Sunday, August 23, 2015

Reflections on Empty Nests and Alaska - "The Last Frontier"

Somewhere between scaling the dining room table and, “You want to climb Everest some day?!”,  I blinked and lost all control. Spit baths, curfews, and unsolicited advice are gone – I have reached the smile and nod phase of parenting.

Sigh…  Don’t misunderstand me – I am truly thankful that all of our children are either productive members or society, or at least well on their way to becoming so, and have reached the realm of the unknown – as far as parents are concerned anyway.

As I reflect on our first year as empty nesters, I have become keenly aware of just how independent our children have become.  While I cannot truly say that having an empty nest has left me prostrate, sobbing in the fetal position – I have paused at times to wonder how this phenomenon happened with such rapidity.

Exhibit A:
 Spring break should be (or so I thought) a time when all chickens return to the roost for a time of mothering, feeding and relaxation. To my dismay, they had other plans. My youngest child informed us that she would be forgoing her plans to come home, and instead be travelling to Zion Utah with a group of 15 college types, to hike, explore and camp. Really? Since when, have I ever, in the 19 years of her young life, allowed her to go ANYWHERE with people that not only do I not know, I have never even laid eyes on! She was shocked when I requested telephone numbers and, gasp, an itinerary.

“Mother – why?!”

“Oh I don’t know, just in case I want to call up a few of your new friends and regale them with some of your most embarrassing life moments.”

We managed to reach an agreement after she solicited advice from her older, and much wiser (snicker) siblings, who told her,

Just give mom what she wants and we will all be much happier –trust us.”

Side note: While the pictures of her spring break trip are breathtaking, some left me with a feeling of vertigo as I saw her perched on a cliff high above the canyon floor. I’m sure she was quite happy that mother wasn’t there with her to continually remind her to “stay away from the edge!” Perspective is key here - the cliff edge is not the same as the edge of the table from which I was constantly moving their water glasses. 

Exhibit B:
While youngest was traipsing the badlands of Utah – boy/man child was discovering new trails to blaze in Hawaii. Between hiking the Haiku stairs, (which by the way is illegal because of safety) issues )


and “Dead Man’s Cat Walk”.

 Remick had no shortage of heart stopping moments with which to thrill us - a term I use loosely.
side note: Remick, and his hiking partners did manage to have their mug-shots taken by the Honolulu PD because of this little adventure. Something we found out quite by accident 2 months later. Wonder why THAT picture never made the Instagram top 10.

Can’t you all just come home and roast marshmallows in the back-yard?

Exhibit C:
As if making Hawaii’s most wanted poster wasn’t enough, Remick secured a job as a white water rafting guide in Denali Alaska for the summer.  
WHAT THE HECK? Does he even have white water guide credentials?

“Minor details Mom – its called on the job training.”

If I thought that military crawling at 4 months old, and walking just short of 9 months was scary – imagine how this made me feel.

Relax mom, I’m pretty sure they won’t be scheduling me for class V rapids anytime soon.”

Really? Well that’s a relief. I was thinking of calling his boss and telling him how good Remick is with older people, and perhaps he would do well on the Lazy J river tour for the next 4 summers.

Update on rafting in Denali: I am kind of eating my words as we did have the opportunity to visit Alaska this summer and raft with Rem. I have to say, it was one of the most exciting adventures I have ever experienced. Truly awe inspiring to be completely at the mercy of the rapids with my son at the helm. I have a whole new appreciation for: “This is where we see how much you trust me.” when Remick was maneuvering the edge of a class V rapid, telling us that“We just got a piece of that one”.

 Alaska truly is the last frontier, and if I never see another pit toilet for the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure I’ll survive. Yes, we also saw a grizzly and yes, this is about as personal as I care to ever be with one. (hint: the white lump in the distance is in fact a very large, man eating, in the wild, bear!)

Alaska wouldn't be Alaska without other wild life sightings.

