Sunday, August 17, 2014

College Days Ahead

I have found myself prone to tears at any given moment for the past few days.  Life is changing once again.  We helped Kayt move into her college dorm room this past Thursday.  It seems ironic that I can be happy for and proud of my daughter and sad all at the same time.

Perhaps this time has been a little more challenging then when Ryan left two years ago.  Kayt is having a harder time.  She is homesick and trying hard to be brave and strong.  That makes it harder for me.  The momma in me wants to fix it all right now.  However, being homesick is something each person has to work through at some point.  I remember the feeling.  It takes time.

I am thankful I have been given the privilege of having a daughter whom I miss desperately.  God gave me a wonderful gift.  She has been a rock in our lives.  She is steady and loves God deeply.  I'm wondering what God has planned for her.  I'm excited about what she will do for him with her life.

My head acknowledges the blessings.   My heart misses the way things were.  My head knows it will get better.  My heart knows things will never be quite the same.  My head knows there are exciting times ahead.  My heart misses the day in and day out presence.  My head knows it will be super exciting to have that first visit home and celebrate all the new firsts in Kayt's life.

We are going through one of life's transitions.  One mother and friend I talked to on Thursday was leaving her daughter at college and heading back to Taiwan where her and her husband are missionaries.  I realized I should be thankful my daughter is only two hours away.  Then I cried buckets on the ride home.  I thought,  "I am such a wimp."  Then I read a post from another friend on Facebook.  She had moved her daughter into the same college dorm that day.  She was experiencing bouts of tears like I was.  She lived right there in town and was only minutes away.  15 minutes, 2 hours, half way around the world, the distance doesn't matter a whole lot.  It is a change in life, and one we will all adjust to.

So while my head and heart battle this all out, know that I might cry at unexpected moments.  If I do, give me a moment to get my emotions pulled back together.  I'll be ok.  I probably won't want to talk about it right then for fear of falling apart completely.  I'll take hugs though.  And when I do get it together, I will probably tell you all about Kayt and how she's doing.  I might talk your leg off.  I am proud of that girl.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Glimpse of Heaven

On a walk this evening
I watched my youngest daughter 
dance as she chased the cottonwood seeds
blowing through the air.

I heard our little boy's quick intake of breath
as he looked in awe at a bunny crouched
in the grass.

My oldest daughter was beside me
Neither one of us feeling the need to talk
Just were content to be together
Enjoying the beautiful evening.

Dancing with abandon
Awed at his creation
Walking together in sweet fellowship
 And I wonder if this is a glimpse of heaven...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pray continually

"How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Psalm 84:1-2

A day spent in prayer
My oldest son so far away in Baltimore
Remembering a friend who is in labor
Another friend has lost his dad
Someone just found out they have cancer
And my much I desire for them to be faithful
"Lord, be with them"
So much to talk to God about

As I folded laundry petitions were sent up
With each dish that was washed a prayer was said
Wiping the dust from the dresser top the conversation continued
Remembering the Word says to
....pray continually.

Communion with the Almighty
what a privilege
Yet so many days go by
And I forget
Am caught up in me, myself, and I.

And it is I who misses out
I walk alone
rather then with my Shield and Protector.

The sweetness of the day
The peace in my soul
Reminds me

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you."
Psalm 84:10-12

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Graduation Day

Saturday was a big day for Kaytlin.  After attending IQ Academy throughout her high school years, it was graduation day.  In a crowd, Kaytlin is shy and reserved and hates to be in the spotlight.  However, due to her academic achievement, she was valedictorian of her class of 39 students from across the state of Kansas.  This meant she had the honor and privilege of addressing her classmates and several hundred people in attendance.  To say the least, we were proud of her achievements, but mostly we were proud of her courage to stand up and speak out about her faith in God. 

I thought a few of you might enjoy reading her speech, as many were not able to travel and be at her graduation.

Being introduced before her speech

Kaytlin's Valedictory Address

 Do you remember what it was like to be 5, 10, or 15? Our journey through childhood is like a mountain. As children, adulthood seemed so far away, like a snowy summit covered in cloud. Then we hit our senior year, and we realized, just ten more, just five more steps, and we'd be there. We're all there now, panting, singing, dancing. The view is gorgeous. We can see for miles upon miles: valleys, rivers, trees, and meadows – our future laid out before us like a dinner spread. The wind whips around our faces and dances through our hair, and we feel for the first time that we might actually have wings.

But wait. What's this that towers yet above us? Another mountain? No, a whole score of mountains. Their jagged peaks send shivers down our spines, and the wind now blasts icy cold against our faces. The mountain we just climbed looks like an anthill. We feel like tiny pebbles, plummeting helplessly down the mountainside. Once again, our dreams seem out of reach. For we scale one mountain, only to climb another.

With a heavy heart and growing fears, I realized this as beginning to prepare for college. I know the future will hold its share of hurt as well as joy, because I'm human, and I make mistakes. Things will happen that I know I won't be able to control. The future often frightens me. However, I am told that the mountaintop experience is well worth the climb, and standing here, I know it's true.

No matter who we are, we will face trials and hardships, but every broken bone and bruise will be worth it when we reach the top. Every peak we climb will be more beautiful than the one before it. As a friend told me, “We just have take each day one step at a time, and ask the Lord for guidance along the way.” The reward? Our dreams. They may not be fulfilled exactly how we planned, but if we persevere to the end, a life well-lived is a life worth living.

Sometimes we will reach points where we are simply to weak to go on, but that's why God is there. That's why we have parents and teachers and friends. Just looking back at my high school days, I know I couldn't have made it on my own. No one can. Many times I needed advice from my Mom or Dad or brother. Whether I decided to take their advice or not, their efforts weren't futile. Sometimes I just needed to know they cared.

Other times I simply needed a belly laugh or kiss from my baby brother or a smile from a sibling to keep me moving, and many, many times, words of encouragement from a teacher gave me new energy I thought I'd never find. So thank you, family, teachers, and friends for your part in making today possible. You've left footprints on our hearts that no man can erase.

We know all of you won't be with us we climb our next mountains, but know that the work you've done here and now will still push us forward as we start this new stage in life. We will meet new friends, maybe even start our own families, and God will always be there. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and even with faith as small as a mustard seed, he promises we can move mountains.

So let's dream on, graduates. As Harley King says, May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits.” Choose your mountain. Don't let your fears hold you back. The future is waiting.