Closing One Chapter To Begin Another

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There are many chapters in life.  We begin life in a chapter that is defined by learning, we call it infancy.  Learning how to smile, roll over, eat, crawl, walk, talk, and obey.  The second chapter is defined by a more advanced learning, this chapter is called childhood.  Learning how to read, add, get along with others, obedience to others outside of our parents (i.e. teachers), learning how to play sports, and how to participate as a team member.  The third chapter in life is defined by our survival skills,  called the teenage years.  Learning how to keep up with your peers while staying true to who you are, learning how to multi task between higher education, social activities and future planning.  If you are a child of God this time of your life can be especially challenging as you learn to live in this world without being of the world.

I would have to say that each chapter after that is defined not by learning yet by experiences.  For me, the fourth chapter would have to be defined by my graduation from college and my career.  Chapter five is for me when I feel that my life really began.  It’s a chapter that has helped to shape my character and my faith walk.  It’s a chapter that suspends my heart into new heights.  The chapter containing the beginning of my marriage to my love, my beloved husband of 21 years.  It was also the beginning of my heavenly Fathers tug on my heart, creating a new person who died to self and became new in Him.  A time not without challenges, yet a time of considerable growth to become the woman I am now.

Chapter six is a chapter that holds the delights and wonderment of new life, motherhood. I would have to say that Chapters five and six are chapters that have chapters within them.  They should be more like two separate books holding chapters of their own.  (Kind of like the Lord of the Rings books.)  There are many memories that take shape in my mind reminding me of the tenderness of life and the depths of which I would go to protect those I love.

Chapter seven is where I feel I find myself this day, pre retirement, middle age, whatever you call it when your children are no longer clinging to your skirt and they are finding their own way in this cruel unsettled world.  As we face changes coming upon us we consider the blessings that have adorned our lives and have been given only by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through His hand we exist, through His hand we are blessed with all that we have, and through His hand we trust in His will for our lives.

As we teeter between chapters six and seven, I am finding myself at peace.  A peace that can only be given through a heavenly father, superceding all human understanding.  I cannot explain how I feel other than to say that although my head tells me I should weep and cry, I find myself holding it together without anxiety and without fear.  I thank the Lord for His providential care that cradles me and keeps me from slipping to the ground in defeat.

As I have been packing up boxes and getting things ready in our cottage of over 10 years, I have been telling my husband and my daughter to make a memory of everything we are experiencing this past week.  Over the years, I have been storing the memories and was reminded of them as they swirled around me this past week and weekend.

  • Memories of the building process and the one day marathon choosing of the flooring, cupboards, knobs, paint, lighting, counter tops, log banister, stone fireplace, tile, landscape, appliances and the sizing of the deck.  A marathon of choices that kept the builder at a stand still for over a week as he could not believe we weren’t going to change out minds.  When he called us to confirm all of the choices we made in that one afternoon, he was stunned that no changes were necessary.

  • Memories of the first weekend at the cottage and moving in on Mothers Day weekend.  The picture of the kids and I in the woods show how much younger we once were.  As well as the memory of the new kitten that climbed the brand new screens.  And the leap of faith from the second floor banister a few months later when she was newly declawed.

  • Memories of the snowmobiling trips, ski weekends, weeks on end during the summer that were spent with new friends visiting each week.  Of the fire in the new kitchen as we cooked up calamari for a snack and of the raccoons that found their way onto the deck to clean up the plates when we had retreated into the house because of mosquitos.  Not to mention the 130 mile snowmobile trips to Mackinac City in one day just to have lunch.

  • Memories of the last summer that my grandparents spent in their home state.  The picture of them sitting on the porch at the cottage will forever be a favorite.  I can still picture my grandfather laughing at the cat that raced through the house every night at   10 p.m. and his enthusiasm that she didn’t fall off the of log railing when she balanced her steps walking above his head.

  • Memories of the travels back and forth once we moved out of state.  From cats pooping in the kitty litter box right as we left to the projectile puke after we fed them in the car.  Not to mention the fun of seeing a wolf on the side of the road in winter at midnight as we were only 2 hours from the cottage.

  • Memories of the last Christmas we spent with our dads.  As well as the last holiday spent with both of our families together as a complete unit.  The same Christmas when we went sledding by noon after opening gifts and my husband blew his knee out sledding down the ski hill with his brother…starting from the top and stopping with one leg at the bottom.

  • Memories of cousins running through the yard with water guns and sprinklers.  Playing at the lake and in the woods that surround the cottage.

  • Memories of 10 birthdays spent in my favorite place!  This will be missed!

  • Memories of New Years Eve’s  sledding down the driveway after midnight.  And the gourmet buffet that was served throughout the night waiting for the stroke of midnight.

  • Memories of friends that are friends of the past, whose time I cherished and whose memories will live forever in my mind.  As well as those friends who continue to bless my life and who have shared so many memories in one of our favorite places.

  • Memories of our 20th wedding anniversary spent with the two of us.  Even though I was sick and couldn’t do much more than lay on the couch, it was the first time ever we spent alone at our planned retirement home.

  • Memories of feeding the deer off of the deck while we sat by quietly watching.

  • Memories of the kids playing their bagpipes and hearing them echo through the woods while the neighbors wondered who it was that rattled their ears.  ha ha

  • Memories of hearing the military jets fly overhead as they trained.

  • Memories of the deer that adorned our lawn in the winters outside our bedroom window, sometimes 15 at a time.  And the fawns that ran around or slept on the front lawn during the days of spring and summer.

  • Memories of the builder that took such good care of us for over 10 years, acting more like a father figure than a builder.  Always willing to help, always answering our call and always showing up when we needed him.  We will never forget him nor his stories.

  • Memories of the snow falling day after day and the buildup up on the deck.  The snow and it’s beauty seen through chalet windows.  Brisk and constant taking your breath away at how wonderful it is.

  • Memories of the road trip my daughter and I took spending a week together and the fun we had driving around taking pictures of the beautiful garden of flowers in the neighborhood.

Memories like these cannot easily be taken away and will not easily be erased.  I will cherish them and will look back on them as a chapter within chapters 5 & 6.  As we close out this chapter we mourn at the loss, yet we look forward to the next chapter that God has chosen for us to take part in.  As long as we are together, we will endure and as long as we have God as our center we will persevere all the way to the last chapter.  Writing each memory from each chapter in our minds forever.

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8 thoughts on “Closing One Chapter To Begin Another”

  1. Such grace in the blessing of remembrance for all the gifts God has provided! Indeed, we can’t enjoy the following chapters if we refuse to turn the page! So glad your faith and acknowledgement of the giver radiates throughout your blog entries!
    Love,
    Mom

  2. Sherry, what an incredibly moving post this was! I had no idea you were at the cabin to begin saying goodbye to it. No wonder you have loved it so much. The word pictures and photographs are exquisite. Thank you for sharing it with us, and may God comfort you by sending new and unexpected blessings your way day by day.

    We love you four,

    Joie

    1. Thank you sweet Joie. Your words, thoughts and prayers are sweet music to my soul and warm my inner being when I read them. And… as always, you made me cry. I love it!! 🙂 Thank you my friend – Love you both too.

    1. Thank you my friend. As always, you are uplifting and a wonderful inspiration of faith generating weekly wisdom for my soul. Love you too my friend –

  3. That “cottage” is beautiful! ! Sounds like your selling it? What’s happening my friend? We need lunch, and soon! !! Great post! But I hear sadness

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