Other noteworthy Alaskan adventures included: Hiking in the pristine wilderness in which one forges their own trails, and if you encounter wild life, it is entirely at your own peril. You will not be rescued by Grizzly Adams, instead you are at the mercy of newly minted mountain man - AKA Remick Kawawaki:

Adventures would not be complete without at least one mass feeding.

Nor would it be complete without an encounter with Alaska's national bird - the mosquito. Adequate preparation is essential.

Empty nests make these moments all the more precious and we would do well to covet these moments, being sure to unpackage them during those times we feel most vulnerable.

As summer draws to a close, and Remick and Easton are once again back on campus, the lack of laundry makes me wonder if they were ever even home for the summer. To clarify, they weren’t on campus for the last 3 months, but neither were they actually “home”. The new found independence and maturity I witnessed does a mommy’s heart proud, but it is also bittersweet. The look in Rem’s eyes as he left Alaska made me realize that he will never be the same after experiencing the “last frontier” in such an up close and personal way. As I watched Easton maneuver the responsibility of a full time job as well as part time photographer, I realized that she is well on her way to being self-sufficient.

Giving our kids wings, and letting them fly  soar, is not easy. As parents we tend towards clinging rather than letting go. It is in the letting go however, that we truly realize their full potential. Sometimes that is frightening, to be sure. Lest I get to feeling too unnecessary, I am reminded that yes they do still need me when I get a text ….”mom, I need contacts”.

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Ode To Friendships

We are created to be relational. At the very core of our being, hard-wired, in our DNA, we all desire and seek out relationships. Without them, we are one dimensional, self absorbed narcissists who traverse through life without meaning.
I know that my life would be so much duller without my friends, and many a crisis would have seemed insurmountable without the aid of at least one, if not many of them that "had my back".

Friends will love you, help you, care about you, disappoint you, and at times they will also hurt you - sometimes intentionally or unintentionally, and sometimes with a purpose, other times completely unaware. Friends are bosom buddies, casual acquaintances, kindred spirits, childhood sidekicks, and neighbors who share a common fence. There are the ones that you should keep close, and there are the ones that you will want to keep at arms length. The ones who would die for you, and the ones who wouldn't even cry for you. The ones who are only capable of surface talk, and the ones who will bare their soul, and you yours, to become that friend that transcends dimensions of space and time to become something undefinable, and yet you know that they are one of life's greatest treasures. There are conditional friends, and unconditional. Fair weather friends, and stormy weather friends. There are the ones whom time stands still for, and no matter how many hours, days or years may separate you, it is as though the separation was nothing more than a comma in the sentence of your lives. You are able to pick up the conversation as though you never left it.

There are the ones who will sit and listen, there are ones who will do all the talking. There are the ones who will wipe your tears and the ones who will tell you to stop the tears. Those who will hold your hand as you navigate the rocky terrain of parenting, offering words of wisdom and gentle guidance when you have felt helpless. Those who were a haven when it seemed hopeless.  The ones who have laughed with you in that visceral place that left you breathless and then cried with you in that same place that came from deep within your soul that needed no explanation. Some will even, without a word, know you so intuitively that they just "get you".  Some with whom you share a trust that is unspoken but it doesn't diminish the loyalty - these friends are rare and it requires transparency to cultivate them, and patience while it develops and grows into something remarkable that some people never experience because of the risks involved. These are the friendships that you want to safeguard because of their incomparable worth.

All of these friendships have a unique purpose in our lives. Sometimes it will be for no other reason than to make it abundantly clear to you that their example is not one you wish to emulate, and you are left with the resolve that you will purpose to do whatever it takes to not be that type of friend. Then there are the ones that you just know, will be given a special reward someday because they are a living, breathing embodiment of an angel.

