Last fall, at the onset of my empty nest, I began to wonder about some things:
- What am I going to be when I grow up?
- What skills do I have to offer the world after 20+ years of focusing on the full-time mama thing?
- How would I fill the time once occupied with supervising and nurturing my children and volunteering in their school activities?
- Now that I have more time to focus on my dreams, what exactly ARE my dreams?
- How do I overcome these fears that threaten to paralyze me and keep me stuck?
- Who am I in this new season?
As I thought, prayed and talked about these questions with my fellow empty nesters, I took tiny, lurching, unsteady steps forward. I re-vamped the blog, went to an inspirational conference and applied to be part of a launch team for a new book. I played with my writing and started seeing themes emerge.
Last fall, I dreamed out loud here on the blog about gathering a group of women together to encourage and inspire one another. Here is what I said:
In this next season of my life, I want to lead groups, workshops and retreats for people who are stuck being all things to all people and feel like they have lost themselves in the process. A place to recharge and connect with others in a way that confirms that we are all in this together; we are not alone in our struggles. I want to make a space for us to dig deep and ask ourselves questions like these: What is working in our life and what just feels too hard? What are the negative voices in our head telling us about who we are? What lights us up and makes us feel alive? What drains us and makes us feel incompetent? How does comparison with others get in the way of connection with others? Why is it so hard to be real with other people? How do we give ourselves a break? From where do we gain strength? Where does our faith in God fit into all this or does it? What kind of legacy do we want to leave for our kids? What is our story and how do we find ways to make our story better?
Through a series of divinely orchestrated events, I “accidentally” found a beautiful little retreat center right here in our community. It is run by a woman who has visions of turning her childhood home into a place of respite and renewal. When we met, we marveled at God’s grace and timing in bringing us together. She has a perfect idyllic place, I have a dream of how to use it. So we scheduled it. This past week, we opened registration. It is happening on October 24th and we already have several people registered.
THIS IS HAPPENING!
I am equal parts excited and terrified. In one moment, I know that my training, experience, passions and gifts, in combination with God’s leading and inspiration, have perfectly prepared me for leading this retreat. In the next moment, I wonder what the heck I am thinking. And then I remember:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Time to step outside our comfort zones and take a leap. Time to be brave and dig deeper. Time to take a risk and trust each other with the truth about our dreams.
Would you join me?