- to being a 40 or 50 something year old woman
with adult children.
When I got to this place in my life, I wanted a couple of things.
I wanted to be an interesting person apart from my children. Secretly, I wanted
my adult kids to find me such an interesting person that they wanted to spend time
I knew I didn't want to be the kind of parent that called and reminded my adult kids
how long it had been since they had been to see me. I had visions they would call to
see if they could drop by and I would be busy............... sailing down the Nile River......
or biking across America.
Yeah, I would sigh and say, "...oh honey, I'd love for you to come by, but your father and
I are on our way to Wyoming for the weekend.
Or we're helping with a dolphin rescue operation off the coast of Florida.
But, no joke. I want and plan to have a full and valuable life apart from my adult
children -- with my own interests and pursuits.
So.....how is that going?
Over the last few years as my girls started leaving home and I started this
new season of life, God took this period of time in my life (that some might say
is marked by loss) and started adding relationships and friendships into my life.
He did. That's one of the best things about following Him. He looks out for me.
He knows what I need....and He provides it.
So, as He has added these relationships and people into my life, I've become
much more intentional.
Intentional about making time for and investing in relationships.
It's so easy not to do it! It's sort of like making time for exercise. I know I need
to do it. I know it makes me a healthier person. It doesn't happen without me
being intentional.....so I became more intentional this year about people.
I've started penciling in coffee dates.
I started setting up lunch dates.
I started making time for people that are important to me.
I've been catching up with old friends that I haven't seen for a while.
And new friends.
And what came from my quest to be intentional. These wonderful people.
|We pulled a reunion together this year - teammates from last November's Kenya trip;|
I'm telling you. You can have a bond for life with people you travel with!
|Dena is one of my oldest friends. Even though she moved away to Rock Hill,|
we made time this year to meet & catch up. I think it was the first time in two or three years!
It was high time we did! We'll be doing it more often now.
|Heather is a kindred spirit I met on a Kenya trip. Coffee dates or meeting up at church keeps us connected.|
|I fell in love with two Deese's this year - my son & law & my Coffee Underground partner (Josh's sister) Julie.|
|I'm still meeting up with & keeping up with these girls; Amanda, Britt & Marissa;|
we traveled to Kenya together three years ago. They're wonderful.
|My path crossed Chloe's in a way that only God could have arranged. |
Another kindred spirit.
|We worked together over 20 years & when she retired, I followed her to Ninety Six to stay in touch - |
my 90 something year old friend , Martha Sligh. I've learned a lot from this woman through the years!
|It's funny. My own children were leaving home so I just "adopted" a few more, including Melissa.|
|We traveled to Kenya together twice - roommates on my first trip. |
Now, Karen & I meet at Starbucks whenever we can schedule it.
|One of my favorite lunch dates this year was with my niece. It was the first time she & I made time|
for a meal & a visit with just the two of us. It was great!
|She's been part of my family for years & now we're watching her own family grow.|
Time with the Kinney's & my great god-son, Grayson are the best.
What if we looked at the possibilities instead.
Here's what I believe.
I was an individual before my kids came along.
I'm an individual now that they're grown.
Life can still be really good. And valuable. And abundant.
My family raising days may be behind me, but there's still people to invest in and people
to care about. Shoot. I think my best days are still ahead of me.
(Smile.) And if I'm not here when you come by.......I may be trekking
in the Alaskan wilderness or more likely.......in the bush of some remote African village.
Or, I may just be off being intentional with somebody over coffee.
Just tell my kids, I'll be back soon.