Last year, I blogged about a subtle shift my life. A life where I was a homeschooling stay-at-home mom. Then, I only had a glimpse as to how it was about to change. Now, though, the blinders are off.
My youngest is a senior in high school this year, and getting ready to move on to the next phase in life. My oldest has graduated college and is living and working halfway across the country. Our middle child is serving in the military and will be heading overseas in the next month or two. Our house is for sale, and since my husband’s company transferred his position, he has been commuting back and forth from home each week.
Which just leaves me all by my lonesome a lot lately.
And it’s been hard. Harder than I thought it would be.
I’m an only child, so I should be used to being by myself, but after 20+ years or so immersed in a noisy, messy, joyful, chaotic family life, I have to figure out just who exactly I am now.
When I started blogging – rather intermittently – at PrayerPoseMom a few years ago, I then had difficulty finding the time to post in my homeschooling, driving-this-way-and-that kind of lifestyle. But I knew that, first and foremost, I was a mom. A mom who loved being a mom. And I knew that prayer, faith and Jesus Christ were central to my very existence. So I blogged primarily about my family life, homeschooling, parenting through faith, what I was fixing for dinner, and every once in a while about things I did for me to keep me, well, me.
But I’m finding that, while I will always love being a mom, once again there’s more to my life than being “just a mom,” which was the tagline for the blog. I’m slowly finding more time to write, to read, to clean out the dust bunnies in my personal life, not just the ones under the beds. I’m learning that I still have a voice. That I love eating and baking and watching movies and jumping on the trampoline and running and reading voraciously and just learning. Still. I’m not just PrayerPoseMom anymore, and I want to focus more on what brings me joy, challenges me and causes me to grow.
And so I am changing my blog name in the next few days. I’ve actually been considering it for the past year or so. Not that I have a tremendous following, but I think if I want to be authentic to who God wants me to be from this point forward, I’m more than just PrayerPoseMom.
Every year swallows arrive and build a nest outside my kitchen window, which is just to the right in the above photo. The first year they showed up, we saw a bulging glob of mud just under the porch ceiling. My husband, thinking it was a wasp’s nest, took the hose and sprayed it down. But the next day, the mud glob was back. And throughout that next day, every time I went to the kitchen window, I saw two swallows building a nest. It was in the most precarious spot it possibly could be – high up, exposed to the wind and elements, yet still they faithfully fortified it a little at a time. When wind did blow it down, they built it right back. Soon, the mother was sitting on eggs she had just laid. And before we knew it, the baby swallows hatched. I couldn’t wait to see what was happening out my kitchen window each day! Eventually, the babies ventured out of the nest, taking flying lessons for a few days. They swirled, unfurled their wings and flew blissfully at their newfound freedom. It was so wonderful to watch. I felt privileged that all that took place just outside the heart of our home – the kitchen.
But the best thing?
They come back and do it again every year. In fact, the nest in the photo was built over the past several days.
And so I watch Swallows from my Kitchen Window, which is where you’ll be able to find me in the near future.
I looked up the symbolism of swallows. I found that they represent freedom, hope, a safe return, and the renewal of life.
All that seems pretty apropos to where I stand at this juncture. I don’t know what the future holds for life after” just a mom.” I don’t yet know where our next home will be, what new job I might have, and so many other intangibles. Still, I plan to count it all joy and I hope you’ll join me as I engage in this next season of this blessed life.