"Table for Two"
(By Nancy B. Gibbs - www.nancybgibbs.com)

9-5-2008 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #508
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

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Story of the Week
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Table for Two
(By Nancy B. Gibbs - www.nancybgibbs.com)

I remember quite well a day seventeen years ago. That day our twin sons, Chad and Brad, loaded their car and left home to attend college. I got up early that morning and cooked breakfast while wiping away tears. I sat our `table for five' and realized how all of our lives was about to change.

I noticed how quietness engulfed our kitchen that morning. The five of us sat down to breakfast, but nobody had anything to say. Not one of us knew what to say. Sure, the boys would be coming home on the weekends, but even so, I knew our family life would never be exactly the same again.

The boys rambled around each room of the house to make sure they hadn't forgotten anything they needed. I packed a cooler with drinks and their favorite cold snacks. I found a box and filled it with essential food items. When my mind tricked me into thinking they might go to bed hungry that night, I emptied my wallet and placed the little bit of cash I had in their hands.

We all walked outside. Chad and Brad gave me big hugs and quickly got into their car. I waved as they drove away. When I couldn't see their car any longer, I began to sob. I sat down on the driveway, placed my face in my hands and cried harder than I had cried in a long time. My husband, Roy tried to console me, but I could see grief in his eyes, as well.

Five years later, we went through many of the same emotions when our daughter, Becky, moved away from home. We had become somewhat accustomed to our `table for three.' We were sad that it would soon become a `table for two.' There are many parents dreading the next few weeks. Children will be packing their bags and cars. They will, like Chad, Brad and Becky, move away to attend college. Bittersweet feelings will be present.

While these parents will feel pride and joy for their children, they will also feel a sense of grief. Painful moments will fill their minds. While I cannot adequately explain the feelings, I can still remember how I felt when we began that new chapter in our lives.

The new chapter meant the telephone didn't ring as much. The house was quieter. I longed to see messy bedrooms once again. I would have loved to referee another sibling squabble.

The worst feeling I had was the thought I was no longer needed. Of course, I was proud that my children were self-sufficient. I knew, down deep, they wouldn't starve. But I would have loved to get up early to prepare lunches just one more time. I needed to be needed.

Time rocked on. Roy and I are now accustomed to the quaintness of our `table for two.' We enjoy our lives together. Every night is date night for us. Our dinner table is usually at someone's restaurant. As an added bonus, `dinner for two' is much more affordable than `dinner out for an entire family.'

I have to admit I still miss our children and the good times we had together. But I also have to say I so enjoy the time I spend with the man of my dreams than ever before.

Change is not always easy. If you are one of those parents, who will be saying goodbye through bitter tears in the next few weeks, let me prepare you for some hard and lonely days, weeks and even months.

But let me also say that a new chapter in your life is just ahead. Hold on tight until then. Look to God for direction and strength. Renew your vows to the one you love. And when you go to your favorite restaurant, say with a strong voice and a great deal of courage. "Table for two, please."

Roy and I have always enjoyed each other's company, but after the children moved away, we found a great amount of strength in each other. Some things have changed over the years. Our love for one another has grown stronger with each passing day.

Together, Roy and I are now doing things we never dreamed possible. Our children often talk about how we are busier and happier than we have ever been before. Could it be because we fell deeper in love as we spent quality time together at our table for two? We can find good in every situation when we give every situation to God.

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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You can argue over opinions about God, but experience with him and in him exists above and beyond all human controversy and mere intellectual logic. The God-knowing man describes his spiritual experiences, not to convince unbelievers, but for the edification and mutual satisfaction of believers.

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-1 Section-6)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Help me to hold on and to let go in their proper times.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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