Friendships are a little piece of Heaven on earth. I thank God for all of my friends, each of which have left footprints on my heart and I will never be the same.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A New Chapter

This past weekend we traveled to New Haven, Ct. to help settle Remick into college. The trip was full of so many blessings, adventures, misadventures and life lessons, not the least of which was how to travel across country with the sum total of your son's 19 years packed into 4 large, somewhat cumbersome and heavy boxes. We could have been the sequel for the movie "Planes, Trains and automobiles!" It promised to be a great trip when we were fortunate enough to score the exit row (well, except for the fact that I got the middle seat). Not so promising when our flight was delayed 2 hours, putting us into Newark at 11:30 pm.

Mistake #1: Keith did not believe me when I told him our boxes (aka - Remick's life)  would probably be at the oversize luggage desk.. So....we waited for at least 20 minutes by baggage claim. In the interim, I decided to go to the ladies room.

Mistake #2: Attempting to use an airport restroom when nazi/janitor lady is cleaning. As I was skulking back to baggage claim (with a full bladder), coming down the escalator, what do I spy to the right, at the,  "Oversize Baggage Claim" - our boxes! Imagine that? Hmm, do I dare say "I told you so" or do I zip my lip and be gracious - fortunately I chose the latter and instead,  retrieved a very impatient (no fault of mine) husband and said "follow me".

Mistake #3 - Don't tie the rope so tight on the boxes that the box splits and items spill out.  Are you getting a sense here of just how comical this is becoming.

Mistake #4 - Don't listen to your wife when she tells you that the train to the rental cars is "this way". He had to prove it to himself by walking all the way down the terminal to ask at the rental car counter, only to return to me, point at the very same sign that I indicated to him, and say, "we have to go up here" Really, are you sure? Because I'm almost positive you shot me down on that just 5 minutes ago!"

Mistake #5 Assuming that transportation to the rental car pick up would be a simple process. Apparently, which wasn't apparent to anyone unless you had inside knowledge of the inner workings of the Newark airport maintenance department, one line of trains is shut down at 12:00 am for repairs. (Maybe if we hadn't spent 30 unnecessary minutes at baggage claim we could have made it before our next little snafu - I'm just saying) I should have taken a video, because to attempt to describe the chaos that ensued for the next 20 minutes will be almost impossible. They don't call them high speed trains for nothing!
The train whips in, passengers attempt to disembark, while others attempt to get on.
Nope, doesn't work like that.
Not even close.
Passengers have a total of 5.1 seconds to disembark and reload before the door slams shut, cutting in half anything that is in the way - including appendages.
I'm not kidding. In a scene straight from a John Candy movie - a woman got on, doors slammed shut, husband still on platform, train shoots out of station while she is slamming her hands and face against the window to be let off - too late - gone. Bewildered husband left behind. Even more hilarious is the fact that she was indeed on the wrong train.

6 minutes later, same scene, different train, train arrives, people disembark (barely) no one has time to get on, door slams shut, train shoots out of station, young lady beside me with an expression of complete astonishment and confusion looks at me and says, "I don't even know what just happened there." To which I look at Keith and say "I don't know what is going on but that is not happening to us so be aggressive!"

6 minutes later - Train arrives, people get off - all except one passenger who looks around, confused and says "Is this the last stop" to which Keith screams (I'm not exaggerating) "YES, GET OFF!" and proceeds to ram his way on (baggage cart and all) - no worries - I'm right behind him. Next stop - rental car pick up.

Mistake #6 Not being familiar with the car you are driving. 20 minutes down the freeway - in NY City mind you, semi truck thunders past with driver hanging out the window screaming expletives, gesticulating wildly with his middle finger and raining down curses on us. If it hadn't been 1:30 AM at this point, I might have reacted differently - probably a good thing I didn't - but I calmly looked over at Keith and said, "Hmm, do you have your lights on?"
"Of Course I do." in an irritated, how dumb do you think I am voice.
10 minutes more down the road:
"I think I have them on. Do I?"
No words...I'm kind of numb at this point
He pulls off onto the shoulder, checks lights - sure enough - not on. Super neat. need.

