Four of our seven kids are moving out, moving on, and moving over! Today we’re losing our son Stephen, who’s moving to Rochester, New York. This will be a big change for him (and us), because up until now he’s always had a “Michigan” address even when he was in grad school and not living in our home. Aaron and Carlie are also moving with their family! Aaron’s accepted a new job, so they’re in the process of moving from the East Coast to the West Coast. Although they’ve been living in the East for quite awhile, the West Coast is a lot further away—no longer just a loooong day’s drive from Michigan, so it will be a big change for all of us. And then there’s Michael’s family, who are in transition from South Korea to Italy. Yikes! That’s not even states or coasts; that’s continental change. I feel like the tectonic plates of our entire family’s world are shifting…and it’s very unsettling! Even my “baby,” Joel, who’s been home for the summer doing an internship with Discovery House Publishers, has to go back to Boston before the sun sets on August, as he’ll be continuing his Ph.D. program in literature at Northeastern University. And then, Alan and I will be truly empty nesters. What will that be like? I’m not a bit sure what I think of all this!! Actually (of course), I’m delighted for the kids and in my head wouldn’t want it any other way. Growing up and flying high are good things. On the other hand, my heart does not approve at all of the distances growing between us. At such times, I try to keep looking up, remembering that the invisible bonds of love transcend time and space, and that my hope is in the Lord, who ordains all things for his glory and our good: “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
“Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
“Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
“Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
“Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
“Praise to the Lord, oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
Let the Amen sound from His people again, Gladly for aye we adore Him.”
(—Joachim Neander, pub. 1680 and tr. by Catherine Winkworth, 1863)