Stop the striving …

My sweet Glory is getting ready to pack up her vehicle and move her boyfriend to Texas to live with her.
Five years ago, I would have been sorely disappointed.
Ten years ago, I would have been devastated.

But, I am a different person today than I was five or ten years ago.
Divorce has been so good for me.

In a conversation with a friend last night, I was asked how I felt about this move.
Without hesitation, I replied, “I’m okay with it.”

At the end of every Super Soul Sunday interview, Oprah ends her conversation with this marvelous question

“What do you know for sure?”

I am still blown away by the question.
If there IS one thing that I KNOW for sure,
it’s that I really don’t know much of anything for sure.

Through divorce, I lost all those crazy dreams of things that may never happen
… those dreams that you hold on to because you want them to come true.
I used to be so hopeful. But, my hopes hung on ideals and expectations.

Oh, what joy and freedom
to just live …
in the here and now
not waiting for
hoping for
or praying for something
bigger, better, faster, stronger, safer, richer ….
just be.
today.
here.
now. 

Life is a journey ... not a destination. - Emmerson

What DO I know for sure?
I know that life is full of lessons.
And it is a gift that we go through struggles.

I’ve noticed a recurring theme in the answers given to Brandon on the Humans of New York webpage. When asked about regrets, we often make decisions on how to live our lives according to the things we have seen others do. We decide we won’t spank our children, because our parents were too aggressive with spankings. Or we choose to indulge in grand vacations, because our parents never took us away from home. Or we decide to let our kids eat whatever they desire, because we were forced to eat green things and we still hate them.

Click here for a perfect example.  This woman said, “”My mom died the week she was supposed to retire. I think she died of sheer exhaustion. So I decided I was going to live my life in the present, and not focus on money. I just wanted to know myself and live life accordingly. I never thought about the future. So I find myself, at my age, having to focus on money.”

Here’s another.   ““My dad was a Latin musician, so I rebelled against that and chose rock and roll. So I wanted to be careful not to try to force my interests on my son, because then he’d go the other direction.”

This man  is living his life in a way that makes sure that his son has a better life than he did.

Here’s the thing; there are no guarantees. Going left may keep you from the trouble you see on the right, but you don’t know what struggle is around the bend, over the hill or just out of sight …. down the path leading from the left fork.

My daughter is moving her boyfriend into her apartment half way across this nation to live with her. Am I okay with it? Absolutely. You know why? Because, she’s a grown woman. There are lots of roads to be taken. Hers is not mine to travel. And hers is not even mine to direct. I could plan out her life making my decisions according to what I did right or wrong, what I should have done or what my parents did or didn’t do … and in the end, her life could still be a total wreck. Her life may or may not be what I expected for her when I was planning or directing. Most importantly, it certainly wouldn’t be a fulfillment of her vision for her life.

I have had the firsthand experience of watching a parent turn their back on a child because a child said something that hurt their feelings. The words spoken were foolish, but the fact is ….. a child spoke them. I’ve seen parents turn away from children for their actions. We all do things that don’t please others. If I please you today with my words, surely they will offend someone else. It’s all part of life.

My dream today for my children like my dream for myself ; just be. Drop the expectations. Leave behind the struggles of what should or shouldn’t happen. Forget about that hokey movie-script life. Even the people who LOOK like they have it all together …. simply have a well-constructed facade. There is no perfect life.

Of course, I pray, hope and dream that my children love God and obey Him …
but just like He does for each one of us,
He’ll deal with them on own His time
in the areas that He chooses
in the way, timing and order that He chooses.
It’s not my job to step in and snatch His job from His hands.
What a joy! It’s not my job anymore.
Because if I look back over my life …. I’ve made some really big messes.
Here is one thing I can say I know for sure; it’s a good thing
that I’m not perpetually in charge of anyone
except myself.

In a few days, I’ll watch Glory drive out of the driveway to begin a new chapter in her adventure book. She has a wonderful boyfriend who adores her. He even embraces her feisty spirit!  I see how comfortable she is with him. I see them thoroughly enjoy each other. They appear to be a good fit.