We did finally reach New Haven and fall into bed at 3 AM, only to be up again at 6 AM - keep in mind, there is a 3 hour time difference so it was really 3 AM for us West Coast folk. We were eager to go and watch practice - imagine, Keith wanting to watch practice. We could not have wiped the grins off of our faces with a scrub brush - finally - after 4 years of agonizing High School ball, we were witnessing a real team, with real coaching, committed players, and a grueling practice - "football as it should be" to quote Remick. He was thrilled and so were we. Remick had paid his dues and he deserved every bit of this.

One minute I was wallowing around in that pit of parental pride, incredulous that Remick was here, sporting the Yale navy and white,

And the next minute we were here:

Left wondering how it happened, and leaving us with that feeling of weightlessness after having the carpet ripped out from under us, not to mention our hearts bleeding and broken on that same carpet! We did not see this coming but then who ever does? What athlete approaches their career with the attitude that they will be injured? It's just not productive - then again, maybe they should. I don't have the answer, but what I do know is that Remick is not the first athlete to suffer injury and he most assuredly won't be the last. He is also no stranger to injury - two shoulder surgeries and countless concussions and sprained ankles, he knows what it looks, and feels like. All the same, this was devastating. I'll spare you the details of our grief - suffice it to say, we wallowed for a bit. It was very clear to me that we needed to get a grip on the situation before it had a strangle hold on us! I really don't know how those without faith or belief in the Almighty, handle life's difficulties without collapsing.  Without it I couldn't, nor would I want to. 

God's ways are not our ways. And while we may have a pretty definitive idea of where we would like to see life headed, and even have the audacity to assume control over the forward momentum - we do not!!! Clearly, it wasn't in God's play book (pun intended) to place Remick on the field this season. He has a much bigger, exciting role for Rem this fall. I haven't a clue what that will look like, but I do have a pretty good idea what it will be about. Whatever God has him doing, I am excited to see it unfold. And so I counselled my son to use this time to be available for whatever the Lord would have him do. I am proud, and once again humbled to witness the willingness with which Remick embraces whatever life throws at him. 

To be sure, Remick is after all, still a student at Yale University! In the words of Yale President, Peter Salovey, "Behind every Yale Freshman is a stunned parent!"  What an amazing institution, with incredible opportunities that most only dream of.   

Yale has a lot to offer. Not the least of which is the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. I could spend days here.

Even the design is something to see.

Over a million volumes in here people!

The Gutenberg Bible! Yale has 2!

Then there is this:

Pepe's Pizzeria
The best Pizza I have ever tasted.

and this:

Bacon/caramel corn - because everything is better with a little bacon.

I have taken it on the chin plenty of times for "allowing" my son to attend such a liberal institution as Yale. Really? Sure, schools such as Yale define what it means have a liberal mindset - it oozes out of every brick of this hallowed school. Just in case you don't believe me, this is what was duct taped to the wall of Remick's dormitory hallway.

Super classy, I know. This is how the academic elite view being responsible. After all, we wouldn't want any scandalous, unplanned pregnancies marring their reputation. While I could be worried over this, dwelling on the negative, I prefer to see this an opportunity for God to work through Remick to accomplish His purpose. Life is rarely neat and tidy, nor  does it play out the way we think it should. Never in my wildest imagination would I have seen Remick at Yale, but God has other plans that don't jive with ours very often. Do I as a mother live in fear, or do I loosen my grip and let God do what He does best. When I truly let go, embrace who I know God to be, and look forward expectantly for what the future holds for Remick, I get excited.   The sum of our experiences is never just about us personally as much as it is about how others view our response to those experiences. It is in the messiness of life that we truly find out who we really are. And if we allow God to accomplish His work through our brokenness, something beautiful happens and we are a more complete person because of it.

