As I was writing that blog entry, God was allowing me to see that cup of tea and that time more metaphorically--not only as a literal cup of tea that I sometimes get to enjoy in the mornings with the birds and the Lord, but also as a symbol for this period in my life. It has taken me awhile to mull over this idea, as evidenced by the two weeks that have transpired since my last entry.
Our loved ones don't seem to need us in the same ways they have in the past. For example, our parenting role, though not over, certainly is changing in its function. Our children no longer need us in the way they used to. They are all grown and have their own lives to lead. My aging parents need us at times, but they remain independent. I am grateful that we get to spend time with them. What a source of wise counsel they are to us!
Even our living arrangements have changed. My husband works in Austin, yet I work in Tyler. Since we work in different places, we maintain two homes while trying to spend as much time together as we can. We would like to be able to spend more time in the same place--together! Although we love our homes, we are challenged by their upkeep. Frankly, we need to downsize. While I still continue to practice medicine, I also actively serve on a governing board in Austin. One or the other of us is on the road traveling between the two places nearly every weekend.
Our lives, however, are not solely about work and responsibilities. We want time for rest and for creativity. We also want to visit all our children and grandchildren whenever we can, and those grandchildren live far away. Although we would love to spend more time with friends, we find it difficult to do so since we are not in the same place at the same time for very long. Those who know me well would affirm that I would rather be singing, no matter where I am. The frequent traveling often precludes that. My suitcase is nearly always out. I unpack and wash the things from my last trip, only to be preparing and packing my clothes for the next.
I find myself wondering what God has in store for us during this part of our lives. It seems awfully chaotic for me to make any sense of it. I can't help but wonder, "Where are we going with this, Lord?" Above all, we want to be in the place that He wants, doing what He desires of us. Fortunately for us, we don't need to "lean on our own understanding". Perhaps He is preparing us for our "second cup".