(A swing full of cousins, summer 2015)
My prayers this week have mostly been for my own kids, the nest nearly empty except for one. A whole flock taking flight and not just small journeys but adventures big and wild. Out there all over the map, out of cellphone range more often than not. Parents at home, and the only connection we’ve got is to HIM. Which of course is the one connection that matters.
And He’s got us covered. Again. As always. Oh, my. It almost makes me feel a little guilty how thoroughly He answers our prayers. If I shared all the details of every story you’d know what I mean and then some. Health and strength and GRACE and wisdom – and this little matter of a brand new passport for a kid 3000 miles from home. (No worries; he’s back now in the nest, safe and sound.)
On Tuesday I got one little text in the middle of the day. Feeling well and the program is going well too! Luke from the mountains, and it’s all that’s needed. Two weeks out on a big excursion, and every so often he’ll randomly find the tiniest signal – quickly sending a line to Mom. Good boy. He probably hasn’t the slightest notion how nine hasty words can answer a prayer.
I was telling someone yesterday about our summer, and how it’s felt a bit nutty so far. One big event followed by another, and it looks like it’ll be this way until the start of school. No one’s fault, just the consequences it seems when you’ve got a passel of kids. The day will come when it will be too quiet. I know in my head this is probably true.
My Wisconsin brother is filling his own nest a bit fuller today. Four littles already and number five almost here. It’s Baby Jack’s family, only he’ll not be the baby for very much longer. My boys absolutely adore these out-of-state cousins, asking often when we’ll see them next. Not often enough, that’s for sure, and almost always in the context of a big family gathering. We’re five of us siblings, plus all of our kids, so when the whole clan gets together you hardly know if you’re coming or going. Like my own Grandma Helen (also mother to five) was famous for saying. UFDA. But she’d always say it with a twinkling eye.
Yesterday I gathered with family ministry leaders from churches all over the metro. We’re joining forces to prepare a conference, this week introducing ourselves to each other. As each of us shared a bit of information, we began to notice a pattern. First it was me, and then several others. We were all of us parents to FIVE. And I’m here to tell you – it’s a LOT of children, whether they’re littles or turning adult.
By the end of today I’ll have three of my own back in the nest, just in time for a holiday weekend. We’ll gather with cousins from two sides of the family for boating and swimming and games of Settlers. Packed around tables devouring Grammy’s food. Enjoying family, but aware of those missing. Siblings and cousins in other places, beginning to build nests of their own. And this, I think, is a mother’s dilemma. Longing for quiet, but missing her children. Not sure if it’s chaos or void she despises the most.
So I thank you, God, for a week’s prayers answered. You were there watching over each crazy adventure. A Father to countless nestfuls of children; all taking flight in every direction. You’ve got each of them covered by your OWN big wings. Today and tomorrow – always, I trust you. In the sweet name of Jesus…
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:26-27
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4