Monday, March 30, 2009

An Open Book

I sat across from him yesterday—across the circle of chairs that made up our Sunday School class. I knew he was going through the same transition as my husband and I were. But he described this phase of life after children and before retirement in quite a unique way. My teacher said the time when you raise your children is like reading a good book—a long book –and when it’s over, you’re left with this empty feeling because you came to the end and hoped you never would.

Then you have to search the shelves for another good book.

I’ve never looked at this time in my life quite this way. As I look back, each chapter of parenthood held suspense and excitement with the ever changing cast of supporting characters as my daughter grew. I watched as she developed and made decisions at the critical crossroads in her life. I cried and I laughed with her and my husband over every day events. But on that final day as I hugged her goodbye when she climbed into the wedding car with her new husband, I knew I’d read the last chapter of that book.

Today I’m still searching for my next good book to read. I’m wondering who the characters will be, where the setting will take place and what issues I’ll have to overcome. I don’t care for the one I’m forced to read right now and sometimes I feel like throwing it down and grabbing a new one but that’s not my choice.

All good books take time to write. I’m thankful I know the Author of mine as well as I do. Do you?


Janna Qualman said...

That's a fantastic analogy.

Coincidentally, writing is a big, deliberate part of me, so that when my girls are raised and gone, I'm not left with no direction, wondering what next?

Sassy Granny ... said...

Powerful! I was taken straight away to those days long ago when my little tribe began setting out on their own. I thought I was better prepared. I was not. Their going left a void that took years to understand, much less fill.

That was well over 10 - 15 years ago, and while the memories linger, so too do the newer memories forged since their going. Adjustments came, and with them acceptance.

It's a process ... a journey like most journeys. And one day it'll be a story you'll pen with grace & passion.


Linda said...

Excellent analogy! I am a thankful that I do know the Author of my book as well. Sometimes I wish He would give me a sneak peak on the next chapter though!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Love the analogy!

I thank God that He is the author of my book...I try to take His instructions to write the best book I can, but often fail miserably. But He takes me back to the "drawing board", sits me down, equips me, gives me direction, support and encouragement. And the story continues...

Lin said...

well there's a sequel to the story as your daughter begins her family and your grandchildren. the book is never finished through generations of time...and eternity.

Jan Cline said...

Well put. Those are the very impressions that fueled my passion to leave a Godly legacy at the end of my life's book. Isnt it a comforting thought to know that our grandchildren will be reading our writings long after we are with Jesus!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Terri, it's sad, I was just looking around my very messed up house after a weekend with my whole family home (I have 3 girls ages 11-15) and scolding myself for wishing them to be raised and moved out so that I didn't have to deal with cleaning up after them anymore.

I'll smarten up now, and be thankful and cherish these years I have left with them still hudling under my wing for warmth and nurturing--even when that nurturing includes cleaning up after them.


Alleluiabelle said...

I am a new comer to your site. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy it. I have two children grown up now and I now have grandchildren. The book never ends. For me, it continues on from generation to generation with God leading me through it, and hopefully leading them as well. My hope is that the legacy I leave behind, will be one of Godliness and true spirit, one that my children and their children will use as a guide to help them along in their pathways in life. Hopefully their characters and morals will shape them into leaders with great empathy and compassion for others and so much more.

I absolutely loved this post.

Peace & Blessings,

Greg C said...

I keep telling myself that one day this chapter will end and I will long to be reading it again. But then I think that I am missing other things and will never get them back again either. What to do, what to do?

Melissa Marsh said...

Great post, Terri. I know the author of my life, too, and I am excited to see where He takes me each and every day.

Jody Hedlund said...

As writers, I love thinking of God as our ultimate Author! Our lives are his books. He knows the beginning and the end and all of the plot twists that we can't see.

Pat's Place said...

I think the book you are "reading" now will have great meaning for you sometime in the future because of the terrific life lessons that you are learning! Later you will write YOUR book about this time!

Yolanda said...

Sister, this preaches!!!

We are in the process of a new sequel in the walkings of our own journey, in the current.

I'm thankful that I know the AUTHOR, and that I also know from walking with Him, that wisdom waits, I don't want to get ahead of Him.


Renee Collins said...

Oh, so sweet and sad. My parents are about to become official empty nesters. They aren't too happy about it. Hopefully, I can move closer to them so that grandkids can help to soften the transition.

Jessica said...

Grandchildren. They're the next chapter. LOL
I'm just kidding. :-)
I hope you find that chapter and enjoy!

Cheryl Wright said...

What a unique and inspiring perspective. What is more important is it abiding truth.

"I’m thankful I know the Author of mine as well as I do." And therein lies our comfort and our confidence.

Technonana said...

I totally get what your teacher said. But that has not been mine and Papa's experience. I guess our family is just too close.
It seems that in our lives on or two of our children, or their families are in some situation that they need us to pray for, or with them. Sometimes they need more than just our prayers, they need a lift, a touch our friendship, counsel, wisdom.
Could be that we just had too many children.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I think we have the same Author. I just hope I listen to Him regularly. :)

Happy "book" searching!

Deborah said...

That's a neat perspective!

We keep adding more kids, so it may be along time before I reach the end of that particular book!

In the meantime, I seem to have so many other 'books' on the go, I don't seem to make much headway in any of them, and sometimes I wonder if I should just put one or two back on the shelf for now!