Sunday, August 21, 2011

Prayer for my daughter

As many of you know, my only daughter is heading to college tomorrow.  She keeps being told, "you know your parents are going to miss you."  We are pretty sure she knows that so we don't need to belabor that point.  (FYI.  belabor is my word of the week).  It is an understood thing.  But missing her and her missing us confirms that we have a great relationship as parents and child and it is something we are proud of.  But as I think of this day, I have other thoughts and I thought I'd like my raving fans (all two of you) in on them in the form of a prayer.


I am grateful to you for this beautiful child you have given me and DH.  She has grown into a beautiful and mature young woman, and I hope we have done as You wished in raising her.

She does, however, have some qualities we could have skipped but could have been skipped in us as well... my messiness and short-temper, her father's love for exceedingly bad corny jokes, the foot shake (arg) and I could go on but in all honesty, they are part of who she is, and I just wouldn't change anything about her.

How could we know this perfect baby with intensely blue eyes would become a gifted musician?  A trusted mentor?  A beloved sister?  How could we know she could be a woman after Your own heart and strive with everything in her to live a life that is righteous and pleasing in your sight?  I am humbled beyond words at the privilege of raising this woman.

So, Lord, as she makes her first steps away, I pray she continues to seek Your will in her life.  I pray she finds friends who will make a midnight run to Waffle House when her heart is broken, share their chocolate when hers is gone, and enjoy her weird sense of humor (Did you know she has a collection of blonde jokes?) I pray Your presence in her life is evident to everyone she comes in contact with.  I pray she finds a love like the one her daddy has for me - true, unconditional, sacrificial love.

Thank you Lord for my girl.  Protect her when she is away from us and help her find her direction in this earthly life.

A grateful mom

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School

I am in the throes of pre-planning right now... reminding myself what did and did not work in the class I taught last year and figuring out the in's and out's of my new prep this year.  We wait in line at the copier and pray it doesn't jam, run out of toner or just be irritable.  We have lunch provided most days this week and breakfast this morning.  We sort paper, make lists, clean desks, make sure our supplies are in place, and on days when there are no meetings (like today), we stay in our windowless cave of a classroom and try to be as productive as possible.  It sounds pretty boring and mundane, doesn't it?

Not really.

You see, I work in a place that tries to glorify Jesus Christ and teach our students about him.  You can't do that well unless you believe in that saving relationship.  Part of it is being in fellowship, and I have to say, these people are my family.  We get support.  We give support.  We laugh together.  We cry together.  But mostly importantly, when we need one another, we are there and business stops and prayer happens.

And in all this we are being prepared to love on our students when they come on Monday.  It's all in a day's work, and I'm ready for tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Growing Up

I've been trying to deny it for a long time, but my daughter is an adult.  I mean, I got married at 18... so she is as adult as I was.  I'm glad, actually, that she didn't have the same life lessons at her age that I had already had.  There's time for those hard lessons.

About 6:30 this morning I woke up, but didn't want to be awake, so I went downstairs, checked my e-mail and then laid on the couch to pray... I was listening to the rain softly falling and soon was asleep again for 3 more blissful hours.  DD had sent me an e-mail and texts during that time with her college class schedule.  That's when it hit me.  She drove BY HERSELF to orientation.  She met BY HERSELF her new roommate.  She scheduled BY HERSELF her own classes and didn't need me for any of it.  And BY HERSELF she will drive home.  And this week she made a most adult and difficult decision, and after all this, I can say, she is growing up.  And I am very proud of this girl young woman. Oh and they placed this mathy/chemistry loving chick into HONORS English.  Calc II and Chem do not frighten her... HONORS English frightens her!

This week I had school for teachers.  Wonderful Bible teaching in the morning and ipad training in the afternoons.  The best part, I think, was the collaboration with my co-workers and that the elementary had a technical problem and we all had training TOGETHER.  Yes, it was crowded, but it was sweet to be together.  It happens so rarely.  I had a revelation, too.  I am bored at home.  I don't like fix-up home projects and I would much rather be in the presence of the teachers (and mostly the students) I love so much. And at the beach.  (Vacation in one week! Whoo!)

