Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Embracing Change

A child presses a bouquet of dandelions and grass into my hands as I watch another drive away—her car filled to capacity with belongings.  She drives up the lane with her Dad quick behind in the truck full of furniture that once filled her Great Grandmother’s home.

My heart is full.  My throat pinched to the point of choking.

I was not prepared when she joined our home. 
I am not prepared as she leaves.

Twenty minutes later I am answering the doorbell pressed by a handsome, brown-haired and brown-eyed little man.  This time I receive a wishing flower (known to most as a seeded dandelion).  I watch my next oldest drive up the lane with a wave of the hand through the open car window.  He is off to take the entrance test for acceptance to the local college education program for High Schoolers.

Excitement, pride, sadnessa tangling of emotions brim and spill.

A conversation I remember having with myself comes to mind.  As a young Mama of 3 little ones who now stand taller than my 5’8” frame, I vowed to mother in such a way that I would never look back with regret.

Today . . . I fight feelings of failure in wrappings of regret. 

Unfortunately, we not only parent in our strengths but out of our weaknesses, hurts, woundings and habitual emotional responses formed over the years to compensate for or deal with those issues that press our buttons of insecurity, rejection, fear, inadequacy and unworthiness.

Can I ask for a do-over?

I know I could do it better—maybe?
—if I could try again with what I know now . . . 
who I am now . . . 
how God has healed me . . . 
now . . .

In walks grace.  How grateful I am for grace.

I have loved & mothered the best I knew with the best & worst of me. 
I have brought them all to Jesus’ lap the only way I knew how.
I have failed to mother perfectly, but I have loved deeply, faithfully
 . . . with a forever-stuck-with-me-cheering-you-on tenacity.

A little bit of the enemy, a little bit of the flesh mingle to stir up a lot of anxiety.  I take authority over my mind and all thoughts contrary to Christ.  
My Savior who saves my failings.  
My Redeemer who redeems my mistakes.

The One the grave could not hold, holds me while resurrecting all lack.  He holds my heart, lifts my head, smiles on me wide while washing away all regret with glorious hope!

The season of parenting my older ones fades into the next.  
Will I do well? 
I will pray for them more than I ever have. 
I will fight for them in the spiritual realm. 
I will like them like crazy!

The one who has become my live-in friend and accountability partner returns for the last of her things.  While waiting for her Dad she plays my favorite song on her harp.  I sit on the floor in the dark hallway to listen.  I grieve the end of this time with her.  Nineteen years have gone fast.  Much too fast!

Mixed up thoughts mix with littles calling me to the fire-pit for roasting marshmallows.  The middle-little has a sliver in her foot.  I go to them knowing their years alongside me will also pass quickly for this mother-heart. 

Embrace the dandelions. 
Embrace the change. 
Embrace the vital. 
Embrace the moments that make the lifetime.

“I just know that the longer I parent the more I want to focus on doing a few things really well, and not get too passionate about all the rest. I want to spend time with my kids, teach them the Bible, take them to church, laugh with them, cry with them, discipline them when they disobey, say sorry when I mess up, and pray like crazy. I want them to look back and think, “I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they’re were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.” Maybe it’s not that complicated after all.”    Kevin DeYoung

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