Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stretching out our tent

Alone at last.
At least for this morning.
When was the last time I woke up to an empty house?
At our ages, most people are empty-nesters with kids who come home for (in)frequent visits. Guests who leave after three days or there abouts.  But we aren't most people. Never have been. We've have extra people in our house so often, we actually built a room on our garage once (meant to be my craft room) just to have the space to house the overflow.

And we aren't the only ones who have grown kids to move back home. It's a phenomena in this age unprecedented in earlier generations when life was simpler, housing less expensive (at least in this neck of the woods--though we watch House Hunters and are stunned to see the prices of homes in the mid and southern parts of the country!), and jobs easier to find. And, of course, we didn't push our kids toward marketable professions, rather those things about which they had real passions. It's the idealistic of us, some might say, that allowed for this. I tend to believe it was the sense that God created us with certain gifts and passions and has His hand on each of us.

It's that same sense, that He is in such things, that has not closed the door on our children returning home after college. Each has now done it for a period of time. For very dis-similar reasons, of course. One was absolutely because a hoped-for job had dried up when the economy did. Now she's on the cusp of her life coming together in ways she couldn't have envisioned when she had to take a job that merely paid the bills (and paid well, I must say!).

The next, of course, has returned home because home is the best place to be while struggling with a disease that has felled his dreams and made short-shift of most of his life. 'Back home' to him is the safety net that allows him to breathe when each day breathing itself is the struggle. And though we don't know how to do this--how to live with and 'parent' an adult child who isn't quite his chronological age because of that illness--we're glad to know where he is each night, that he's safe, that he feels safe here.

And the third has purposely, prayerfully returned home to pursue a business venture that is quite a risk for a person of her age. Living at home for a season defrays that risk to a certain point. We can't imagine she'll manage to stay home for long; she's been away for five years, is too social, needs more space than is possible in our home. We didn't expect this so are glad to have her while it lasts. And if this risk doesn't pan out, she'll be off on another adventure before we can blink our eyes. It's in her dramatic nature. We might as well stop the tide.

But for this morning, I'm alone. BB has driven off to begin his new job on the island where he'll create his new life. I can hardly wait to hear what that life will become out there. We'll wait until... Saturday afternoon before we go chasing out there (with a load of his things!) to check out his new digs.  It's been great having him here all summer, but I have to admit, I'm excited that he's beginning his own life in his own home. Mostly for his sake. Only a little for mine (and Beve's).

So the year begins with a whimper. For today it's quiet. The two adult kids who still have rooms here are in Seattle today--one for a birthday, one for a wedding.  So I sit quietly, meditating of the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. "Enlarge the site of your tents," Isaiah 54 says. "And let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left...Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace." (Isaiah 54: 2-3, 4)


Pamela M. Steiner said...

Oh, I am SO with you on this one!!! The reason we moved this past Feb. was because we had to enlarge the place of our tent for two of our adult sons to live with us...and now we may be adding my mother in law in the near future. We love having an active home filled with laughter and people...just like you. But yes, those "sounds of silence" are also very nice for a while... Enjoy your family! You are blessed.

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