Last Thursday night, we met some long-time friends for dinner...and to celebrate a birthday.
Most people our age, or MANY people our age, have a ton of freedom. That whole "empty-nest" thing.
Jim and I are homebodies. We love our home...we love being at home...we love our family. I traveled my brains out during my growing up years, because my Dad was in the Air Force. So, I've been a lot of places and seen a lot of stuff...and now? It's not all that appealing to me UNLESS I'm traveling with my family, and making those memories. I'm all about that. :)
So, Jim and I have never really thought about having an empty nest. Probably because there are two, beady, crinkly, almond-shaped, brown eyes that are staring at us...pretty much 24/7.
And we wouldn't have it any other way.
BUT, every now and then, there are times when we want to connect with our friends, or just spend time as a couple...or with other couples.
Our kids are usually pretty accommodating to watch hang out with Joshua, so that we can go.
Holly said that Joshua could hang out with her and Aaron-the-son-in-law on Thursday night. We are always careful not to tell Joshua that they are "watching" him. We make it a big deal about how they've been missing him, and want him to hang out at their house. And how his "furry nephew" (what he calls their dog, Marley) has been missing him. I don't want Joshua to feel like we are dropping him off at the sitter's (or SISTER'S!), to enjoy a fun night without him.
Jim and I met up with our friends, and it was awesome. We have another group of friends that we meet at a restaurant about once every 6 weeks or so...but this dinner was in a HOME, and it was so relaxed and easy. Why don't we do that more often?
We ate and talked and laughed ourselves silly...and then we had to go. Holly and Aaron had to work the next day, and we try to be careful with their time....but we could've sat there all night. The stories that were being told...OH MY WORD!
These friends are a little older than we are. We met them during our early marriage years...and they taught us to be husbands and wives, and they challenged us in our Christian walk. They were there in those beginning days with Joshua...and as we all started our families. They taught us how to mother, how to be dads, how to lead, how to follow, how to teach, support, nurture; how to point our kids to Jesus.
We had developed friendships with the ones who taught us, because they were a little further down the line in life...and then they brought this rag-tag, clueless, group of young couples together into a small group (what us old-timers call SUNDAY SCHOOL)...and we developed friendships with each other that have lasted to this day...30 years and counting! These friends became like our family.
Y'all...no matter how old we are, we need to be investing in the ones who are coming up behind us...and we need to be reaching out to the ones who are a little ahead of us.
Such a blessing.
'These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children..." Titus 2:4