How to Move Forward in Life

Streams are plentiful in East Tennessee. They trickle down the sides of mountains, run beside the shaded rural roads, and flow joyfully into the rivers. If you sit quietly in a wooded area, you can hear the water spilling over rocks that have become smooth due to the water’s consistency. Occasionally something huge, like a huge rock or fallen tree, will trap the busy water and stop it from flowing. It can’t go around; it can’t go over or under its obstacle. The water feeding the little stream feels the sudden halt and detours around the trapped water and continues to flow, but the water trapped behind the fallen tree becomes very still.

Streams are plentiful in East Tennessee. They trickle down the sides of mountains, run beside the shaded rural roads, and flow joyfully into the rivers. If you sit quietly in a wooded area, you can hear the water spilling over rocks that have become smooth due to the water's consistency. Occasionally something huge, like a huge rock or fallen tree,...For a moment, the still water is pretty, but after a while, when nothing comes in, and nothing goes out, it becomes stagnant and gives off a foul odor for lack of freshness. The same thing happens when we stop the flow of life. However, when you are a mother, you often want to stop everything because it is all going too fast. Lots of moms feel like this at the beginning of the school year. Some have to say goodbye to their children going off to college, while others stand in the doorway watching the last of their little ones leave for kindergarten.

A friend told me she was having a challenging time in her life emotionally because her youngest child was going off to college. “I want to keep him home with me,” she said. “I am having such a hard time letting go.” I understood her emptiness. The year before we moved to Texas from Tennessee, we said goodbye to our three children, all in the same month. The oldest graduated from college and moved to D.C, to spread her wings. The middle son was a sophomore in college. And the youngest graduated from high school and went off to college. Right afterward, my husband’s job situation relocated us to the Rio Grande Valley. I left behind a great job, lots of good friends, and children scattered. It was very hard, but change doesn’t have to become our enemy if we understand how it works. Life has to change for us to see it all. I missed the beautiful streams flowing throughout the hills of Tennessee, but I found many beautiful things in the Rio Grande Valley, and I stayed close to my children.

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When we visited the botanical gardens in Corpus Christi, I was fascinated with the multicolored lily garden at the beginning of the self-guided tour. Right away, I knew it was going to be difficult getting through the entire gardens before closing time because everything was beautiful. I took pictures from every angle of the lily garden, and tried to pour the sight of the pretty flowers into my memory for later, but as we moved around the landscaping. I discovered a garden the size of a large room planted with deep purple pansies. It was even more beautiful than the lily garden. My entire day went like that. Just when I thought I had seen the best the gardens had to offer, there would be something even more enjoyable and exciting around the corner. The same can be so when raising children. Every phase of their lives can be like that. Even the difficult times can be turned into good memories if we can always share those memories with them.

Just around the corner for the mother of a kindergarten student is the thrill of seeing her child make friends, seeing them learn to read and displaying their drawings up on the refrigerator for all to see. Just around the corner for the mom of a young person going off to college is the realization that her child can make decisions, get up by themselves when they fall and develop talents and skills she never realized they had. However, much like the little streams making their way through the hills of Tennessee, if we don’t let them go, they will detour around us or come to a halt, and we will miss seeing what is around the corner.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more