Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Nest With A Revolving Door


I was not prepared for this.

I did what they told me to. Those older wise women in ministry as they reflected reverent behavior. They told us not to slander. Not to drink-if you do, not too much. We were admonished to love our husbands and children. To be discreet in our actions, make sure all of our flirtations and obedience was towards our husbands and NOT make friends with other men. Don’t act like Jezebel. Defer all final decisions to the husband. It’s ok to make suggestions, but in the end his word is law.

It was our job, to make sure God wasn’t blasphemed.

Over the last 20ish years of marriage and kids, I’ve watched my friends feel shame when the economy soured and they went back to work. Those who chose to send their kids to school defending it with, “My husband…” Those who did homeschool explain why their kids needed to go to school. I had friends who wouldn’t invite people over because she wasn’t a good housekeeper.

The cycle continues with the younger moms today. They carry a heavy millstone of obligation to everyone else.

And here I sit.

Two kids in college and yesterday I dropped Girly off for classes that we’ve added to the homeschool schedule. This season is coming to a close.

The season of children.
The season of being that hot wife.
The season of running the home.
The season of everyone else’s agenda.

I’ve spent the last year looking forward to this and also dreading it because it exposes a nasty, uncomfortable question:

What about me?

Friendships were directly tied to who the kids were friends with. Now that most of the boys’ friends are off to college, those moms are off on adventure of discovery. Their nest is completely empty while mine still has a fledglings and a rotating door.

I feel lost.

What about me?

Somehow I got the idea through the women’s ministry to not ask that question. It’s about Jesus. It’s about being God’s representative. It’s about the husband. It’s about the kids.

I feel confused. I’m not the kind of mom who wishes the kids were small again. I’ve loved every stage. Every moment that we passed through was savored. I like being their friend and mentor now. I like watching them make decisions and mistakes themselves. The question haunts:

What about me?

I become irritated with myself. The question sounds pathetic.

So…

In my struggle to find an answer I reflect on all of the women’s retreats, bible studies, groups, sermons and mentoring for an answer. It eludes me. I’m not an older woman who could mentor. I am not a younger woman eager to learn home management, child rearing and husband happiness techniques.

I am in a middle and feel a bit abandoned. I have no clear answer. My thoughts fall to my youth, when the focus simply was loving God and serving others. I wonder if that should have been the message all along.

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