Contributed by Peggy

Life was just wonderful six years ago.  I had three grown kids, a husband, and seven of the most incredible grand children ever.  The kids were married to Christian spouses and contributing to society in a very productive way.  We attended the same church pastored by our son, shared birthday parties and holidays, and were able to go to dinner together on a whim.

March arrived as usual with all the anticipated spring activities fresh on our minds.  It was at this time that our oldest daughter announced that she and her husband were moving to Washington DC with their three sons to accept a “once in a lifetime” business opportunity. Two weeks later our son, his wife, and their daughter moved to Little Rock, Arkansas to be a part of a wonderful church and work for FamilyLife.  Then on the 20th of that same month, our youngest daughter and her husband along with their three children moved to Orlando, Florida to continue their careers with Disney.

Quite a month for me as a mother and grandmother, to say the least.

It was at this point that we began to reevaluate our real responsibilities and blessings as parents.  After reading Psalm 127:3-6 our vision cleared.  The secret for success as a parent was to be able to release our children to spread their influence to other parts of their world.

Some of our greatest blessings as parents have come since that lonely March six years ago.  Two more grandchildren have been added to the fold, and believe it or not they are just as precious.  Our children’s influence continues to grow and impact those around them, and our blessings keep increasing.  The joy of seeing God use our family in new ways has been something we continue to be thankful for.  The anticipation of sharing the next great impact of God’s love makes every day a bigger blessing than the day before.

Do we miss having our children and grandchildren living near our neighborhood?   Yes!  Would we trade what we have now for what we had then?  Never!  Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, and we were blessed with an instant empty nest.