When I was young, I wanted to be older. This is not exactly what I expected.
I envisioned older with the eyes of my younger self. I would be healthy. Energetic. Laughing and full of fun. An ever-ready helper for my middles and littles. Of course I would.
If you're like me, somewhere along the line you've begun to think "Whoa...what happened here?" The truth is, sweet friend, our season is changing. I'm not talking about menopause. Heavens! I sure don't want to go there. No, I'm talking about Time. Relentless, unforgiving Time. It's coming after all of us, one season folding into the next. Reminding us in so many ways that we are older...ever older and older. I just had a birthday so these thoughts are pretty fresh for me.
Several years ago, I found Jan Silvious's book Courage For An Unknown Season. Filled with advice and encouragement, Jan has something helpful to say to all of us, whatever our season. This book could only be written by an older, and she is. (I can say that because we were born the same year.) Not only is Jan an author and speaker, she is a life coach. Hearing her speak is always inspiring. In her book referenced here, she completes the thought of the above quote thus: "We all are living in a world we experience uniquely, becoming who we are and who we will be."
I now find my place in the chapter titled "Head Toward Ninety." Well, crumb. Really? Yes, really. And it's time to "Clean Up After Yourself." When I talk to my friends, this cleaning up thing is one of the many topics of discussion. What do we do with all the STUFF?
There seem to be two schools of thought. Either... "I'm leaving it all here and they can keep it or throw it away"...or "I am not going to leave my kids the mess I've had to clean up." I tend to the latter. After living a life of acquisition and treasuring the treasures we were left with, many of us are hung up with the responsibility of "saving it for the kids." No. Like it or not, the kids don't want it. Whatever it is. Unless it's grandma's diamonds and gold which they will probably sell.
As moms, we are also the repository of their growing-up stuff. My daughters both live in other states. Every time they come to visit, I let them know that anything they can haul out of this house would be greatly appreciated. Especially all the mementos of their lives I've duly treasured all these years. As they go out the door, they call over their shoulder "I'll get it next time, mom!" The answer to that, of course, is box it up and sneak it into their car right before they leave. I'm working on that.
Where do you stand on this timeline? I would love to hear your thoughts on what to do with the stuff. And any other topic of your season that might be on your mind. Leave me a comment and we'll talk. If you're a middle, you might find encouragement here.
Ultimately, as Jan would tell us, this is all temporary. Just a passing place as we head to our final destination with Jesus, where the earthlies have all fallen away and we are surrounded by glory. How lovely is His dwelling place...the courts of the Lord. (Psalm 84)