Empty Nest

I knew that one day all my children would grow up, get married, and start a family of their own. Our youngest child married his beautiful bride about a week ago.

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This is the first time in 33 years that we have no children living at home— we have an “empty nest.”  Raising a family was not an easy task; our job was to teach by example, to show what a marriage ought to look like, and to demonstrate what parents should do for their children.

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Some of you might be struggling with crying babies, with toddlers in their “terrible twos,” or with high-maintenance tweens or teens. Keep in mind that this is all temporary. Your baby will stop teething and sleep through the night, your toddler will learn how to share and be kind, your tweens and teens will learn responsibility and care for others so enjoy the “now.” “Consider it nothing but joy…” (James 1:2, AMP).

When I look back at all those years that we invested in our children and then to see them with their family today, I know that we have done our job— “…with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NIV).

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Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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Steps

This morning I woke up thinking about divorce. My parents were divorced when I was a child. They say that children are resilient and can adjust/overcome their circumstances. I believe that to a certain point. If the parent remarries and the stepparent actually steps in and assumes the role of a loving parent, accepting the child as his/her “own,” then the child can adjust.

If the stepparent is opposite of a supportive and nurturing parent, then the child will mourn the loss of the family unit and the effects can last a lifetime. That child would be forever thinking about “what if” or “what could have been” – if the parents had just put more effort into working things out then things would have been different, they would have been “one big happy family.” Dwelling on the past is not healthy.

What’s the point? Divorce happens, and it happens frequently. If you are going to marry someone with children/grandchildren, then love the children/grandchildren as your “own”—as if you had given birth to them or that you willingly adopted them. Be the kind of parent/grandparent to them that you always wanted to have, or if you had great parents/grandparents growing up then emulate that for them.

God gave us this example: “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure” (Eph 1:4-5, NLT).

We are called to love others as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and that definitely includes loving one’s stepchildren/step-grandchildren. Find the joy in being a stepparent/step-grandparent, just as God had “great pleasure” in adopting us into His own family. I think we would have less maladjusted children and adults if every stepparent/step-grandparent did this.

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

God will supply…

I don’t think I thank God enough for His blessings. This morning, as I was eating breakfast, I looked at the nearly panoramic view of the outside from the breakfast table, and I thanked God that I had this house—it’s not fancy, it’s not gigantic—it’s comfortable.

My husband and I are camping for the next two days in a campground that is only a couple of miles from our home. It’s a blessing that we have such a beautiful area to camp that so close to our house.

ImageImageImageI am thankful for this campground, for our camper, and for the bike that I rode today.

There were times when I had wished for a bigger place, more money, or more things, but now I realize that I should have been thankful for what I had.

Philippians 4:19 says, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (ESV).

I have a new appreciation for the things that God has given me. Instead of looking at what I don’t have, I look at what I do have.

Thank you, God, for my family, my job, my home, and all the things you have given to me!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Family

Recently I found out that my great great-grandfather was knighted by Queen Victoria (he’s pictured here with the sword that was used to knight him).

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It’s really neat that I have “royalty” in my bloodline; and although this is great news, it’s not as good as the assurance I have of being the daughter of a King—“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (1 John 1:12-13); “For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:3).

There are kings and queens in certain countries but the only way to be a part of their family is to be physically born into it. It’s not like that in God’s family—“He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us… You are members of God’s family” (Eph 2:17-19).

Do you feel insignificant or worthless? If you are in Christ then you are a part of God’s family and you are the son or daughter of a King! Remember that!

God, the Great and Powerful

We are reading the one-year Chronological Bible and we just finished the part when all of Joseph’s family (his father and brothers and all their families) moved to Goshen– it said that their number, including Joseph and his family, totaled 70 (Genesis 46).

I am now sitting in the living room watching my two baby granddaughters interacting with one another, and I look up and see my family’s picture over the fireplace. God has blessed me. It started with just my husband and me, and now we number 12 in our family (it’s actually 11, but my son and future daughter-in-law will be getting married in June).

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These passages in Deuteronomy say, “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands… You will experience all these blessings… Your children and your crops will be blessed… Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed” (Deu 28:1-2, 4, 6, NLT).

I don’t deserve any of His blessings, but by His grace He has blessed me. God is so amazing and awesome! He truly is great and powerful!