What's it like in your home? It's summertime and I bet your home is noisy with the sounds of kids playing...playing games, playing music, playing on the computer, playing sports, playing with each other, right?
Well, right now for me it's a rare moment in my home...nothing but SILENCE.
No music coming from bedrooms, no lively debates being discussed, no sound of kids chasing or playing games, no ping pong or drums going in the basement. Just the quiet tick-tock of our grandfather clock and the faint booming of hunter's guns in the fields behind our home.
When my busy, bubbly kids were little, I remember thinking, " One day, when my children are older and start to leave home, go to college or to work, there will finally be quiet in my own home."
Yep. I admit it. I wished for places of silence in my life. As much as I loved the sounds of life all around me - Jesus said He came to give life and that more abundantly--He certainly had given that to us with seven energetic, creative children! - I longed for moments of stillness throughout most of my parenting and homeschooling years.
Early on in our journey, I came to the realization that I get recharged by being alone. I love other people deeply, especially my family. My very favorite memories are ones spent with my husband and children. Even still, being around people 24/7, even those most precious to me, at times drains me in a way which, though I don't understand, know it does. I feel the need for quiet more strongly the longer I go without it.
Being able to hear myself think, let alone having the time to do so has the effect of expanding my soul, much like taking a really deep, full breath when you're accustomed to everyday normal breathing.
Looking back over 20+ years of homeschooling, I wanted time to relish in the sights and sounds of God's creation right outside my window...in solitude--the song of a cheery spring robin, the lingering golden glow of a fall sunset, the smell of rain in the air just after a summer storm. I dreamed of drinking a cup of tea while it was still hot, of having more than five minutes in a day to read a life-giving book, of writing in my devotional art journal more than once every couple of months.
It seemed like that time would never come...
I have now graduated most of my kids and have only high schoolers left. Bethany and Megan are both married to wonderful godly men; Jesse is finishing his second year of college, and Susanna, also in college, just got married less than a month ago to a great guy as well. I am a happy and very blessed mom.
You might be thinking, at this stage of my life I must be enjoying more stillness and silence than ever, compared to the busyness of being a homeschooling mom of little ones. Not so. Even though the light at the end of our homeschooling tunnel is getting too close for my liking (I really don't want this amazing journey to come to an end), it is still just as busy and full of life in my home as when my kids were little.
My grown children still talk to me often, still need me, still want us to celebrate life together. I have the privilege of listening to, and praying with and for them, asking God to help me strongly encourage and gently lead as they navigate school, work and relationships, all of which I am extremely grateful for!
Day-to-day there are student drivers to teach, part-time jobs to help my young adults find and drive them to and from, colleges to research and transcripts to prepare, volunteer and mentorship opportunities to help them consider, plus planning and transportation for sports, hobbies, and hospitality as they visit friends or bring them home.
Then there are family get togethers on many weekends, when married children come home with their spouses, and our home is busier and fuller than ever! I am SO thankful my married children all live within an hour's drive of home!
Even though this all makes for a fulfilling, meaningful life as a mom, I still, however, only really get re-energized by being alone. And I still dream about having more time to do art and journaling and reading literature, and of drinking a cup of tea while it's still hot.
Today is a rare gift. Right now, I'm sitting in the silence of an empty house. I should be getting very re-energized with all this delicious silence around me. Funny, but I find myself instead, longing for noise.
There's no place like home,