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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

New Seasons,Cleansing Tears, and Perspective Changes

There are pieces scattered about. Remnants still of the going away party. The wooden palette backdrop daddy made and the boys helped decorate. We spent a little too much time in Hobby Lobby for the right decor. And here it sits. Reminding me of the day I felt so overwhelmed with so much to do standing in Hobby Lobby with you shopping for so many last minute things.

And it’s all done already. 

Now it is just an empty backdrop that was filled just a week ago with smiling faces and phones snapping pics and friends all wishing you well.

I looked outside this morning so saw the badminton net. And I flashed to all the family games we played this summer after dinner. All the laughs. As the mosquitoes began to bite, there we would play until the last glimpse of light was left and evening fell. I can still hear the crickets coming out and the frogs peeping signaling that it was time to go inside. Then we’d go into the house and eat ice cream and stay up way too late. You’d come in our room and you’d all pile on our bed. Teenagers! Who would have believed they’d still pile on our bed. And we loved it. Oh, how I miss it.

I was thinking about this stage of life. Every other stage of parenthood and childhood sort of happens slowly. The transformation of a newborn into an infant. They start to roll, then crawl, then toddle about. Then a toddler turns into a child. And then a teen into a tween. It’s sort of gradual process and a slow loss of the last season. Sometimes we longed for the last season, but we never realized it until we were in the next, because of they all sort of melded together, ever so slowly, not realizing where one ended and the next began.

But this time it’s so abrupt. One minute we’re playing badminton and shopping for party supplies and the next day you’re living in a new state with new people. You’ve gone from a teenager and high school senior to a college freshman and young adult seemingly overnight.

I know that this transition is necessary and part of life. And the school she is attending is more perfect than I ever dreamed. (More on that in the future)

But even though it’s all good, my mama heart just needs time to adjust. Grieve a little. And even be excited in the midst of all that pain. I don’t ever remember a time of my life when I can go from crying sobbing sad tears to joyous ones in minutes. But that’s what this stage does to you.

And cleansing tears. They really are cleansing tears. They need to be shed. And soon, we will have a new rhythm and a new season as we go through this journey of life.

This kind of change once again brings into light what is truly important in life. Your perspective changes greatly. And my quest to live simply so I can focus on what matters most is greater than ever. I have seen this week what truly matters.

May we never hold so tightly to one season we don’t move into the next.

That’s my prayer for today. In this moment. Because in my flesh I want to hold on tight. Yet, God wants us to hold loosely to everything. He always has something better and new in-store.

So I cling to that promise expectantly. Even if it hurts a little letting go.

This morning there was a brilliant sunrise. What a gift to remind me that each day, each season, brings a new and promise-filled time of hope and joy and excitement. Because living for God is what it is all about and His mercies are new each day.

Simply...Living For Him

Mac and Cheese and Life Changes

There it sat in the sink. A plate with remnants of macaroni and cheese. The cheese hardening as it does after sitting out an entire day. A sight that would normally cause frustration.

“Who didn’t put their plate in the dishwasher? Who left this here all day only to leave me to clean it up?”

Only this time it was different. I held the plate, stared at it and fought back tears. But they still came.

My mind flashed to earlier that morning. Tensions were high. Emotions were high. Excitement was high. We were almost ready to walk out the door and take my firstborn to college. One last “mothering” moment. I asked her if she had eaten anything.

It was barely 7 am so I knew the answer. She never liked to eat early, let alone this early. “Please just eat something. It’s going to be a long day and you need to be nourished.”

Without a word, she walked over to the fridge and took out the leftovers from her special going away meal the night before. Homemade mac and cheese. One of her very favorites. I bit my tongue because heaven knows mac and cheese at 7 am isn’t usual, but I was just thrilled she was eating something. And truth be told, it would nourish her for the day ahead.

She stood there eating from the plate, one last comfort of home before we left for the unknown.

And now, here I was left staring at the plate. Perspective changed. Normally I would fuss about the plate being left in the sink, but here I lingered. I held the plate and was so caught off guard that such a thing would set me off. But it did.

Tears started to well up. I was grateful for that plate.

 

It was a sobering reminder though of the last thing she did right before she left. Something that was so ordinary now became a profound moment. I know that the next time she eats a meal in the house things will be different. They just will. She will have new friends, new mentors, new experiences. She will have new knowledge and Lord willing, new wisdom. She will be different. Our family will be different. One has gone out to experience life outside of our safe little haven and our familiar life. And that’s a good thing. It is time.

