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Almost 22 years ago, I became a mother. My life has not been the same since. Almost six months ago, Patrick and I became empty-nesters, but I'm still a mother. In fact, I'm doing as much mothering as I've done before.

I've had two pregnancies and given birth twice, yet I am "mom" in some way, shape, or form to my two biological children and four other young women. My heart and mind are never empty.

Last week, one of my girls had her first baby, so now I'm "Nana Catherine"! Yesterday, I spent an hour with her and her husband and new baby. We talked and I got to hold the baby. I had also brought some casseroles and some brownies. What new parents really have time to cook? It was a precious time.

Another one of my girls was an exchange student with us for a semester last year. She's coming to visit over Easter weekend and we're so excited! Lydia (my biological daughter) and Jenna (my son's girlfriend and another of my girls) will be around that weekend. We're going to decorate Easter Eggs and eat chocolate and generally be girls!

Jesi and Steph are two of my other girls. Jesi lived with us for six months when she was five years old and she is basically one of my daughters. (Funny story. Jesi and Lydia and I were in WalMart the other day. I turned to Jesi and said, "Where's my daughter?" She answered, "I'm right here." "The original," I said. She answered, "That's me. I'm older." "OK. Where's Lydia." I said. "Oh, her. I don't know." said Jesi.) Jesi and Steph were married in December, but they're having their fancy wedding ceremony in September. Last weekend, we chose a shawl pattern and yarn so I can make a wedding shawl for Jesi to wear in the wedding. I am a total sucker for weddings!

When Christopher went off to school this fall, I was a little concerned about what I was going to do. The Bible doesn't have any verses about what to do about the "empty nest" stage of life. But, the Bible is clear about how to walk with Jesus, no matter the stage of life. Matthew 22:37:-39 "Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

I can do this. I can love these young women. So, it seems my calling as an empty nester is to be a mom. I'm a mom to my biological children, but also to these young women who need mothering. I won't be a perfect mom, but I'll be loving. Love God. Love others.

What do you think about calling? Has your calling changed over time?

Catherine