Yet, they will have bumps in the road. They will hit struggles. But, the life is theirs to live. I’m not willing to let my ideals and expectations get in the way of loving her and remaining in sweet fellowship with her.

What I know for sure is
people and relationships are more important than ideals and expectations.

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Makes Me Happy Monday : Snow Memories

Parts of the south froze over last week without the joy of snow to make it feel worthwhile.
But, Augusta enjoyed a few inches.

Our Our city and county, much smaller, of course, than the metropolis of Atlanta, planned ahead and told us Monday that schools would close on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was an extra gift.
So, for three days, our city sat still …
Children laughed and ran about in yards, on sidewalks and at our park where there is a slight little hill that at least offers a toddler an enjoyable quick slide on a make-shift sled.

Yes, my kids were the ones that were loud and outside at 10:30pm throwing snowballs on Tuesday night.

Accumulation

My two introverts (oldest and youngest) played outside a bit on Tuesday,
but huddled inside for most of the rest of their break.

Snowball, anyone? But, this girl ^ would have none of that.
My more extroverted, middle child decided to play outside off and on all day Wednesday.
She made snowballs and threw them at anyone who dared venture out of the house.

Snow happy

She made pretty little snowgirl.

Glory and her Snowman

In fact, she crafted several snowmen around the yard.
Making a second snowman

It brought me such joy to see her really play …. with her 22-year-old self.

Glory's snowman

Right after ^ this photo, her sweet little snowgirl came apart. The snow was so light and fluffy that it didn’t pack well.
Alas, we enjoyed her in pieces for the next few days.

Oops. Snowball parts

All that is left of her now is a memory.

Snowman remnants

But, memories are sweet and to be treasured.
We enjoyed almost a full week of homemade chocolate with real whipped cream,
damp hats, gloves and shoes drying by the fireplace
and warm homemade soups and chowders.

Chicken and dumplings

Everybody in the family was in the same home
and there was laughter and joy.
Our week was Snow Much Fun!
Yes, snow memories from last week make me happy!
What makes you happy this marvelous Monday morning?

A “Big Girl” purse and car

I still remember when she first purchased the purse. She brought it home and said ” I feel all GROWN up now! I have a ‘BIG GIRL’ purse.” She made a verbal list and talked about the few purses that she had owned and faithfully carried, the first being a little black bag covered in circles of fun primary colors. It was gifted her one year at Christmas by a dear friend who employed her as a nursery sitter. Once a week, I would attend a Bible study on post. While I soaked in The Word and fellowship, she ministered to little ones for the harried mamas that so badly needed a break and rejuvenation. She earned money, respect and sitter skills during those years. And she was given her first “real” purse by the friend who secured her in that position.

When she moved from a cute purse to a “Big Girl” purse, she noted the change.
She has since moved out of my home and moved on.
She works several jobs and goes to school full-time.
She is dependable, friendly and wise.
She is my Sunshiney-Girl.
And upon occasion, she calls me just to say with  overwhelmed inflection,
“I never knew it’d be THIS hard to be “all grown up.”

In 2009, God graciously gifted this girl  with an awesome, fun ride.

She drove it carefully for several years, but of late, began to talk of a new vehicle.

Her daddy has always wanted a convertible  … so Comedy bought Glory’s Mustang and Glory used that money to buy herself
a “Big Girl Car.”

She is so excited about her car. Now, she can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter because cool/hot air are not lost through the roof. She has a lot more space to carry “stuff” or people. She has four doors rather than two so it’s easier for people to jump in and out. She sits up much higher off the ground so she can see and be seen better. She’s no longer in a “hot rod” that draws attention from police.

At first, she was a little apprehensive about the car. It felt a tad too “mature,” I think. But, she’s been driving it for going on a week and she’s in.love.

