In My Camper, Along the River

Journal Entry for Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It’s amazing to think of what my life is now and of my journey to get to this point. Here I am in a beautiful camper sitting along the Mississippi River watching the swift current as I bask in the lovely warm sun and drink tea from a handmade mug from my favorite spot in Florida.

I remember being in the throes of motherhood – dishes, diapers, runny noses, dirty floors, constant school work to grade, mounds of laundry- all the while feeling ill and wondering if I would ever get through. There were joy-filled moments, but because of my illnesses, I was often depressed and just hanging on. My being was filled with unexpressed creativity with no time to release it. I saw people travel to interesting places, but we always visited family, not only because we wanted to see them, but also because it was affordable. In my spare moments, I escaped through Christian novels to things new and exotic. The older mothers told me to cherish those times because they go so quickly and you long for them later. I really thought I might drown in overwhelming exhaustion before I would get to that point.

But here I am. My beautiful, energetic boys have grown to handsome, successful men. They have grown and flown. Our nest is empty. I admit to having struggled for a time without my boys. And still at times missing them startles me with sudden waves of pain. I have, however, made it through the mid life transition. I almost felt like I had to free myself of “the homeschool mom” mentality by getting rid of all our homeschooling materials and the bookcase after bookcase filled with books. And ultimately, I needed to sell the house in order to move on. I couldn’t figure out who I was in that house without homeschooling. And the boys I had trained to clean it weren’t there to help anymore! Lol.

So the books have found new homes. The home has found new occupants. And I have found a new identity: Traveling Artist. Creativity has always wanted to pour from within me. And new places have beckoned me to “come, explore.” So, here I am in my camper, watching the barges traverse the rapid waters and clinging to God in this new phase of life. The life after little kids. The life that doesn’t seem to have quite as much purpose as raising the next generation, and yet is filled with time. Time to rest and rejuvenate. Time to heal my body. Time to meet people, look them in the eye and listen to their stories. Time to see my husband as more than a life-line that shows up after a day away at work when I am at my rope’s end. Time to learn how to reign in my thoughts and enter in to joy.

And time to draw ever closer to the one who made me to be the creative person that I am – my Father – THE Creator and Lover of my soul. He has blessed. There is Hope. There is Joy. I will enter in. I will embrace this new phase of life and live it with abandon, with the excited expectation of God using me again, even if my life is so very different than it was or even than other women my age. And that’s okay. I am right where I am supposed to be. Along the river. In my camper.

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11 thoughts on “In My Camper, Along the River

  1. Pingback: Bumps In The Road | Joyful Wonder

  2. Such wonderful thoughts put to words in such a beautiful way! Your blog is so aptly titled, as you approach each new adventure with joyful wonder. Your faithfulness as a daughter, wife, mother, and now grandmother has not gone unnoticed! Thank you for setting a great example for us to follow, and thank you for not only finding joy in the journey, but expressing it for the rest of us to enjoy as well!

  3. This is the best “blog entry “ you have made to date. At least that is my very personal opinion. Your words drew a lot of emotion out of me this afternoon. Thank you for sharing your heart.

      • I’m often curious where He is going to lead me next. I’m open. Right now half of me wants Jonah done and grown, and the other half wants him to just freeze right where he is! Ugh! I’m not really concerned with how I’m going to handle my emotions when he is gone, but instead, this world is so crazy, I just want him to stay right here so I can “protect” him. I know that is ridiculous, but sometimes emotions can be pretty ridiculous!

        • I totally understand! And people used to tell me I was going to have a tough time when the boys grew and left since we homeschooled all the way through. When they would say that, I would think that I would have no problem, but would instead revel in my new found freedom. But those people knew that of which they spoke!

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