As we are driving down the road headed to take our youngest son to college, knowing the drive home will be the first time in 27 years that we’ve not had to go home to a schedule jam packed with two a day football practices, gathering endless school supplies while attending meet the teachers and ‘experience’ life as a High School student again. The battle of constantly choosing between which event was ‘more’ important than the other will be gone as well as scurrying to make lunches the night before. Joe and I will now fill our time getting to know one another better, learning a new rhythm and finding new interests we can share together.
Twenty-seven years is a long time to spend investing and shaping young lives and although we will miss their footsteps running down the stairs every morning, the empty jugs of milk left in the refrigerator and even the mounds of laundry
-we are confident the best is yet to come!
Last night on the eve of taking our youngest to college Joe looked at me and tenderly said, ‘it’s just the two of us babe!’.
We know this road will take some getting used to yet we also know it’s not the end of our family, merely a time for some adjusting and recalibrating…God has a way of shaping hearts in times like this.
Change has been visiting us all along, this one just came quicker than we thought and seems to be shaking us up a bit more than expected.
Children have a way of becoming a gauge for our heart.
We see our truest self staring back at us in some of the ugliest and most beautiful ways.
A child has a way of drawing us out…the good and not so good too.
I once read they are a way to holiness.
I get it, somewhere in between the sleepless nights and the frustating quarrels we find grace.
On this road we can often carry a load of regrets
-too much said and others of not enough.
And yet through it all if we keep our eyes fixed on what really matters when we come to this bend in the road we’re able to trust God a little bit more.
Sweet Mommas know….
The same God who has loved us through our hard and holy days is traveling with our sons & daughters.
My fingers recently traveled through the pages of Deuteronomy 11.18-21 where I found a place to rest my soul during these days of transition.
‘Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds;
Teach them to your children,
talking about them when you sit at home
when you walk along the road,
when you lie down
when you get up.
on the door frames of your houses
and on your gates,
so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.’
These words may stir within your chest a holy place of resolve, perhaps a place of beginning for new parents to set their hearts as it was for us so many years ago.
And now within these days as we prepare to hug our son’s neck and as he begins his many steps towards adulthood I am feeling sweetly held in the whispers of my Heavenly Father.
You see all those years even while some felt quite unproductive they were actually tender moments of investment in the hearts of our sons.
The many nights I lingered longer on the edge of their beds lying beside them listening to their hearts and working through things with them or sometimes just cuddling, investment was still incurring.
All of the times we’ve sown seeds of God’s words into their little and big hearts, it was happening…as we etched Gods words on the walls of our home it was happening too.
You see this scripture tells us to spend our days ‘teaching, talking and writing’ about the things of God. It tells us us to fix these words upon our hearts sweet Momma’s. So whether you’re in the thick of it or just beginning in parenting, seize these moments!
As I read these verses the other day rather than having a heart full of regrets I rested. Not because I’ve done it all perfectly or even half perfect, but because throughout the last 27 years this was our desire….the days something shook the heart of our child and busted them up and we had to reset our schedule to hear the brokenness of their hearts or the nights it felt like a struggle to get everyone in the same place all at once it was in all of these moments God was doing His miracle work in the lives of our sons and our family.
So as we launch this last arrow of ours, I’m choosing to rest my heart upon this truth, what we sow will eventually take root and flourish into a beautiful display of God’s working.
And in no way are we finished, our children will still lean into us and ask us for guidance, they’ll still want us actively in their lives but the days of washing their faces and tucking them in bed are behind us.
But its inside these days where grace extended becomes forgiveness given and our relationship shifts and becomes what God intended all along.
And within the years we’ve spent making memories there’s some mistakes that’ll need some redeeming too. So name them when needed and turn them in for some wisdom to guide you in the days ahead.
I’m never going to stop releasing these arrows from my grip because arrows were designed to fly and sons were created to leave as well….love always experiences loss.
I once left my parent’s house to make a home with my ‘One for a lifetime’ and now its time for the passing on of a new generation to be birthed.
So, my Son as you venture into this adventure of your life, know we couldn’t be more excited for you! And tomorrow as we unpack all the treasures you’ve collected for a lifetime remember the ones that really matter are the souls you collect in heaven. The ones you pour yourself into, loving them beyond your own capacity and as you dip into what God provides remember nothing is really yours anyway.
I pass on these 9 words handed straight out of your own Grandpa’s hands….if he were here with us he would tell you these simple truths.
God is Real-even when you hurt so bad and you can’t feel Him, He is still as real as when He created you.
(The) Bible is True-no matter what other’s might tell you, truth is only found in Him.
Jesus is Alive-and because of this we have the opportunity to live forever with Him.
So Son, be strong and courageous in the Lord-He is with you!
Love, your one & only Momma….