GatherFive-Minute-Friday: the group of writers who gather together every Thursday night or during the day Friday to grab an assigned word and write. Not a book. A 5-minute, unedited piece of your life, your dreams and your truth.

If you had asked me, ten years ago, to write about the word GATHER, I would have written of all the neighborhood children who daily gather in my yard to laugh, yell, climb, slide, play and fight together outside my open window. I would have written about the wonderful youth gatherings to sing praise songs around a fire, or swim under a bridge or hike up a mountain. I would have written about my three children gathering for prayer in the evening. I might have written about how tired I was of “gathering” and how ready I was for a moment of privacy and how I couldn’t even find that moment in the bathroom as little fingers would creep under the door or a knock would be followed by, “Mommy, what’cha doin’?” I would definitely have written about the every-once-in-a-while gathering on our bed. All five of us piled on one queen size bed talking and laughing until someone fell off.

If you follow the link back to Five-Minute-Friday, you’ll find lots of author/moms who are writing along just that theme. But not me.

I am looking forward to gathering my children together for rare family-time this weekend. My oldest has two more tests today and then she’s headed home from college for her spring break. My other two have been giving me updates as to exactly how much time until their spring break (currently, we are at 4 hours and 30 minutes until pure joy).

I’m not at that gathering time of life—I’m at that “letting go” time of life. My oldest is planning to travel to some far away country next year and live there for the year. She hasn’t decided where yet and that is part of our spring break plan. Does she have a CLUE how hard it is to plan for your child to be so very far away? (Well, she sometimes takes time from studies to read my posts). My next child is job shadowing soon and receives daily mail from universities across the United States wanting her brilliant test scores to be a part of their institution. She’s working away at a summer camp in two months. My youngest, my baby boy, is lobbying for a driver’s permit and I’m well aware that this may be the last summer I have anyone at home with me.

My friends have children getting married and graduating from college and declaring their independence in myriad ways. I pray for them all, the children and the parents. Because frankly, as a parent, it’s so much more fun to gather than to let go!

But (swallow hard here) letting go is how I raised them. I’m glad my daughter wants to challenge herself and is doing well in college, I’m satisfied that my daughter is searching hard for the right career path for her and I’m proud that my boy has raised his grades in the pursuit of a driver’s permit (bribery on my part—oh yeah).

I hate the lack of control, the teenage angst, the hormone issues, the finding-yourself issues and the fight for independence. But I have to value the growth. Because that’s the stage we’re at.

In the meantime, I look forward to the inevitable pile-up on my bed this weekend, when all my big kids are gathered at home and we’ll talk and laugh until someone falls off.

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  • Hello Friend.

    I am Amber and I am visiting from Five Minute Friday. Wow. This post couldn’t come at a better time for me. I just spilled my guts about feeling overwhelmed by everything, kids included, and here you go giving me a completely different perspective. Everyone tells me to enjoy the chaos of my kids now because one day I will miss it but it has yet to hit home for me. (How can I possibly miss the craziness of my life right now?!) Until now. I truly don’t know how I will do when the time comes and I am in your shoes. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us and for making me want to hold on to that chaos for a little longer. To cherish the time I have now before it all changes on me. iIt reiterated a good point for me. Hope to see you around again.

    Amber recently posted…FMF: GatherMy Profile

    • Amber – yep – enjoy every moment with those kiddos! I wasn’t whining though, I still love every moment with my kiddos, it just looks different now. Change is inevitable and even enjoyable…especially if you have lived each moment and don’t wish for time to go backwards!
      Carol recently posted…GatherMy Profile

  • Good post. Good thoughts.

    I’m in a different place…I’m ‘gathering’ examples and models of courage to help me fight terminal illness (today has been grotesquely tough), and I’m letting go of sentimentality concerning my life.

    I die, the world goes on.

    But I’m not dead yet, and there’s killin’ yet to accomplish.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Gather A Good Marriage {Five Minute Friday)My Profile

    • We are all in different places, that’s for sure. I cannot imagine your life and the things you deal with, but I pray God blesses you as you gather and prepare. Life does go on, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be missed!
      Carol recently posted…GatherMy Profile

  • Beautiful. I am so glad I stopped by. I too am right where you’re in my journey. My daughter graduated and will be moving for her career later this year and my son graduates this year. And then he’s on his way to begin his graduate studies abroad . I am praising God for every season!

  • Praying that you soak in your gathering – the depth and breadth of it – and that as you let go, you discover you are about to embark on a new journey just as fulfilling as the one that led to the gathering! Shalom!

  • The thought of the pile-up so made me smile. What joy is found there. Keep on piling on! Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
    Kelly Balarie recently posted…Kicking Shame to the CurbMy Profile

  • I have a hard time with letting go, Carol. I love how you value the growth — a good reminder.

    Lovely to meet you through Kelly’s linkup this week. Enjoy that pile up! 🙂
    Lyli @ 3-D Lessons for Life recently posted…Into the DeepMy Profile