Wednesday, August 24, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I took the leaf out of that oak table. Tim and I no longer have the need to have the larger table in our kitchen anymore with just the two of us at home now. I actually took the leaf out a few days before Mikayla, our youngest, left for college. She didn't like it. It was not okay to her for that large oval table to now be a small, round table.
But it wasn't the size of the table really that mattered. It's what the table represents - that table that has been a part of our home for as long as our children can remember. I would be telling less than the truth if I said it didn't sadden me just a bit to see its shape change from oval to round. It seems that taking the leaf out gave the whole situation a sense of finality. Tim and I really are in the "empty nest" phase of our life. That's so hard to believe!
It's such a strange feeling with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm so thankful that my children are growing and learning and leaving. I wouldn't want it any other way, really. I'm grateful for the kind of human beings that they are working on becoming -"remembering their Creator in the days of their youth". I'm grateful of the fact that I do believe they have come to understand that walking with God doesn't make the difficulties of life go away but it does make them bearable and that sometimes, here on earth, it's just not going to get any better than that ...bearable. I hope realizing that puts a longing in them for a place so much better.
On the other hand, the house is quieter, the closets are more empty, the table is smaller. All of that kind of leaves a void but I'm working to fill that void with useful, good things. I would never want to waste this time of my life resenting the fact that my children are no longer at the physical place where they grew up. The place where they really are and will always be is a place that can't be seen with the eyes but only felt with the heart.
For now, the extra leaf for the table is in a cool, comfortable resting place waiting for the time when it's pulled out again and put to work. Who knows? Maybe even decorating cookies or coloring with grand kids? I'm looking forward to that time when I can expand it again to it's rightful size!