And I’m so happy for her! I watch God care for her … protect her … bless her … and I’m thankful.
I watch her grow and stretch and mature and I celebrate.
I see her struggle ..  but ever-so-wisely make it through
one life-maturing situation after another.
And I’m both proud … of her
and thankful for God’s faithfulness.

She’s an awesome girl with a huge heart, a tenacious determination
and …. “Big Girl Purse
and Car” to boot.

I love my Sunshiney-Girl.

Someone stole my jon boat

I’ve been having a really hard time getting to sleep the last few weeks. Some nights, I get to sleep on time but then wake up to *blink blink blink* at the ceiling in the darkness for several hours before I am able to settle back down.

At 12:15 am last night, I was proud to be sleeping soundly when I heard someone dragging a jon boat around the end of the house. I wondered how they would hoist it up over the fence … unless of course, there were two thieves working in cohorts. Had they looked closely?  The chain link fence on this end of the house has no gate. As my ears honed in on the flexing metal, I realized that we were finally receiving some much-needed rain. HA! The burglar is getting soaked while he plunders.

I listened intently and tried to figure out EXACTLY what was happening outside. Knowing that we HAVE no jon boat to steal, I decided to open my bedroom door and meet this rustler face-to-face so I could see what he really was attempting to gain on the sly.

All that racket?  …. with flashlight in hand and hood pulled up over her ponytail, ’twas my oldest girl/child. She was coming out from under the crawl space of the house (which has an unwieldy metal entry door that is almost DIRECTLY underneath my bed) digging out cat care items … litter box and cat carrier type. Not knowing I was there, she jumped with a startle when I asked, “WHAT are you doing!!??”  She handed me the maglite and asked me to illuminate the metal door while she tried to wrestle it into place. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that a big, black roach was teetering on the brickwork eighteen inches above her head. “Okay,” I agreed while I bit my lip and prayed that roach would stay put. If the neighbors weren’t awake, they certainly would be when she screamed and ran through the yard in the rain. And I wondered just how long it would be before a clap of thunder set off the neighbor’s car alarm which would simply add dimension to the wonder of the night.

You KNOW the girl wants to take a cat badly if she’ll brave RAIN
(which is accompanied by thunder and lightning- her trembling fear)
at midnight
when Palmetto bugs crawl down from the tree crevices and explore the world
in order to retrieve a pet carrier.

Glory moved out about a year ago. She lived with two girls who were sisters. Just as much as she enjoyed living with them in the beginning, she struggled in the end. One sister is a great deal like Glory, in my opinion (doesn’t mind telling people what to do – a wonderful quality … but doesn’t work well when there are two trying to fill that role) and the other is … well … Glory affectionately called the other room-mate her “Five year old BFF room-mate” for quite a while. She’s incredibly silly and fun. She’s quirky and oh.so.witty. But, just as deep as their gregarious endearment for each other, their contempt for each other was the same when they disagreed.

After the girls had been living together for a bit, Glory took Brier to live at the apartment. She’s been very fond of Brier since Brier first came to live with us. And Brier is pretty low maintenance. She has no front claws so she doesn’t hurt furniture. She’s very laid back. There is no issue with spilling, digging or making messes. She’s a sleeper and a lover. BUT, she has some odd intestinal issues. When she’s fed cheap cat food, she will vomit. And she can’t have any kind of “people” food – especially milk.  And evidently, her stomach acts up when she’s under stress.

Not long after Brier went to live with the girls, the Five Year Old BFF got a kitten. My understanding is that the kitten … acted very much like …  a kitten. He was rambunctious and quite the teaser. He was notorious for knocking over glasses of any  beverage. He plundered and played. He was … acting his age and species.

Brier began to eat the kitten food and then had some stomach issues. She threw up several times … even in the roommate’s room.  This caused the room-mate to fall into a tail spin.

