Traveling Back

by Dawn Oaks on October 24, 2016 · 4 comments


Coming back to writing has been a long time in getting here.  It hasn’t been a lack of things to write about, but so many different detours and side roads in life that it has honestly left me searching. Searching for directions.  Searching for answers.  Searching to make sense of all of the thoughts and feelings that each new challenge has brought to the surface.

During this past year, we have been adjusting to changes in our parenting.  We thought we faced challenges when our children were little.  No one really tells you about how that changes when you start parenting adult children.  And yes, you are still needed in a parental role as your children enter adulthood.  Their needs are different and the level to which you are actively involved in their decision making also changes.  It is a whole new ballgame with new rules.  And of course, the rules and needs vary from child to child.  Isn’t that just how life seems to roll? Changes and adjustments for everyone!

Our homeschool has changed.  We are now down to half of our beginning enrollment and a unisex school.  Just the boys and I!  Yes, it does matter.  Helping them grow into the men God is calling them to be is quite different in some ways than educating and raising our girls.  Our sons are yearning to be independent and taking on more control, decision making, and leadership.  These are all wonderful qualities and ones they will certainly need in becoming the heads of their own households some day.  However, it is a real balancing act right now in also still being under my authority in the schoolroom.  We are learning how to balance this and still allow them to flourish and grow.  Yes, mom is certainly going through a lot of growing  pains as well.

With all of this growth, we are seeing our “workforce” around the house and farm coming of age in taking on more responsibility, but also gaining wings and leaving for the next phases of their lives.  With two now in college and a young man beginning employment off the farm, we are feeling the changes in how we address the needs here at home.  Gary and I are also realizing that our kiddos are not the only ones aging so we feel like we are in a transition plan of sorts and really evaluating what God has for us in the coming years.  Part of this transition has been a rekindling of my professional life in taking on the role of Director of Advertising Sales with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Being a virtual organization, it provides me with the opportunity to work from home.  However, it also comes with challenges of being here, but not here when my family needs me.  As with any job, these responsibilities that must be fit into our daily routine and sometimes last minute adjustments as needs arise.

Uncertainties? Questions? Worries? Confusion???

We find ourselves once again at a crossroads of sorts in feeling as if we have more questions than answers.  More uncertainties than firmly established plans.  So what is a person to do?

Just as our earthly bodies remind us that things are changing and not as solid as they once seemed, we are facing a future that does raise many questions.  We honestly are struggling.  According to the American Dream, we should be at the prime of our lives, preparing for retirement at seaside property, and having all the answers for our children and grandchildren as they come around in the coming years.  In using this as the measuring stick for success, I am sad to have to report that Gary and I are miserable failures.  But there is something that I am beginning to learn that may be a greater truth of golden value to carry us through our golden years.

We aren’t meant to have all the answers….

I have come to the determination that we really aren’t meant to have all the answers.  God is faithful to provide slivers of truth and direction as we seek Him, but we will never have all the answers.  Answers that reveal total security in how our needs will be met for years to come.  Answers to the most meaningful ways to spend the rest of our years.  Answers to just how our kids will turn out and who will they grow to be.  Answers to so many questions and prayers that feel unheard in the here and now.

This is the thing about having all the answers.  When we feel like we have it all under control, just know the next thing to do, and exactly how things will turn out, we lose all sight of our need for our Heavenly Father.  The most dreaded part of watching our children grow up is not feeling needed any more.  We so very much want them to be wonderful capable adults, but realize that as they do we are no longer needed in the same way.  It is in these days of such uncertainty and what feels like more than our fair share of questions without answers that my heart yearns more and more for long discussions over a hot cup of tea with my mom and seeking God’s Word for insights and direction.

In coming full circle and back on the main road from all of the detours, I can say that I am beginning to find comfort in questions without answers.  For it is in the seeking that I am forced to find answers from God the Father and learning more about who He really is.  These very truths are changing and molding me for a day when I will enter His courts with praise and worshiping He that sits on throne.  After all, the work He is doing in each of us unto completion is not to be successful according to the standards of this world, but for life everlasting in complete fellowship with Him.  This world is not our home!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele October 24, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Right there with ya! Change is hard.


Dawn Oaks October 24, 2016 at 12:37 PM

We’ll just keep praying each other through.


Nancy October 25, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Oh, Dawn. I hear you & those challenges resonate within me as well.

I think that these years are harder in some ways because they are more challenging to discuss. We have to be careful not to share things that might embarrass our kids or spouse, things that might be twisted incorrectly by others. It can be a very isolating time.

Much like you, I find much comfort in the realization of that God WANTS us to rely on Him and that we aren’t supposed to be able to figure all of this out. His ways are SO much different than the ways of this world.

Prayers for strength, wisdom, discernment, health, rest, & much joy along this journey.

Love you, my friend.


Dawn Oaks October 26, 2016 at 9:48 PM

Love you too, Nancy. Thanks for stopping by.


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