Today my sister-in-law, Jennifer, and her family are moving.
We've been a little bit spoiled these past two years, our dwelling perched so close to family, family whom we love and cherish, laugh with, work with, play with and pray with.
I know that their move means that my children will be making some adjustments in the next few weeks. Their little buddies are now three hours down a stretch of highway instead of three minutes across a path of gravel. So come the pains of change. Pains that come from being stretched in directions we don't always anticipate and in ways that stir within us a bit of resistance, yet in the end yield a more flexible and understanding person.
Missing them in the day-to-day story of our life will most likely render a few, if not many, tears. It will perhaps also nurture a deeper appreciation for the time we did have together, the memories that we made and instill in us a hope that the future will provide even more stories to write about and photos to fill our scrapbooks.
As a wife and mother, I cannot hide my own tears. How very easy it is to feel isolated and alone out here, miles away from friends and activities that other moms are taking part in. Having a neighbor, who also happens to be your sister, lightens that burden tremendously with her love and understanding, humor and grace. Who else would drive 40 miles to Hobby Lobby with me on a week night in the middle of the freezing winter just to "get out", and actually make it one of the most memorable moments of our friendship??
We women are communal in nature. The inherent desire that we have for fellowship and communication with other women is a gift of our femininity. It is written into our beings. And, we recognize that gift within each other as we reach out with a phone call or to take a moment to chat in the grocery store with one another. As much as I adore my husband and the boys, it is unfair for me to expect that they should fulfill those relational qualities that only the friendship of another woman can fulfill.
In between the moments of sadness, all of the energy of missing our family must now be poured into action. The action of a phone call - many, many phone calls to catch up and the daily happenings, the stories and events of our kids' lives, funny mamma drama. And, the action of prayer, as we desire the very best of God's blessings for them in their new community. I'm already praising the Lord that the road between here and there is only 3 hours long, and not 4 or 5 or 10 or 20. You can only imagine how much fun any amount of time in the vehicle with five rowdy boys is??!!!
We miss you today, we will miss you tomorrow, but look to the future with hopeful expectation of the many, many wonderful reunions that are yet to come!!