So, late one evening, after being cussed out by text message by the kitten’s mom, Glory came in with Brier in her arms …. sobbing the tears of a brokenhearted mom. She said the stress was too much and she couldn’t take it any more. Glory hated the room-mates kitten and the room mated hated Brier. I’m proud of Glory. She took the high road and brought Brier back home.

Strangely enough, Brier hasn’t thrown up since that day.

….. fast forward ….

A few weeks ago, Glory moved into a new apartment. She has one room-mate, which, in my humble opinion, is always better than two. When Glory was growing up, my rule was (per Dee Brestin’s advice in the wonderful book Friendships of Women) “one – OR – three or more.”  We would never have TWO girls over to play with Glory because there would ALWAYS be one girl left out. It’s the way we are built, we women. We cling. We gravitate. We group. And when there are three girls in a group, there is one left out.

Glory’s new room-mate, River, has been off on a trip. While she has been away, Glory has been lonely (being the social chicka that she is).  With a thunderstorm overhead, she decided she needed to swing by after work to pick up her girl and all the cat products necessary to do a dry run at the new apartment. She’s hoping and praying that River and Brier will hit it off well.

And, frankly, so am I. I love Brier … but Glory loves her more. I hope things will be good at the new apartment.

And I hope nobody else tries to steal my jon boat
because late night thievery is quiet unsettling ….
especially when getting to sleep in the first place
has been a real challenge.

She and I

She and I …. my oldest Glory girl ….
we sat there in the front yard, lush grass against our thighs,
her beautiful smile warming my night.
I guess I got to steal her away from customers at the restaurant,
shopping with friends, kayak football and a boyfriend that blesses her for
a solid hour of constant talk and perpetual listening.
It was sweet …
tender, gentle, bliss
and r.a.r.e.

We watched a toad find his way out of his little toady daytime hiding hole
and hop across the yard and I told her I’m thankful that she’s not a girly-girl.
She agreed. Life would be so much less fun that way.
She can shoot a gun, paddle her own kayak, primitive camp
and still twirl in the most beautiful circle of a summer dress ….
her light brown strands brushing her shoulder
shimmery, shiny and smooth.

We ramble on …
she’s moving and excited. She’s going on a birthday trip to the mountains. Her boyfriend wears Georgia boots to the beach with his jeans and she doesn’t care that he’s the only one NOT in khaki shorts and flip-flops. She just got her car out of the shop and now owes two months rent for its repair. We cover a menagerie of topics.
I tell her about my upcoming trip to South Georgia, touching down in Florida and an exciting fossil hunting kayak trip planned soon, as well. I talk about my zipline trip, my sweet grocery hauler and the fresh pink splash in my hair.

We talk about her wonderful boyfriend and all of his grand goodness.
She confides again that she worries about me and doesn’t want to see me alone
for the rest of my life.
I concede.
And I wonder how this can be? Will it be this way? Do I interpret His Holy Word properly?

Some think so …. some think not.

How can I NOT spend my life-giving to someone?
…. doing for him?
…. loving him?
…. finding ways to please and bless and enrich his life?
Is this really how it is to be?
When this is what I feel best built and equipped to do?
Serve? Love? Pour myself out?

Then I remember His Word and think I have some understanding of the principle
behind the verses.
Remarriage is a form adultery
putting one love above a first love
an original promise.
Am I right? Is this it?
This is hard … intensely, powerfully difficult.

Is salvation lost by this adultery?
Of course, not.

sooooo ….
where is the risk?
what am I forfeiting?
fewer “jewels in my crown” in heaven?
fewer “rewards?”

I certainly do not know. I don’t understand.
I don’t have answers
and I don’t know whom to ask my questions.

She tears up and shares how she misses her daddy. “I was his little girl. How could he do this?”
The pain is not gone. She misses him … who we were … as a family.
And I understand.
And I do, too.