Sure, I'm going to miss his athleticism on the field this year, but I know he will make me proud regardless.

Friday, August 30, 2013

"And the two shall become one flesh..."

I've prayed for you for a long, long time - I knew that you were out there; just waiting for God's timing to introduce you to our beautiful Jordan. Some of my prayers were very specific, and intentional.

1. Please send a Godly man into Jordan's life so she won't be lonely. Genesis 2:18
2. Fill that void with Your presence until such a time as You see fit to fill it with the one that you already have in mind for her, and are grooming for just that purpose. Jer. 29:11-13
3. That he would have a sense of humor - laughter is good medicine! Prov. 17:22
4.  Fill his heart with the desire to love and honor You all the days of his life. Matt. 22:37
5.  May he always know that the only person who could love her more is You. Lam. 3:22
6.  Plant in him a desire to be a provider, protector and priest to his family.
7.  Instill in him a desire to love children and to desire a "quiver full of arrows". Psalm 127:5
8.  Have him grow to love Remick and Easton too, and realize that they are a part of who Jordan is and he cannot have her without them - it's a package deal.
9. Have him fashion a pedestal for Jordan, and place her upon it and always have this be her place.
10. That he will have eyes only for Jordan, and that she be his Eve each and every time he looks at her.
11. Impress upon him the knowledge that Jordan's heart is his responsibility and that he must guard it with his own heart. Eph. 5:25-29
12. Have him seek God's advice in all matters.
13. Have him  pray for Jordan, always.
14. That he would raise their children to love and honor God all the days of their lives. Deut. 6:7
15. That he would enjoy family dinners on Sunday.
16. He must love dogs, babies,  hugs and movie night at home.
17. That he would learn to see Keith and myself as his parents as well.
18. That he would readily admit when he is wrong and humbly ask for forgiveness, believing that grace is the key to truly loving another person.
19. That he would see Jordan as their homemaker and that her God given uniqueness is that she be the person who makes that home an oasis. Titus 2:5
20. That he realize Jordan craves deep, meaningful conversation, and connections that go beyond the physical.
21. That there will be times when he can't "fix" Jordan and he will need to stand by with open arms, quiet strength, and broad shoulders, allowing God to do His best work through human weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9
22. That Jordan's true beauty is in her soul. 1 Peter 3:3-4

You waited for God's perfect timing and now you have your princess.

Welcome to the family ... we love you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


This past week has been an exercise in contrasts for me, particularly in the category  of high school sports. As parents, we relish in the accomplishments of our children, and cringe at the thought of their failures. I also know, that it is how we view both of these, or better still, how we react to each of these areas of life, that truly define who we are as individuals. It is important to realize that our accomplishments and/or failures, are not always about what it means to us, but more often than not, what it means to those around us. Our attitudes and behaviors towards these experiences, speak volumes to those who are on the outside looking in.

Two of my children, both high school athletes, were highlighted in the local paper this week. The onset of the week brought feelings of euphoria, exhilaration, pride, and excitement as we saw our Jr soccer player extolled for her goal in the season opener.  It promised to be an exciting year!

Just a few days later, the big rivalry between River and Skyview would be played out on the gridiron. Tension was high, competition fierce and excitement building by the minute. Particularly because we had almost beaten them the previous year and as this was Remick's last year of high school ball, big things were expected of him. Oh how different it would prove to be.

Correct, that is my son, on the ground with his helmet knocked off, in what would prove to be the most humiliating game of his high school experience. The only redeeming thing about this photo is the fact that he held onto the ball! 

So, as a parent, what do we do with the mountaintops of success and pride versus the valleys of failure and humiliation? My initial response was expectedly, anger and bitterness. I have never seen my son so broken, defeated, humiliated. A sobbing 6'2"/220 lb football player, is not a pretty sight, and as a mother, the feeling is visceral.  What could I say? What could I do? Nothing, except hold onto all 220 lbs of his sweaty, post game body and cry with him. Now, I am pretty certain that if you took an O-line (I know you are impressed with my football terminology here - that's pretty much all you get!) consisting of mothers whose children were hurting, they would be a formidable opponent indeed! But it wasn't an option for me to slug it out on the gridiron - instead I was left to pick up the pieces and find some redemption in this devastating loss.

