I used to keep a diary as a little girl. My sister always had one with a lock and key (Like those were made so rock solid) so I wanted one too. My first one was made of thick pink plastic and if I recall correctly it had Hello Kitty on the front. Wow, she has survived the test of time hasn’t she? The lock and key only added to the importance of the secret contents. I didn’t share much. I remember writing about what boy I liked and who my friends were at school. A lot of B.F + ? And crossing out the letters you share in a boys name to equate a percentage of how much your love is worth. Like actual scientific information that does not lie. It’s 4ever you know!

However insignificant the contents were of my young life diary, the act of writing down stuff has always continued. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert or maybe it’s because I don’t like conflict but either way the stuff has to come out in some way or I might explode. Over the years I have started many journals (as we adults now call them). Journals about my kids. Journals dedicated to certain seasons of life and some reserved for prayers only between me and God. I’ve mentioned before that blogging is therapeutic to me. Cheaper than therapy so my husband is good with it. My first blog was birthed out of our beautiful journey called adoption and as I look back God was preparing me for the next craziest summer of my life; the empty nest. Not a true empty nest because we still have 7 year old Zoe but my first two are leaving. Flying the coop! I have witnessed many a baby robin leave its nest from my office window. Hours have been spent spying on a nest that robin families have enjoyed for at least 7 years. I’ve rescued two when they fumbled out of their nest and ended up in my garage. One hopped in an open door and ended up in the kitchen of our upstairs apartment. I love how the mom and dad bird stand by and continue to feed the adolescent bird and guide it off to wherever the family meets up after all the kids have safely moved on. Maybe somewhere fun like Jamaica.

So ya, I have a lot to blog about. I have survived my daughter’s graduation party and stood by while she navigates where she should go at the age of 18. My son graduated college, helped plan his wedding while working full time, and we have hosted a wedding shower at the house back in July. My sprained ankle in May just added to the fact that I needed to slow down and enjoy. Really I couldn’t continue with my running training and had to rely on others helping so it was a blessing in disguise? That’s debatable but regardless, the clock keeps ticking and here we are 10 days from the ‘I do’s’ and then he moves out of state. I’m so full of emotion and I have to process what is happening in a short amount of time. Well actually that’s where I feel some moms might be a little more overwhelmed than me. I have been processing it all along. I remember sending Jacob off to school for the first time at age 10 and cried when he came home and was too exhausted to talk to me. We had bonded through homeschooling so no matter what age he was I was struggling to cope. I was processing when my daughter, Blaire, first chose a sleepover with friends over hanging out with mom and dad for movie night. Something that we later embraced and she has had countless sleepovers in our home. Of course I miss the questions about what topic to choose for their speech or joining them on field trips. I miss celebrating their sporting victories and consoling them in their losses. I’m still a mom. I’ve prepared them for this very moment. One is marrying the love of his life. At age 17 Jacob knew she was the one. I will look on with tears of joy (in my eyes only to not smudge my makeup) that God helped me raise such a fine young man. In three weeks I will kiss the tear streamed face of my 18 year old and hug her in a proud mom embrace as I know she was raised to make wise choices and follow God’s path. Blaire is heading to my school so this just adds an extra dose of happiness and I know she is in good hands. We never stop being their mom. We can mourn the fun years of singing songs together and watching our kids learn a new skill. A time when they really needed you. But as I look at it relying on me will never change. Creating a safe place to come back to provides stability in their life and now I just need to work on that fine line of encouragement and meddling.

To all my friends who are saying goodbye to a child at whatever age, enjoy this like when they were finally out of diapers. The moment you begin to realize they don’t need you cleaning up after every decision they make. They don’t need you to hold their hand but my kids know I will still be their cheerleader and my door is always open.

Yesterday a friend prayed for provision for my family. That’s the perfect word for our year. I’m asking God to provide wisdom to my children in their new phase of life. I’m asking God to provide the necessary needs after marriage and where he plants them. I’m asking God to provide support and care I need to gracefully move through this new stage of life and I pray for God to provide friends and mentors who can stand by them when I cannot. That is how I was taught to mother and although never perfect I can sit back and watch how this new chapter unfolds. Oh, and I bought a new journal for it already.

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

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