It has been several years since I quit working. It was a total change of schedule for me and, admittedly, I found myself with plenty of “free” time on my hands. Sometimes, too much free time. During those first weeks (maybe months) of being at home, I was not only trying to create a “new normal” but also continually trying to evaluate (and reevaluate) my sense of identity. Shortly after leaving my job, I wrote in a blog post:
“I find myself in somewhat of a new season in my life. Suddenly, I am a SAHM…but not really “M” (or Mom) as that acronym implies. My children are adults. So, I am a Stay At Home…what? I’ve thought much about a correct title but defining this time of my life has been tricky – even trickier than finding initials to identify it.”
Of course, life fell into a new rhythm. I discovered a real passion for volunteering. I was able to embrace new hobbies, join new Bible studies (which I always enjoy) and even began to push myself out of my comfort zone. At least, a little bit:) It is no secret I thrive on structure. I’ve mentioned it many times here on the blog. I like a predictable rhythm to life. No one will ever accuse me of being a “fly by the seat of her pants” kind of girl. But, once again, change has interrupted my rhythm. Things look different – especially that empty bedroom. Things feel different. Things are different.
That post I mentioned above went on to say:
“For sure, I have more time. And, for sure, I want to be busy. I have the time to accept all types of invitations and to say yes to lots of opportunities. However, I don’t want to simply be busy, I want to be productive and, more importantly, I need to be a wise steward of my time. God has not allowed me extra hours in my day to simply occupy – or preoccupy myself. Even in this phase of life, I need to seek His guidance and accept only those offers to be engaged or to get involved or make those choices “to do” that would be a wise use of my time and would be pleasing to Him. I want to accept – or decline – invitations and opportunities that help me “number my days” – use my days – wisely.
Ah, no doubt there can be wisdom in looking back…and in re-reading your own posts. Words I once wrote to encourage others, now encourage me:) I feel much the same way as I did three years ago. I want to be productive and I want to be busy; however, my real desire is to be a wise steward of my time. It is easy to become “blinded” by circumstances and to become focused on all that I see as negative or challenges. If I am not careful, the enemy’s lies start to make sense. Lies such as: it’s too late to start or to do something new…..or you’re old….or, even, its time to just take it easy and relax (code word for do nothing.)
I believe whatever stage of life, whatever phase your nest is in or whatever life’s situation might currently be – God has something for you to do. God has a plan and a specific purpose. And, God has abundant blessings (rich for the enjoying) if we will simply obey and follow as He leads! I don’t want to miss those blessings or the joy that comes with walking through each day – through each new season and phase of life – with Him. How are you embracing – taking full advantage – of the season of life you are in? If you are in this empty nest (or as someone recently said, “the open nest”) season, what blessings to do you enjoy that are specific to these days? I look forward to what God has in store!
Psalm 140:13 “Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in the presence.”