Life with 4 twenty-somethings and an eighteen-year-old going on 25.

Let’s just say, it is not what I expected. Between my husband and I we have 5 kids. Somehow I thought that when they all got past high school, life would be easier. Our family would be all rainbows and sunshine and all of us would skip merrily into the “happily ever after”. I am here to tell you that’s not true. At least not in our case. Our days are still filled with issues – and it’s not just “Junior won’t eat his green beans,” or “the little princess won’t go to sleep in her crib.” Oh, how I long for those days. Looking at my 6 month old grand-baby, I remember what it was like when mine were young. It seemed so tough, with each new stage bringing new challenges. Back then, I remember hearing other people say that as the kids get older, the problems get bigger and more expensive. I laughed. But now I know it’s true. And the thing is, as a parent, you always look at your child as a kid , even if they are a man or a young woman. There is no escaping the heartache as you watch them make a wrong decision or head down a poorly chosen path. Sometimes there is no “choosing” at all, something bitter or unfair or tragic strikes in your child’s world. And you wish beyond everything humanly possible that you could do something, or change their reality to ease their hurting. As I am thinking back on the last year, each one of our kids has tugged our hearts in one way or another, good or bad, happy or sad. Since last summer, there have been “moving aways” that were painful, “moving ins” full of trepidation, “moving ons” full of regrets and guilt, “moving ups” full of fear, “moving outs” full of angst, “moving overs” full of selfishness. This blogpost is waaayyy too short to get into all the nitty gritty details of this stuff. Trust me when I say that every one of our kids was “going through a stage” of one sort or another this past year. But through these times that try our heart and soul, there is also pervasive hope. Hope that believes that our child will have a better job, a fulfilling career, a forever love, a rewarding experience, a new start, a brighter future, a golden opportunity. Our hope comes from prayer and believing that God’s will for our lives and our children’s lives is for good, even when we, as mom and dad, can’t always see it. God is love, after all and above all. My husband and I may never understand why each of our kids must go through what they go through these days, but, looking back, both of us have gone through a lot in our lives too. So many things that we didn’t understand at the time. So many things that changed us and made us who we are today. Many things that when we look back, we can see how God’s hand was guiding and leading us, but also many things that we still even now may not understand. I wish that I had always trusted God with my future, but the truth is I didn’t and I am certain it brought unnecessary pain to me and to those around me. Today my prayer is that all 5 of our children will learn, without any doubt, who has the answers and will learn to seek Him on a daily basis. Of course I hope that they will come to us to talk things out, to plan and to dream, but what I hope they are learning along their path is that God has the answers – He has the best plan for their life. He holds the key to their future. The following Scripture hangs near the bedside table in the spare room where our children sleep when they come to stay with us these days. I hope it is a comforting reminder for them of their heavenly Father who loves them even more than my husband or I ever could:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

One comment

  1. Jan, this is wonderful! Thank you for sharing, you definitely have a gift for writing, keep it up! We, too, have a house of 4 twenty-somethings’, and your post rings true in so many ways! I look forward to reading future blog posts!


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