It’s a special thing when your kids grow up, move out and come back and hang out with you. My son has been married for 18 months and he and his wife live across the country. We just had a week like that. Having all my kids around the dinner table is a very fun moment. I find myself go quiet. I don’t talk much because I’m taking it all in and getting emotional. ‘Thank you Lord’, I whisper.
My blogs have taken me from the here and now to reflection. I like my age. I like being 47. In fact, just today I had to go to a local running store and claim my recent 5k third place age division prize. I owned it when I had to the tell the 20 something clerk that I was in the 45-49 age bracket.
It’s a snowy day today and the house is quiet. The internet is not working so no music, no tv, no computer. I’m sitting in my morning reading chair and decide to reach for the newly placed photo albums (still unpacking boxes after 6 months in the new house) and decide on opening my firstborn’s baby album. The one that poses my husband and I as kids having a kid. We were 25 and we knew nothing.
As I flipped through the pages I became painfully aware that I had no clue how my child would turn out. I didn’t know if my high school education would suffice to teach my son what he needed to know for a successful future. Who defines success? Wealth? Getting Married? A University degree? A parent wants what’s best for their kids but what determines the best?
I keep turning the pages and I’m laughing at my sick scrapbooking skills and at all the smiles. People who God surrounded us with in the early years. Wonderful godly grandparents and aunts and uncles. Cousins to play with and later confide in. Hand me downs, vacations, family pets and the many houses me lived in. But again something was very apparent in every picture. Love! Not just an obvious love a parent has for a child. That love scared me. I didn’t know I could love that much. I’m reminded of the Bible words, We love because He first loved us. Oh ya! The same love was bestowed on me since I was born. A love from God that since I was His creation he loved me unconditionally.
I’m at Jacob being 11 months old in the scrapbook now. We went on a mission trip to Trinidad for two weeks with friends and he was fantastic. I wasn’t lucky to have a great kid. I was given books and God lead me to godly women who shared with me how I wanted to raise my kids.
I learned that giving my kids everything they needed was not showing them love.
I learned that putting Scott and our marriage first was better for my kids and therefore, showed more love when they witnessed us going out on dates and taking vacations without them.
I learned that sleep is so crucial for their well being, and mine, so we had boundaries and naps times and quiet times.
I learned (and have seen the huge benefits) of reading to my children.
I learned quickly that even though i didn’t know everything, I called the shots and didn’t let my kids walk all over me. I’m the parent. (They will thank you later)
I’m also amazed at how God gave Scott and I the strength to adopt at the age of 42. We weren’t lucky that we got a sweet, teachable girl that loves life. We did what we knew what we knew how to do.
We set boundaries and surrounded her with godly families who poured into her. Did you know that when you adopt your agent will tell you to stay home and allow your child to adapt to their new surroundings? Don’t go on vacations right away and let them get used to who is in their immediate family.
Well our regular life is to have people over all the time. Needless to say we didn’t heed this advice. Zoe got welcomed home to a crowd of people ready to hold her and love her and we had a different set of relatives come to visit every weekend! I know all kids are not the same but I think we sometimes make it all too difficult. Let others watch your kid. They won’t get sick if you expose them to the world right away. We did life with our kids and so glad Zoe is up to that lifestyle.
Love is definitely my word for 2018. Moving has brought new people into my life and it’s a challenge to find time for all of them. I guess i just keep hearing God say, ‘Just love who is in front of you for that moment.’ Sometimes I make love too stressful. Jesus was surrounded by crowds and he loved the masses, yes! But He took the time to look into peoples eyes who needed Him most in the moment. If I’m honest with myself, I whisper all day long, ‘Who is it now, Lord?’
‘Love Won’t Let Me Down’ is a great song by Hillsong Young and Free