Today, I am amidst mixed-up seasons of life

Fall marks the inevitability of the changes that blow through our lives.

The colors of leaves begin to change, as a gentle warning that life and seasons are changing. Usually, I love fall, but I find this fall hard to bear. It had to happen, but it doesn't make it any easier.

I am grieving and inefficient in my life. Grieving the loss of my mother and the position she once played in my life. Grateful for what she taught me and modeled to me in my early years and for her generous spirit. Mothers can be the one who have a heart especially for you and your needs. The one who says, "You are working too hard! You need a break." or " I was thinking about you and I have a little gift for you." (or I want to take you out to lunch, or I am praying for you, or whatever it is that others do not always remember to do in your life--that is what a mother can be and do.)

I am grieving for what can never be again, for what was not there, for things that can never be made whole.

I am grieving because after 27 years of having my sweet, precious children underfoot and needing me, they are all quite independent and not underfoot. Sarah left and I miss her. Joy is driving herself to college and all the other activities that she is in (2 jobs, a play, a discipleship group and college classes), and so I do miss having my sweet ones here with me, needing me.

I am grateful to see my children thriving. I am grateful to hear their thoughts and ideas and goings and comings. I am a blessed woman. I am happy that Joy is flourishing and got an A on her first college math test--this from a family of artsy people. I am thankful she still comes home at night and I can enjoy her sweet friendship.

I am teaching a monthly mom's group, a leadership group and a once a week mom's Bible study. I am still immersed in scripture and love these women who are in my life. I love my sweet friends who I still share life with--(French cafe, breakfast with pastries, strong coffee, and an hour at IKEA yesterday.)

I am preparing to travel to Tennessee to do another Leadership Intensive with precious friends from 20 years ago and that makes me grateful, that we can all be together in ministry again.

I will spend 3 days with my friend who is like a sister, Gwen. We will sit in her home and cook and read and talk about life and be still in the beauty of a life-long sister-type of friendship, as we take care of her 96 year old mom. She became family for my children when my family disappeared from their lives. She sent cards, Christmas presents, birthday presents, and loved my children when they needed someone besides me.  We, who were missionaries together as young women in Poland, have a lot of memories, faith stories and love and grace between us.

I am praying about helping Clay to find the right surgeon for his back and we are asking for wisdom to do invasive surgery or less invasive--we don't know which to choose. Both will cost us thousands and thousands of dollars as we are a small ministry and do not have great insurance. (pre-existings have also hindered the process.) I am praying for God to supply the needed funds.

I am seeking an oral surgeon for Joy as she needs immediate surgery on her wisdom teeth. Praying for timing since Clay also needs me in his surgery. Praying for more funds to pay for her teeth. (All 4 coming in at once and she has no room and it is all painful.)

I am contemplating my life, what has been good, how to simplify, what to cut out, how to escape the bonds and definition I have lived in and see my life with new eyes. What would He have me do the next season of my life? What does He want from me most? What will life look like now.

I am praying that my children will find godly and matching soul-mates soon and for grandchildren and that they will all love Jesus every day.

I am going for my Saturday morning walk downtown this morning, but this time after 8 years, I will do it by myself. But it is a beautiful day and I know I will find joy.