Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Clouds

This morning, at day break, I looked out to the east and saw this glorious sunrise...

Also this...


and this...

and this...

I couldn't stop staring at the beautiful heavens.

But the Painter of Skies was not finished crafting wispy, gold, lilac and azure beauty.

The evening brought this autumn surprise...

 and this...

 and this...

and for the finale, in the west, He painted this...

Quite the day of amazing clouds.

 The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth.

(Psalm 19:1-6)


students, originally uploaded by Az~Kate.

My drawing classes are going well. I have 3 classes and 12 great students who are fascinating young people. :) Preparing each class' lesson and homework sheets is time consuming this first year. Hopefully I'll get better at making decisions and creating my forms. So many changes this year, it's overwhelming, really.   But I am embracing this new season by God's grace, and these kids make it much easier, they are all delightful.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ghosts of children past...

Recently I've come across the 'ghosts of my children past' here and there.  Opened an old box of craft supplies to find a ziplock of markers with one son's names written across it, lest his brothers dare use his markers!  Or in the back of a cupboard an old lunch bag with 'Jared' written in faded Sharpie black.  Discovering a silly drawing of a gruesome scene sketched in papermate blue ink on wide ruled paper in an old stack of notebooks ...  the remnants of children who no longer sketch, draw or take lunch bags on field trips anymore.

I've mentioned my hatred of this new 'empty nest' stage before... perhaps not in as vehement words, but there it is... I do hate it.  It's not that I'm not happy, thankful and blessed that our sons have grown into mature men who are living honorable lives, pursuing their passions, each with a strong work ethic and each very responsible and accomplished.  I do... what I hate is the loss of my closest companions / friends. (I don't believe in parents being their children's 'friends' when they are young, they need love and discipline and family fun and play, yes, of course!  The friendships I feel we have/had grew as they matured into young men.

Now, I feel that they may not actually consider me *their* close friend, I am just mom, they are stuck in relationship with me.  They didn't choose me.  Now, I feel like I'm 'out of sight & out of mind'.  They are busy with their lives, I know this... but I miss them. Every second of every day.  I miss impromptu long talks, debates, sarcasm and silliness.  I miss their quiet presence and sometimes noisiness somewhere in the house. 

 Apparently what passes for appropriate communication with us, is a brief check in every couple weeks or several weeks, in some cases.  One has been asked to come for occasional homemade lunches... never happens.  One calls only with a quick question or request, usually.  One is experiencing the busiest and most self-reliant time of his life, and has tried to give us (sort of) regular catch up time via skype, but I wish for more.  So I wonder what I did or am doing wrong. What makes them choose to avoid me? I think there must surely be something.  Communication is easy for me, I desire honesty above all, so I wonder why they can't honestly tell me if I've done something to creep them out.  Yet maybe there is nothing... maybe they just don't realize how deeply my life is rooted in them and don't realize my mama heart is shriveling and throbbing with communication drought inside my soul.

I DO have other interests, truly.  But other than my God, my husband, our grand-children, daughter-in-loves, and my 'rarely get to spend time with her', best friend, there are NO other loves I'm as passionate about.   Art, books, nature, hiking, gardening, teaching... these other interests simply can't replace relationship with my 3 dearest sons.  Whether or not they were listening closely, I poured all my thoughts, heart, and soul into them.  I listened to theirs, reacted (too strongly, sometimes) to their hurts, dreams, and desires, taking them to heart. I wanted to see them achieve everything they dreamed of.  You truly long for your children's happiness... and when they find a portion of it, you are displaced.  I guess I did the same thing to my folks.  (Who did not have nearly as close a relationship with me as I wished.  They did not spend a fraction of the time with me as I spent with my sons.  And, homeschooling was unheard of. I can't recall one single deep talk with either of my parents until I was an adult.  Their expectations and values were different then. Thankfully we have closer relationships now, which gives me hope. Yet I would hope for a better relationship still, with my own children.)  Intimate communication is my love language...without it I shrivel up.  Good thing God speaks with me or I'd be nothing but dust by now.  Actually I'm feeling pretty dusty at the moment.  Time to to before the throne of grace.