Our last meal at the school, together

I am grateful the last thing my daughter did before she left was to eat a nourishing meal, homemade by her mama. And I pray that her soul was nourished in some way too.

Life changes are hard. But good. But really hard. But really good.

Who would have thought a plate of macaroni and cheese would spark such feelings? You just never know.

I am grateful for this moment. We have arrived at a new chapter in life and it is exciting. I couldn’t be more overjoyed for the place she is in. And it’s all God’s leading. For now, I am taking time to adjust to our new normal. Whatever that means. But that’s what they say you need to do. Trusting the Lord with each moment and thanking Him for that plate of mac and cheese.

 

Simply...Living For Him

Changing Seasons

Life is full of seasons, and as I look back on them, each fondly in their own right, I am filled with joy.

There was the season of pregnancies. With each one, the doctor visits, the worries, the preparations. Making sure we picked out that perfect stroller, high chair, and baby gear.

The toddler season. Life got interesting. A bunch of littles all preschool age and under. It was busy and tiring, and loud…but full of life. There were times of worry and times of change and maybe a bit too much of hope for the future to get through that current season.

 

Then came the school years.  A life-changing season. The homeschooling season. Life seemed to be packed with lessons and field trips and friends. It was a magnificent season, of course with hardships woven throughout. Just like any season.

And then the teenage years. The ones I was told would be awful and hard. To my surprise, it’s my very favorite season. I adore these young people. Sure there were a few challenges here and there as we all experienced growing pains, but the fun we had! The laughs! And the enjoyment of watching the kids who had depended on me as littles now took on so much responsibility, and often I would depend on them.

They began to grow into their personalities which were so evident from the beginning– the strong will of a toddler became the strong conviction of a teen. The energy of a child became the motivation and endurance of a young adult. The curiosity of a little one became the teen who is always learning.

Yes, the seasons of change. 

And here we are on the cusp of a new season. One that will bring it all to fruition. Life will become different. The child now an adult. The full time living here as a family of six, who loves to be together will now be five full time, with anticipation of that sixth one’s visit. But it’s ok. It’s just how it supposed to be. Life moves forward. It ebbs and flows and comes out on the other side of each undulation different. Often better. But always different. I look forward to seeing what is in store in the new season.

Simply...Living For Him

Redemption

If there is has ever been a picture of redemption it is right now- watching my girl get ready for college.

As you have all seen through the myriad of posts these past several months, the time is approaching. In nine days to be exact. It’s been an emotional time and I think I have felt it all lately- excited, scared, happy, sad, elated, nervous, and the list goes on.

As I watched her leading worship this past weekend though, one word came to me that I hadn’t really felt before.

Redemption.

And it took my breath away.

Oh, praise the Father!

 

 

You see, I also went off to college at the age of 18. But for me, it was a completely different experience. I was an utterly different teenager. I had been through a tumultuous time in my teen years. I put my parents through many nightmares. My life was fairly dysfunctional, to say the least, as were my relationships.

And when it came time to go to college, I couldn’t wait to finally leave! It wasn’t a sad time for any of us. There was no lamenting in the last days. I am fairly certain I was counting them because they didn’t go by fast enough. There were no tears, just the feeling that I was finally getting away.

And then I got away. 

And when I looked at my girl up there singing praises to her Savior this past Sunday, it hit me so hard. She is about to go off to college…and for me, going off to college was the beginning of the worst time of my life. The time where I would meet people that would not only be the “wrong crowd,” but it was the time where so much harm was done and I would walk through some pretty awful experiences.

The feelings overwhelmed me as she, up there with a huge smile, worshiping the Lord, started to mesh into my own memories of me at that same time. It was all so overwhelming.

And all I could think of was, “Redemption.”

If I had not gone through all the horrific things that I did at her age, she wouldn’t be here. None of my kids would. I wouldn’t have ended up meeting my husband if I hadn’t gone through every single terrible moment.

If I hadn’t walked through the doors of darkness, I wouldn’t have seen the light I do today.

Isn’t that an amazing thought?

Redemption.

It’s what God does.

And so as I feel all the normal things that come with letting my girl go off to college…(and I am truly excited for her!) the biggest one that hits me today is, God has restored.

At 18, I was rebellious, lost, and living in darkness. 

At 18, she is walking with the Lord, has the most amazing friendships, and is a light to all who know her. She is capable and confident and about to go to Bible college to pursue her passions. It really couldn’t be any more opposite of where I was at 18.

A picture of God’s mercy and grace…and redemption. That is what I see as we watch this young woman go to the next chapter of her life. And I praise the Lord for what He alone can do.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My Chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing Grace