My grandsons, Carter and Aidan, are growing up in their young years with a surprising truth: Grandmothers drive red convertibles. Really - both of their grandmothers drive red convertibles. Mine is an awesome Mustang, and the other grandma drives a red VW bug convertible.
So why a red convertible? I've had several people ask me, "Aren't you a little old for a mid-life crisis?" But this isn't a crisis at all. It is a statement about the future. Over the years I have driven sedans, stations wagons, vans - all big and rarely a color I would prefer. Now my kids are grown and I don't have to be sensible in my car size. I love red and I love sporty and I love wind in my hair.
But my car reflects a much more important message to me. So often when women - mothers - finish their primary parenting responsibilities (we know they don't really end), and their bodies begin to betray them some, they think it is time to relax, take it easy, put their feet up. I think the opposite is true: It is time to put on my running shoes (or hop in my Mustang) and see where God wants me to go.
I believe God wants me to be a good steward of all the experiences and lessons of my life. He has more people for me to touch for Jesus, more good works he has prepared for me to do, more opportunities (with my husband!) to grow and give - and now I have the freedom and wisdom and time to do them. My car helps me go, and the going gives me energy.
Read what the other grandma says: I consider this season of life often challenging and very rewarding. The freedom resulting from fewer family responsibilities has opened many new opportunities that I would not have had time for previously. I didn't for one minute expect God to ask me to do, or even think I was capable of doing, the things he is now asking of me. The things he had prepared for me have definitely taken me out of my comfort zone. But with his help the rewards are more than I ever imagined.
For you it may not be a red convertible, or even a car. But however you get there, make sure you go. If you are at a turning point, whether it is an empty nest or just a time of transition, if you suddenly have new time and freedom, ask God what he wants you to do, what new opportunities he has for you. God has called us to be partners with him in building his kingdom. He has given each of us so much, and he is not wasteful. Pursue his best next contribution for your life and ministry! (And take those grandkids with you!)