I saw a friend’s beautiful photo on Facebook. She was standing among a circle of family; her husband, two beautiful daughters and handsome son. The five of them stood with smiles and I was struck by the fact that I would never, ever have that again. There will never be another family photo. There will never be a family trip. There will never be a family meal, holiday or celebration. ever. *gulps*

And I mourn.
still.
Comedy has told Glory,
“Your mom needs to move on.”
Sometimes I just don’t know HOW to move on.
Because I don’t know where I am allowed to go.
I wonder; is this it? Am I there?
Because I feel incomplete.
And it is difficult.

Daughter Fun

After going to a doctor’s appointment together, Glory and I ran by the commissary. I agreed to pick up a few things for her as we shopped.  Since she’s living on her own, I don’t think she’s eating quite as healthy as she did at home. And I don’t really spoil the kids, so it was just a little treat to be able to buy her a handful of things.

Glory and I had so much fun shopping. She makes me laugh. She makes me sing. I just enjoy her so much. And, oh how I miss her since she’s moved out. 

She reached for this juice and said, “Oh, Mama. This is my favorite juice.”
I’m thinking, “Of course it is. It’s also the most e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e juice in the display.”
With a yearning expression, she said, “It’s like a HUG in my mouth!”
I laughed
took a photo and said
“Put it in the buggy”
with a giggle.

When I was shopping with Joy just a few weeks earlier, she caught me.  I sent her on a hunt for canned olives and angel hair pasta.  By the time she returned to me, I was standing in front of the dairy section. To be honest, I was actually leaning over the cheese. And I was quietly … okay …. probably not really very quietly …. singing to myself. “Cheese! Oh.my.goodness! Cheese” …. or something like that.  I had my hands on my cheeks with excitement and I’m absolutely sure that my eyes were sparkling.

She turns the corner around the Easter candy and says,
“Mom! Really? …. Do you act like this ALL the time?
Not just when I’m around? Seriously? Mom, WHAT are you doing?”

She sees me ride the buggy through the parking lot and splash in the rain puddles on the way into the store. I guess she thinks I only do those things when she’s with me!!

I tell her, “We can buy cheese …. lots of it!!  Pounds and pounds!! Colby and Medium Cheddar and Mozzarella … even Sharp, if you want!!”

LOOK!  Look at these prices!!  A block of any Kraft cheese costs $2.50 per POUND!!! For 16 full ounces!! Two dollars and fifty cents!!! Look!!

Here’s a photo from a few days later. This was taken at Walmart. Kraft Cheese in the one pound blocks there runs you $4.78. That’s almost double the price. Isn’t that a reason to sing?  Really, I should have been singing AND dancing right there in the dairy aisle at the commissary!!

I love the commissary (military grocery store).
I really should shop there more often.
But, it’s quite a trek from my house, so I don’t.

And I’m glad none of my kids embarrass very easily. Life would be
very awkward if they did … well, for THEM anyway!

And while we were snapping photos, Glory took a photo of me. Robin Eggs are my absolute-all-time-favorite Easter candy. But, I can’t eat them any more. I realized about ten years ago that I really, truly do have a chocolate allergy. I don’t eat chocolate at all. So, at least at Easter, I pick up the bags of Robin Eggs and smell them. It does me good. It’s a once a year treat …. to smell the Robin Eggs!

By the way, my bosoms don’t really hang down to my belly button the way that this photo makes them look.  My shirt has a peace sign on it and … somehow it must just be an optical illusion. Promise.

So, all this grocery store fun made me think about God and how much He must love it when we, His children, really visit with Him.  Sure He loves when we talk to Him about the things we love (like orange juice) and thank Him for things that smell yummy (like chocolate Easter treats). And i believe He loves it when we enjoy the puddles He created and the grocery carts that provide a fun ride to the car.  When we are so busy that we don’t talk to Him or laugh with Him, I bet He misses us, too. But, when we “include” Him in our day, on our way and in our fun … not just in the tough stuff,
I bet ….
it makes Him giggle, as well.

Breakfast and a Kitty

This was my view through the den bay window this weekend. It makes me smile. James’ new car (a replacement after THIS one was totaled) and Glory’s sweet car were both on the street. James’ says he’ll never park in the driveway again. ever. Glory parks on the street because she can zip in and zip out a lot faster.

