This is the season of beginnings and endings. First graders and college freshman are all excited about the new chapters in their lives. Yet we mothers can tinge of sadness as we reluctantly stand back and watch the familiar slipping away.
It may seem hard to fathom, but when our children make those transitions in their lives, so can we. I remember when I told my first grader that I’d gone out to lunch with a friend. the look on her face was priceless, as it started to dawn on her that I had a life beyond motherhood.
I ’m a single mother with cerebral palsy so, some people wondered if I could live alone and I wondered what would fill up my time. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to encourage others to face their challenges by telling stories about how I have dealt with some of mine. For several years I’d chuckled as I talked about my dream of writing. Just before my daughter went to college, I went to my first Oregon Christian Writers conference. Under the watchful eye of Marion Duckworth along with her encouragement and others I’m continuing to develop my writing skills in order to share my experiences as a woman with Cerebral Palsy.
Over the last several years, I’ve had many opportunities to get involved with the community sometimes I feel like I’ve got way too many plates spinning in my life. One of the most helpful tools that’s helped me keep my sanity came from a time my friend Colleen and I visited while we had coffee. While I talked, she drew a tree with one trunk and several branches; each of which represented the different ministries and activities I was involved with. The trunk was my core passion, which is serving God and others. Some of the branches represented things that I am currently involved with but others were things that I had been involved with in the past. Nevertheless, each branch is dear to my heart.
This visual has helped me to center my attention on the activities that cause my heart to beat the fastest; all the while reminding me that they always have to tie into my core passions.
It has also helped me to let go of things that do not line up with my core passions.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that tree branches don’t all grow at the same speed. There are some things (like childrearing) or other things that once took a lot of time and attention. Those things may not be as time consuming as they once were but they are the branches that make my tree what it is.
Seasons in life change but God’s faithfulness never does. So let’s just see what He does during this new season of life.