Cindy at Dominion Family wrote this post in November. I am in the first steps of a stage she is already familiar with. I'm am happy to find the joy in this time of life and to see that God is just as faithful now as He was when I leaned on Him for all of the little kid issues. This quote reflects what I am seeing happen in our home.
"On the flip side, when the children start flying away it happens just as fast. The seismic shift in family life can leave gaping holes. But when the dust is settled, something amazing usually takes place. Everyone moves up a notch. Maturity levels rise. Relationships change and blossom. A child who was content to be under the radar is suddenly a leader. I have seen this happen over and over again but it is always a source of surprise and encouragement to me."
I am seeing one example of this in Hope right now. She has really been blossoming. It was hard at first to see her go from one of four girls getting ready for bed each night, all in the same bathroom, crowded around one mirror, laughing and talking happily to having large quantities of time alone. But what magnificent things she is doing with that free time! The songs she is composing and singing are truly wonderful!! Her dad just gave her his violin last night and now she is experimenting with that. And she wants a guitar for Christmas. It's amazing to see sorrow turned to joy.
Without the big girls around, it's been easier to see how strong and capable Luke has grown. This morning he went and got the Christmas tree out of the storage building, carried it in by himself and assembled the whole thing with a little help from Abel and Annalise, who both insisted on joining in the fun. I didn't have to do a thing. He has also grown very valuable in Ford's business, taking over the production of one of his most important materials.
With Luke gone working many afternoons, Abel and Annalise have spent a lot more time together and that has been good too.
Everyone really is moving up a notch and adjusting to all of the changes.