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Archive for August, 2012

Note: I thought I’d post an older article I wrote in 2008 when we dropped our daughter off at college.  If you want to read about the adventure of dropping our son off at college in 2010, go to this article here: https://refreshinghearts.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=51&action=edit

Have you ever been given a gift, cherished it, nourished it & then “let it go”? Almost 19 years ago, Dave and I were given the gift of a beautiful daughter, Rachel Kay. Now after 18 ½ years of cherishing & nourishing, we moved her into her college dorm on Saturday, August 30th. It was and has been a ‘bitter-sweet’ time this past year leading up to this moment. I had decided last year as she began her Senior year that as we went through the year, we were going to ‘celebrate’ each moment and enjoy them as the ‘lasts’ we called them….the last basketball game, the last prom, the last semester, and then finally the last day of school. This kept Rachel’s spirits up as the soon to be graduate and alum of Fridley High School celebrated these days. We all laughed & congratulated on her ‘last’ of this and ‘last’ of that. It wasn’t until May that the ‘lasts’ started to get me down as I realized….I only had one ‘last’ week left with her when she can back from work at camp this summer & she would be off to college. Once she graduated and she went off to camp, we had a taste of the ‘empty nest’ with both Rachel and Kyle working at camp. It was quiet as Dave and I spent our nights relaxing or riding our bicycles to prepare for the bike trip to VCBC in July. I had good days and bad days with them both gone & realizing the ‘letting go’ day was coming near. On the bad days, I missed both of my kids terribly, cried, but then I prayed and rejoiced in the fact they were serving God in a wonderful place and affecting the lives of many children and youth at VCBC and the day wasn’t so bad after all. In August, I felt God calling me to spend more time in his Word so I began a new Bible study by Beth Moore, “Beloved Disciple” which is about the life of John. As I read about the calling of James and John, sons of Zebedee (Mark 1:20), I realized that Zebedee had trained his sons to do the family business of fishing and then one day, they up and left him to follow Jesus and fish for the souls of men. Zebedee knew my pain. I began to reflect on others in the Bible who had to ‘let go’ of their children and they did it even when their children were infants or really young! Moses’ mother put her baby in the bulrushes & actually nursed her son so Pharoah’s daughter could raise him as her own (Exodus 2:1-10). Hannah prayed for a son and God answered her prayer. She dedicated Samuel to God and presented him to Eli to stay in the temple once he was weaned. (1 Samuel 1:21-27). Even, Mary, who was given the privilege of birthing our Savior, had to ‘let go’ of ‘her son’ to roam all over and preach the Good News and later to see him crucified on a cross. God, the Father, understands. He watched His Son die on the cross and heard the excruciating words of Jesus, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). For centuries, men and women have been ‘letting go’ of the precious gifts that God had given them and ‘let God’ transplant them from here to their next destination. I think Beth Moore sums it up well, “Just about the time you get to reap some of the fruit of your parenting labors, the young, flourishing tree gets transplanted elsewhere”. I am thankful for what God has done in my life in the ‘last’ year and for the many friends who emailed or asked me ‘how I am doing’ and gave me hugs of comfort. We have officially joined the ranks of millions of parents who have had to “let go and let God transplant!” Blessed be His Name!

Originally written 9/1/08

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I am such a dreamer.  I am not talking about the night time dreams that happen after you fall asleep and enter the REM stage of sleeping (see this informative article on the stages of sleep and dreaming- http://www.dreammoods.com/dreaminformation/dreamresearch.htm).  I am usually thinking about the next event or day that is coming up and wondering with excitement about the events of the day.  It seems like Joseph and I have a lot in common with dreaming.  His brothers called him a ‘dreamer’ (Genesis 37:19b) yet his dreams came true.  These were dreams that came from God and he became 2nd in command of Egypt next to Pharoah (Genesis 41:38-43).
I don’t know if my dreams are from God and there is some merit in dreaming of big plans and putting them into motion. However, some of my dreams are getting in the way of living in the moment.  I should stop myself and enjoy the moment of today.
In Eccles 3:1, Solomon (the writer attributed to this piece of wisdom literature) says, ‘for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”. In the verses following,…Solomon talks about a time to be born, die, plant, pluck up, weep, laugh, mourn and dance, etc.  What he doesn’t say and I would like to add:       a time to dream and a time to live in the moment. 
There are definitely times to dream ….I love to dream….it usually makes me happy to be thinking of things to do, places to go, people to see, problems to solve.  But at some point, I need to STOP and come back to reality….the here and now.  And why does the dreaming need to STOP for that moment?
Because it is in that time, I am thankful for what God has given me. I can enjoy the worship time in His presence, I can listen to a sermon said by one of His servants and think about how it applies to my life, I can enjoy a meal with friends and laugh about nothing, talk about the things that are challenging and listen in on a friends new dream/project.
Yes, dreaming can be fun but sometimes living in the moment can be just as rewarding and bring joy to your heart.  I challenge you today to  STOP dreaming about the next big event coming up and live in the moment for today.

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