Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer of 2017

And just like that, Summer is just about over.  School starts in just a couple of weeks and I will now have a 7th grader and a Junior in High School.  It just doesn't seem possible.  I don't envy my friends sending their babies off to college or starting their senior year.  My heart is with you all that are having to do that.

This Summer has been full of lots of things, mostly good things.  We got to play some football and basketball.  Christian loved going on the Missions trip again.  It is always a life changing experience for him.  Bo is determined to go next year.  Both boys enjoyed youth camp and Bryan and I had a week to ourselves. It's a brief glimpse into what life will look like without kids around.  We have talked about what hobbies we may try to take up so that we can have things to do when the kids leave us.  He mentioned golf and I mentioned dancing.  Bryan was quick to tell me he wouldn't be spending every weekend at the club.  This was quite comical to me since I can't remember the last time I have been to a club.  Don't ask me how many times I went when I was younger.  Of course, I meant salsa lessons or something along those lines.  We are getting better at taking time away from our kids even if it is just for a day.  20 years together and 18 years married, we are still working on this crazy, wonderful life we live and created together.

This was the first Summer that my oldest has been a full time licensed driver.  I have to admit, I pray often but I really do like that I don't have to chauffeur him around anymore and he can help with little brother too.  With all of that responsibility has been a whole new learning curve for mom and dad.  We have had to establish rules which we never have had clear cut ones.  Bryan and I do well as a team in deciding what's best for our kids.  However, I am much more the worrier and want to put down rules to give myself some sense of security.  Bryan's rules are much simpler: Be respectful, be careful and you know what we expect.  I mean, that's it?  Like I said, we work better as a team.  I think the hardest part has been raising the teenage boy.  Sure, we haven't dealt with much drama or emotional meltdowns at certain times but the struggle is still real.  The hardest part for me in raising boys is helping them become the strong men they need to be to lead their homes and raising them to still be submissive to authority and kind and compassionate.  It sounds easy but not so much when you have strong boys.  I have had many moments where I wonder "who raised these kids?"  I always have this fear of raising jerks so when one of mine gets that tone, I take it personal to the extreme.  I have to choose my battles at times too.  I have to let my guys talk when they are ready and then be careful not to ask too much because then they shut down.  It can be tiring trying to figure out what my move should be.  This is why I think the best thing a momma can do is pray and when you pray, you call out the good things in your kids.  Though they may act like the devil, you call out the light inside of them.  You remind yourself of the joy you had in your heart when they were born and the promises God gave you for them.  You see them at their best even when the worst may be spewing out.  And don't ever stop praying for their friends.  Their outside influences enter your home whether you physically allow them to or not.  When you pray for their friends you get to see a strong bond develop and you can be confident in knowing the circle will rise and succeed together.  Mommas, don't ever stop praying!

This Summer, we also decided to do some updates to our house.  It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint and some new decor can do.  I am no decorator and my house hasn't been spruced up since my mom initially helped me years ago.  Thank God she was there to help me then.  Surrendering to the fact that decorating is not my strong side, this time I asked the help of a great lady with an eye for such things.  She came in and used some of my old stuff along with some new things and basically brought me to tears when I saw the final product.  It may not be as fancy to some but to me it was a fresh start.  There were a couple of old pieces that had sentimental value to Bryan's family that I never knew what to do with.  So one hung in the garage and the other in my laundry room.  She took them and gave them purpose with refurbished frames and mounts.  I have always been honest with you guys in telling you that I feel the Lord talks to me through my experiences.  So seeing these old pieces being made new again spoke volumes to me.  God always has something new for you.  It doesn't matter how old you are or where you have been hiding, God's mercies are new every day.  Dust off the old.  Open your eyes because you never know who he will put in your path that will call out the good in you.  Sound silly?  Maybe so, but it speaks to my spirit.  I will be 40 this upcoming year.  Some may say that is old and others may laugh and call me just a baby.  But you would think as I approach 40 that I am more comfortable in my own skin.  While most of that is true, I am also going through a transition.   Am I smart enough?  Am I pretty enough?  Am I healthy enough?  What dreams do I have?  What new thing can God do in me?  The truth is he can do something new in me.  And I can do something new for someone else.  You may be the dusty old picture hanging in some dark place.  You think you will go unnoticed forever.  But open your ears and your eyes, because God can send someone along the way who will pick you up and see the beauty within you.  You may be the one who needs to find the light in someone else.  Don't hesitate to share with someone their worth and what they mean to you.  You may be the person they need to call them out of the darkness and into the light.  We all have purpose.  Ask for it, seek it and knock.  We have not, because we ask not as the scripture says.

I am not a bible scholar nor am I the perfect Christian.  I am a momma, a wife, a daughter and a friend who is trying to figure this life out just like you.  I mess up daily.  Some days I like to believe God helps me correct my mistakes and other days I think he must say: be careful, have respect and you know what I expect.  I am so thankful he makes all things new even at 40, well almost 40.
Enjoy the rest of your Summer friends and family.
Summer days drifting away...