Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Bitter with the Sweet

I do believe the most bittersweet moment for a momma is releasing her children: the pride that comes with knowing that if you did your job right, they are equipped and prepared to live a life abundant on their own vs. the the emotion of the inexplicable bond of having carried that child inside of you with the utmost care for 9 months and having spent the next 18 years of your married life kid-focused, all of a sudden to find that your job is done and even though you did it right and they are ready to fly, there's a thread of that apron string knotted securely to your heart.

But when that time comes, you realize you can't go where they are going...you've guided their steps to help them walk the path that God desires for them, guarding against what we want, and resting in the knowledge that it's not our path...Such a bittersweet moment! 

One of my mentors, Jean Stockdale, used to say at some point during the semester of Moms, "Our goal is to work ourselves out of our job."

It is at some point of this goal-reviewing during said bittersweet moment that panic hits.  There is that instant realization that during his/her entire 18-year-span, we didn't keep up with that list of Things To Do To Prepare Child To Fly Nest!!!  And we begin racing back through our mental tapes, and jumping over to that list, mentally checking off items...all the while doubting that this mental list is even complete in all areas!! 

This is reminiscent to walking into the classroom to find out today is the day you will be teste on all you've been studying during the year. 

yeah.  that's the feeling.

So.  even in this bittersweet moment, my cup overflows not only with the joy of seeing this child blossom into her own, but also with the sadness of days gone by that I can, with all confidence, say that I cherished every one!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Left Behind

Hannah has been gone for a little over a week now.  If you ask Rebeka, she can count it in nanoseconds...her world has been rocked by Hannah's departure, and she doesn't quite know how to recover from it.

Though their high school career has led them in different directions, joining different circles and pursuing different activities, that didn't weaken the bond they have shared since Rebeka's birth when Hannah was but 13 months old.  During all these years, the last time they experienced separation was when Hannah started Kindergarten...

It's not that Rebeka doesn't have her own life to keep her busy...she does.  It's not that she is having to give up anything~~in fact, she has the bathroom, the truck, and her clothes all to herself.

It's just...well, it's just not the same...this is her sister, her best friend, her confidant, her ally.  And six months is a long time ~ her entire senior year!

So, how do we help?...there's a lot of chocolate flowing through her veins!

Even in these times of change, my cup continues to overflow knowing God is in control!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Time and Other Misconceptions

Well, the parties are still in full swing (my home still has tell tale signs of ours), but prom dresses are put away, classes done, tests completed, books turned in, announcements sent out, robes hanging up, stoles and cords distributed, dress and shoes ready, family members rolling in, and packing for France started...that can mean only one thing~Hannah GRADUATES TOMORROW!!!! I can hardly believe it!!!

That was my facebook post on May 25...

Three months later, all the party goers have embarked on their future journeys, whether it be college, work, or in my Hannah's case, a "gap year."

Since graduation and a ten-day stint in Europe, Hannah's summer has been spent working, fundraising and seeing as many people as she possibly fit into a 24-hour day. It seemed like it would last longer; but August 28 chased after us with a vengence, jumping on us before we were quite ready. 

It was on that day that Hannah packed up her life in two small suitcases (no easy chore by any stretch of the imagination) and boarded a plane to Matamata, New Zealand, slowed only by layovers in Los Angeles, California, and Brisbane, Australia. 
It is there that she will live for the next three months as a student for YWAM (Youth With a Mission) before embarking on an outreach somewhere in the Pacific during the next three months.
I passed by the piano this morning and it stopped me in my tracks. My mind had just processed the equation Hannah gone to New Zealand = silent piano...for 6 months. That's when the floodgates of thought opened up...

When she returns to us in February, she will be a new creature to us.  Yes, time will indeed change her, and we will be faced with a young lady who, though she has been an "adult" for more than a year now, will have grown physically, spiritually, mentally and academically without our daily presence.
When she returns, she'll have a better understanding of the events that sabatoged her senior year and the lessons to be learned from it.  She'll have more of an idea of God's next steps for her regarding college and her long-term future goals. 
Until then, she is on an exciting adventure, with nothing to hold her back, to go and to be all that she is meant to become...and I long to hear all that God reveals to and teaches her. I long to hear her thoughts and ideas. 
Most of all, I long to hear her voice and see her beautiful face via skype! What a wonderful invention this technology is!
In the meantime, I will be faced with the reality of her absence every time i pass by her clean room, face her empty chair at the dinner table...and walk by the silent piano.
As I reflect on the past years of infancy, toddlerhood, elementary and middle school, through these last years of high school, my cup runneth over with joy of having been privileged to watch her grow and blossom!