I knew there would be no relief that night.  I went to bed, slept fitfully and woke the next morning feeling worse than I did the night before. So I walked, and I prayed that God would release me from the bitterness and help me to make sense of what happened, and instead turn ashes into gold from the experience, for Remick's sake. I was reminded of the words to a worship song that seemed so poignant and timely:

When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

We have always tried to teach our children that a humble, gracious, unselfish athlete is much more attractive and likable, than the opposite. Most of us have been witness to both and I'm pretty sure we would all choose the first of the two. Clearly, God wasn't done teaching our family about humility! I am every bit as capable as the next parent of wallowing around in the pit of parental pride but I'm not so enthusiastic about the other pit - humility. 

Remick was naturally very subdued and I hesitated to say much except that I knew that God would not forsake him - not even in this. What he actually did with this experience fills me with more pride than any of his accomplishments to date on the football field. He turned this experience into an essay for his college admissions application. As I read his paper, tears of gratitude and yes, humiliation once again, poured forth as I realized that I had a much to learn from my son. One of the most humble and gracious athletes I know, and one which I am so filled with admiration for.  I have no idea what the coaches will do with this defeat, or how they will turn it around, but I do know that Remick already made his choice with what he will do with it.  He chose joy and peace and ultimate freedom in the knowledge that God has it all under control, and also ultimate victory with life in Christ. 

Remick's Essay:

The catalyst for my goals and aspirations can be categorized into one simple word, loss. Out of context this word may seem a little peculiar, but the summation of my achievements accounts for nothing in light of the trials that I have overcome in order to obtain them. 
For any serious competitor the idea of loss can seem repulsive.  While it may ring true for me as an individual that I hate losing, I have come to realize that the growth from such a loss far outweighs the initial demoralization. Loss is a peculiar concept, one that requires greater introspection. For the majority of my life I considered loss a negative idea, something that if I could control it, would never happen. Throughout my middle school football career I never had the opportunity to be humbled by a loss. It was not until my sophomore year of high school that I ended a season with a losing record. The following year was the same story. Negatives to me, were things that tore away at what I had built up. I saw my life as constantly on the rise and if I could control it, never taking a downturn. But the truth that all of us have heard at one point, is that it is necessary to fall in order to get back up. I would take it one step further and say that one must fall multiple times in order to learn how to get back up with grace, dignity intact.
High school football has afforded me plenty of opportunities to learn how to lose with grace. Grace by definition, is something completely lovely, elegant and poised. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing graceful about losing, which is why I say losing with grace and not, losing gracefully. The latter I see as a fallacy. The former however rings true in the verb that is used; with. The single most defining moment in all my years of playing football, came in my senior year on the wings of a 42 to 0 loss, and the complete massacre of my pride. In the moments following the game I had never felt such a sense of complete perturbation. Grace came later. While talking to a good friend and mentor of mine, I came to recognize the glory in that loss. I found that losses are not what define us; rather the way in which we deal with those losses are what speak of our character.
There are multiple directions my attitude could have gone after that thrashing, the most natural being anger. Fortunately I chose something completely unnatural, joy. As I plumbed the depths of my wounded pride, I found a joy in knowing that out of my humble state there was only room for improvement. The truth is that the greatest losses I have experienced thus far may not be the greatest I will ever experience. But I know one thing to be certain; through every loss there will be opportunity to obtain something greater.
My name is Remick and through grace I have been saved.

