When The Children Return Home is the title of the chapter from The Afternoon of Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book that I have been asked to write about. My husband and I have found a way to live happily with our daughter who was once on her own. It has not always been easy. She left at our request; That is not an easy thing to do, to ask your 19 year old daughter to remove herself from your home.
But, her rebellion had been too much and we felt certain that we were doing more harm than good by letting her stay in our home. But, then she lost her job, had nowhere to go and being her daddy’s only daughter, convinced him that she needed to come home.
I wasn’t happy. Our youngest was on his way to college in another month and I was looking forward to an “empty nest”. But the decision had been made and I had to learn to live with it. The Lord has been so kind! He managed to change my hard heart and her rebellious one to where we are now – happily living together, serving in our church together, enjoying each others company and friendship. If you knew us before, you would know that this is truly a miracle. I often boasted that there was only room for one QUEEN in my castle, but the Lord was kind to show me that there may be room for only one queen, but there is plenty of room for a princess as well.
Elisabeth and I were trying to figure out why it was working so well now, when it had been so disastrous in the past. It’s funny, but she noticed how the Lord had changed me and I noticed how the Lord had changed her. She said I had been less demanding and that had made it easier for her to change. When our children were little, we had a motto concerning obedience, we asked them to obey “All the way, right away and in a happy way”. Unfortunately, as my children became adults, I frequently forgot that they were no longer MY children and that they were now adults and needed to make their own decisions. As I started to make requests tempered with a “if you could” or “when you have time”, it helped them feel more like adults and it helped me remember that I was not in charge. My children were adults and needed to be treated as such. My role as their mother had changed. The Lord had given me three children and it was no longer time to train up a child in the way he should go (Prov 22:6), but now my role had changed.
It has been a blessing to me and my husband to have our daughter home, especially now that my husband has a job where he frequently travels and I have developed some health issues that have made it difficult for me to do simple things, like grocery shop.
We work together as a team. We are all adults and live accordingly. We all pick up after ourselves and look for ways to bless and serve each other in our home so that we can be available to serve others. I’m so glad my daughter is home, but I know that one day she may decide to move out and I know that the Lord will give us the grace for that day, when it comes.