It was so nice to have Glory home some this weekend. As she stood in the kitchen and rambled on about a dozen things, I felt myself begin to smile. I said, “I miss you.” I thought I might just melt into a puddle. I did well, though.  I cried just a minute, and then regained my composure. I really do miss her.     a lot.

She spent most of the day Saturday with us.  I love it when she shows up and I’m able to pamper her in some little way. Her roommate has gotten miffed with her and basically told her that she doesn’t want to speak to her anymore. Yes, they have a lease for an apartment until July. *awkward* It seems as though Brier is part of the problem,  so, in tears, Glory brought Brier “home.”  It crushed Glory to bring her home.  She was literally sobbing as she walked into the house, cat carrier in hand.  At least once a week she texts me some photo of this pampered cat to say how much she loves her.  She puts status updates on Facebook like, “It’s completely unnatural for someone to love their cat as much as I do mine,”  or “Brier and I are chillin’ and watching a movie on the couch.” I think that I’m most proud of the fact that she was willing to give up her cat … though she’s not asking the same of her roommate (who also has a cat).  They share the lease, so each has equal responsibility, but my girl was quick to do the difficult thing. I’m proud of her.

So, I asked if she was hungry for breakfast after she got Brier settled in. “Yes ma’am,” she replied.   Hmmm…… what could I create for her … how can I pamper this dear child that I miss so?

I head to the kitchen. I cook some bacon and place it on an antique plate while French Toast waffles cook in the waffle maker.  With a strawberry sliced and waiting to be the final touch, Glory confides in me:  “Ya know,” she begins, “Alex tried to get me to take you to Sunrise Grille for breakfast or to bring you a yummy muffin from Sunshine Bakery.”  “Really?” I ask, wondering where this is going.  “Yep,” she continues, “but I told him ‘No way.’  If I brought you something you wouldn’t make me a special breakfast with fresh squeezed orange juice or some yummy something with powdered sugar sprinkled on the top and garnished with pretty fresh fruit.”

In a moment, I hand her the plate and a silver fork.
I am thankful that she’s home for a visit to be pampered
and she immediately takes a photo to send to her boyfriend.
“See?” she texts him, “She made me breakfast.” *insert big cheezy grin*
Yes, she knows me.
Wow. I feel like a sucker.
And ya know what?  I’m perfectly okay with that.

It’s not all about Me

Prayer for my children

Only two days after writing about my prayer for my kids (here),
I opened David Jeremiah’s devotional book Sanctuary and began to read.

The FIRST page that I read
only two days after writing about praying for my children
was about praying for my children. (stab to the heart)

Why “stab to the heart”?
After reading David Jeremiah’s words
I so clearly saw my poem
as  “Lord, I got this. Now, would you fill in the gaps?”

I’m SURE that’s not the heart in which it was written.
And it’s not the spirit that I prayed it
but it was the conviction of my heart
as I read David Jeremiah’s words that morning
sun filtering through my bedroom window.

“If I had to reduce it to just one thing,
I would pray for my child’s personal relationship with the Lord Jesus,
because if that’s solid, most of the other stuff will settle in.

I can honestly say that I haven’t prayed THOSE SPECIFIC words
in that way.
I pray that my children would be drawn closer to God and be more like Him.
I pray that He would shine a light on their sins and they would see them
and choose repentance and then obedience.
I pray that Joy would use her drama for good and to bring Him glory.

But, somehow this feels bigger, deeper, denser.
And so, I will pray, pray, pray for “relationship.”
It’s a cliche, catch-word today. But, it’s the heart of the matter.
Yes, Lord, let’s reduce it to ONE thing:
Fellowship, yes, that’s it.
I will remember to pray for fellowship
between my children and my Father … their Heavenly Father.

That HE would truly be
their haven, their refuge,


their Sanctuary.

.

