Echoing Emptiness

27 May

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve thought about it, turned it over in my mind, prayed……I don’t like empty nests.

I don’t like empty cabins at the end of family camp or vacations. I don’t like saying good-by at airports. I don’t like standing at gravesides, snapping a flower off the spray and walking back to the car. I don’t like endings.

My life is filled with more “good-byes” right now than “hellos”. More letting go. More packing memories away in boxes. I don’t like it but it’s where I am at this season of my life.

If you are a mom who danced as the last child passed through your door on their way to jobs or college, this blog is not for you.

Empty nest for me has been a ripping and a tearing. It has been an opportunity to lean into God. There haven’t been huge revelations, more a stripping down to the bare me. And it hasn’t been fun.

I was made to be a mom. My husband and I talked before he proposed and our dreams were alike. He wanted a wife who wanted to be home and I wanted nothing more than the freedom to be home and raise my kids full-time. We were a match.

Not only was my dream fulfilled to be home with my kids but I got even more in the bargain. God lead us down the homeschool path and I lived the life of my dreams, spending every day with my four gifts from God.

But time moves relentlessly forward and the end of good things comes… leading to……echoes and emptiness.

I’ve filled my time since my kids are grown and gone with art classes, writing, phone calls to kids all over the globe and precious new grandchildren. But still there is an aching emptiness.

As a class project in my first oil painting class, I was challenged to paint a landscape with an object.. pretty open-ended but as I am very literal; mine had to have meaning. I was praying about the raw emptiness in my life when the verse in John 7:38 came to mind. “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” This painting is my prayer or maybe my claim to a promise that I will be filled – in my echoing emptiness.
Farm landscape with river flowing from large pottery jarEmptiness can be good. It gets me down to nothing plus God. I cannot refill my life with anything satisfying but when in my emptiness, He comes tumbling, pouring forth, spraying and splashing over me and those I encounter, I pray my life, in this end season, bears fruit that lasts for eternity.

I blogged for years about MommyLife, (it’s still there). Join me on this next journey as I write about new things: grandparenting, empty nest, discovering that I am an artist and more. Who know where this will lead. It will always be real, sometimes funny and praying it always inspires.

Finding Beauty in the Emptiness,