Friday, July 20, 2012

He's Home

Seriously, 3 weeks, 3 weeks ago, sounded like an eternity, yet here we are on the other side of it and oddly enough, we all survived. I couldn't wait to hug, kiss, smell and love on that boy of mine, and when the moment arrived it was all I had built it up to be and more. My boy - home safe, healthy, happy, glad to see everyone, the same boy I said goodbye to 3 weeks ago and sent off on a trip 3/4 of the way around the globe.

And yet, he is different; I see it in his face, hear it in his voice and witness it in his eyes.  He left a piece of himself over there in Indonesia, and he brought something else back. This is not a bad thing, but the realization that a piece of my baby boy was left in a world that I know nothing about, is a little bitter sweet. I know that part of him will accomplish amazing things with the people he met and they will be forever changed because of it. Like the  little Indonesian boy, about 7 years old, who led him in pitch black darkness, by the hand, through the mountain mist, on a rugged, rock strewn path, to a hut high in the Indonesian mountains, to spend the night with 14 men who could only communicate  with word pictures. How this little boy, although he couldn't communicate with language, spoke a language of the heart that is universal - love that was shared that altered both of them forever. I can't wait to hear about all of it. Just as Rem was changed by the experiences he had and the people he met,  Remick will have transformed some of the lives of the people he encountered a million miles away. The knowledge of this makes me a little sad, but also so very proud and inspired by the man that he has become, and that God has worked in and through that boy of mine, to accomplish His will and to allow a small town Vancouver boy and his team to discover new worlds, forge new trails, and bless the lives of people in faraway places. Do I wish I could have been with him to witness all that the Indo team accomplished? Absolutely!  But I would never take this experience away from him because of my own selfish desires. He has only begun to share his journey with us, and I can't wait to hear more. For now, I am thanking God for allowing him to have experienced this and so very grateful for his safe return. What an amazing God we serve, and how I am reminded that He created all of this world, all of His peoples, and how he uses even "the smallest of these" to bless us in ways we could never have dreamed of.
Welcome home my son - it is so good to have you back.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 1, 2012 - Day 1 

Today my son you left on the adventure of your life - 3 weeks in Indonesia. My one request, other than you not drink the swamp water, or take up permanent residence, is that you keep a journal so that I may better relive your adventure with you. There is simply no way that you will remember everything and I, being the mother, will want to know every detail, no matter how minuscule - it's what mothers do. So, I thought it only fair that I do the same.  Not that my journal will in any way be as exciting to read, or as chock full of adventure the way yours will. No bug infested swamp to traverse, or bird-eating spiders to annihilate here at home, unless you count the swampland of laundry I encounter daily, or that little critter Winnie that is in constant need of attention. My journal will be more about my thoughts, feelings, hopes, prayers and dreams for you while you are away.

I think I am a peace with all of this, that is until I have a moment when for no reason, I tear up and realize you will be non-communicative for 21 days! Weird. I know that God cares for you son, and loves you even more that I do, and it is because of this that I am at peace.

Bike rides, and camping trips, football injuries, and first solo drives, don't seem quite as daunting now as they once did. Somehow, 3/4 of the way around the globe is a little more awe inspiring. I guess I began to let go of you the moment you were born, realizing that you were never really mine at all. Just entrusted to me, in God's infinite wisdom, to raise, nurture and guide into adulthood, so that He can use you for His purpose. What an amazing thing in and of itself, that He would deem me worthy of such a task. Oh, that I am found He has been faithful to me.  I prayed when you were little, that you would grow into a man who loved Jesus with his whole heart, and would desire to live a life pleasing to Him. Wow, in every way, you have modeled this in your life. God has indeed been faithful to me. Now it is up to you son to take up the torch and be ever faithful to the one who created you. I know you are up to the task, if you but  keep your eyes ever on the Jesus.

As you venture forth on this journey, know that I will be faithful to pray for you, and that only He loves you more then your mum

This is day 1 - I hope I can hold it together.
I love you
Final Farewell
The Indo Team getting final instructions.