So this afternoon DD will walk in a full-fledged college student and we will soon be in debt to LaGrange College...  We have an adventure coming up.  A college freshman and a high school freshman and two parents wondering when we exactly grew up ourselves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The more things change...

the more they stay the same.

People say that all the time... but change doesn't make things stay the same.  A true oxymoron.

Okay.  Change is coming and it is good.  My daughter is getting ready for college - I think I'm ready for her to go.  No, that's not right.  I am ready to let her go, but not really ready for her to go.  It's a turning point in both of our lives.

Thinking back on turning points since I began this blog... it really has been all about change.  I used to call change the "C" word, as if it were something bad.  I was reminded today that all things CAN work together for good, as long as it is in the will of God.  As I ponder the truly big changes in my life, some have been so hard, so painful that I would never want to repeat them, but I appreciate the lessons I learned that caused a change in my heart.  Then other changes are so wonderful I wonder how I deserved them.

Yes, change is coming.  My home will change forever - and it will be good.  I think it will be very good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the floor watching a movie

When I was a little girl, I first watched "The Sound of Music" laying on the floor in front of my grandmother's TV.  I remember learning the story of Maria and the 7 children without a mother and the captain who learned to love again when he heard Maria sing.  The story captivated me and inspired me to become Julie Andrews when I grew up.  But, I never became Julie, although I will always have great admiration for her beautiful voice.

Last night, I caught the tail end of "The Sound of Music" and felt somewhat like a child again.  The ending never fails to make me tear up and I'm sure I have seen this movie more than any other.  But last night it was more than the story of Maria.  It was the memory of laying on that carpet.  It wasn't actually my grandmother's, it was my aunt's.  They lived together and although it was my aunt's house, I always equated it with my grandmother, "Ma Butch." 

The carpet has long since been replaced, but the last time I was at the house, I sat on the couch and looked at the memories I held in that room and in that house.  A lifetime of memories and so much love.  I looked at the spot where my sister and I lay and watched movies and TV.  I walked upstairs and remembered the room that used to have red and black shag carpet.  The blue room that held treasures, and the room converted to an office that used to be where I would sleep when I visited.  It was in that room that my sister and I would lay and giggle, while my aunt came down the hall and threatened us if we didn't get quiet. 

That house is where my family first met my future husband and met my children.  Where Easter Egg hunts were held in a perfectly flat, tree-less backyard.  The house where my grandmother let us dye eggs at the kitchen counter, stir alphabet soup on the stove, and where Pringles were always served in a glass dish.  It was my annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage with the BEST extended family I could ever have and the BEST cornbread dressing.  It was a place where I always felt at home.

After my aunt's death a few weeks ago, I said good-bye to the house in Nashville, Georgia.  It will be sold sometime and it's contents distributed, but it will always be in my heart.  The memories, the people, the laughter and tears - I am thankful for them.  It doesn't lessen the grief right now for it is still fresh and raw.

In this process of grief, I have discovered how important my family is.  I have reunited with my oldest friend (we met in the church nursey as infants.) I have felt Jesus hold my hand and calm the lump in my throat.  And I am grateful for it all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The day of Resurrection

I've been to a lot of funerals lately - eight since June.  Funerals really make me think about my life - do I live the kind of life to justify the things I hope would be said about me?  I have learned some really incredible things about the people I went to celebrate - things they did silently and hoped to be anonymous, but were noticed and appreciated by someone.

My best friend died for me a long time ago, but the Good News is that He lives!  He defeated death and is going to help me defeat death someday.  That is what makes all these funerals I've been to bearable.  While these people are missing from my life, I know it isn't forever.  I am so happy that Jesus Christ is my best friend.

On that subject - I feel in our society we take on what we believe a best friend should be and apply it to our Saviour.  Although he is our best friend, we need to approach him with reverence and awe - this best friend is God after all.  He is holy - we are not.  He is perfect - we are not.  He defeated death - we did not.  He can save us - we can't do that.

This morning I sang great masterpieces from Bach, Beethoven, Handel... all celebrating the risen Saviour.  My best friend.  Here's the cool part... Jesus can be your best friend, too.  All you have to do is ask Him and believe.