I’m a “Creeper”

It is summertime.
I am looking for the cat …
and find her snuggled up with him.
I have to take a photo.
I slink away, so as not to wake either of the slumbering
and then stealthily creep back into the room with my camera.
I snap shot after shot.
I think nothing of it
but am exceedingly quiet so as not to wake them
and ruin the moment.James and Brier

I didn’t show up the photos when he woke up. I don’t often show my photos
because I take a few
to several dozen
per day.

Later, he happened to see them.
And he called me a “creeper.”

Bone of my bone … flesh of my flesh …blood of my blood.
Conceived, nourished and carried within my own frame.
And he called me a “creeper?”

He won’t understand until he has a child of his own.

This is not new for me.
I have even gone into Glory’s room from time to time.
I wrote here about her … though she didn’t call me a “creeper.”

James as an infant. Probably just a week or two old

But, when I look at him … or any of my three,
there is still this emotion of “ownership.”

I have NEVER been a Mama to say,
” I brought you into this world; I can take you out,” with a lip smack and a head bob.
BUT, I have been known to proclaim in exasperation to the elementary school cherub
who is hiding a fresh wound from me with tears cascading down the cheeks,
blood sprinting across the shin,
flesh uncomfortably rearranged on the knee and squalls barreling from the lungs,
“That is MY knee! I made that knee! You have to let me see it!! Be still!”

*whispers* Mamas always tiptoe in, don’t they? … to peek at the sleeping one
to catch a glimpse of the still, the quiet, the peaceful
… to view the one that is always a blurrrrrrr …… of movement
…. m.o.t.i.o.n.l.e.s.s …. *whispers* …. and silent.
James around a year oldI don’t ever remember leaving the room and thinking
“I’ll never go back in there! I have seen enough.”

And so, it’s hard for me NOT to begin a full-fledged rant
when I’m labeled a “creeper”
… by the same mouth which I made, created, nurtured.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

Surely, God must feel the same way.
It’s that spiritual/physical parallel that is ever present.

We think we know best, that we have rights.
We think we can do it on our own.
We think we know more
and have better ideas and have seen enough life that we are wise.
Or we are lazy and want to do things “our” way because it’s easier …
when in the long run, it’s a much more messy, chaotic, labor-filled path.

We think we are our own and should be left alone to do what we want to do.

And so, I’m watching my big kids
– my grown-ups –
make decisions that I made.
These are things that we have talked about
.. things they have said they would not do
.. even things they said they would never do.

But, they know better.
They think they can handle it.
They think it’s okay for “them.”

And it’s hard.
Homeschooling wasn’t enough.
Staying at home with them wasn’t enough.
Being faithful at church wasn’t enough.
Talking to God and about God and His Word wasn’t enough.

There is only one “Enough,”
but it must be personal.
And for me, it is.
I cling to Him
His hope, His strength, His protection.
For He is “Enough.”
And I pray, that one day, He will be the same for them.

Many years ago, I came across this poem beautiful poem/prayer.  I wish so much that I could give credit to whomever it is due .. but I don’t know where I found it. I do remember that I altered it slightly. I made it “my” prayer for “my” children.
This little card remains in my calendar to this day … so I will see it and remember to continue to pray it.  I have been praying it for my children for years.
I know God is faithful. I know these requests are good and right and humble.
I pray and trust that He will honor them.There will always be “ownership.”
But, I know, in my heart that
He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
and every animal of the forest,
He who knows every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields (Psalm 50:10 & 11)
also knows and loves my children
far better, deeper and more thoroughly
than I.

So, I continue to pray. I continue to let go.
I try to be supportive in all things.
I do my best to only give advice when it is solicited.

And I pray.

Lord, bring to light what I do not know.
Lord, warn them of what I am not aware.
Lord, whisper to them what I have forgotten.
Lord, teach them of what I have omitted.
Lord, be for them what I cannot be
Lord, love them as only you can
and give them wisdom to understand that
YOU are truly all they ever need.