I don't know about you, but sometimes when I can see and feel and know that I am shifting from one season to the next, I can get antsy. A little restless. I can wrestle with a Hurry-Up-And-Get-Here-Already attitude, focusing only on what the Next is... what the New may hold. But I think when we give in to this temptation, we miss out on the wrap up of the What-Is-Right-Here, Right-Now!
And when it comes to this parenting gig, well - I don't want to miss a thing! It can feel as if we are nearing the end... as if it is now out of our control. Our One and Only is Nearly Grown and the truth hits me hard that really, honestly - I was never in control of anything anyway!
This season... this transition... it will never end. This Gorgeous Creature who has grown to be Breathtakingly Present in her own skin, who lives Bold and Full of Grace, Wounded and yet Not Backing Down, this Incredibly Funny, Amazingly Talented little person grew up to be someone I would love to hang out with - I DO love to hand out with!
I always told her that I was raising her up to be someone I would want to be friends with... and here we are. Friends.
Oh sure - I am still the Mom (insert teenage tone here)... I am still the one who scrolls through the text messages (gasp... oh - it's true!), confiscates the phone, reminds (nags) of laundry and homework and bedtime... the one who is not afraid to ask the tough questions. I still get the eye rolls, and the angry tones, and the messy room.
But more than that - thank God... more than that, I get the giggles and the Oh-My-Gosh-I-Have-To-Tell-You's... I get the lean in Hugs and the goodnight Kisses... I get the (swoon!) Tickle-My-Back's and the whispered "Friday Night Lights?" invitation on a Friday night. Her first Friday night off of work since July... and she invites me to spend it with her.
Life has come at us hard... we have both failed... all three of us really. She is blessed with an amazing Daddy and she has never once questioned his love. Still... in all the security and love and empowering and grace... with all the plans of an easy road and prayers for wisdom... In all of this, every one of us have made poor choices, tripped up, said words that wound, or made decisions that only later are filled with regret.
However - with every hard eucharisteo that has barreled down on us, we have searched out the gifts... Not at first. No - at first there was only Dizziness and Darkness; Bleeding Out, and Sucking In... there was Saving Face and Covering Up... but at some point, it's in His Great Wisdom that He lets us get Tired... Weary, really... and He reminds us of the call to Live Loud and Be Real and let Him Shine Through - not just on good days - but on every day.
We have found the strength of a cold, hard kitchen floor...
a foundation that holds us together, when we are falling apart.
We have found Mercy wrapped around the three of us...
broken and healing as we breath in and out, in and out... and do it all over again.
We have found friendship... with Him... with each other... with ourselves.
Ah yes... and there it is...
It's in the power and freedom of being Real... of doing life Honestly - Out Loud and On Purpose... that we can find the gifts and let Him work all things together for good! I am reminded of the word art that people are hanging in their homes... you know the one... you've seen it on Pinterest or on facebook... it is a family mantra of sorts:
I don't have this (yet) but it is oh so true of our home! We do do these things... because He has made us. Oh sure - we had a choice... we could have gone a different route... but I can tell you with all certainty that we would not be friends right now if we did!
I can honestly say we are closer now... better now... and as this season of parenting comes to an end, a new one comes at us holding more freedoms, (less controls), and a whole lot of unknowns. And yet - together... we lean in... we hold on... and we let go!
I was watching Brene Brown the other day as she talked with Oprah about her new book, Daring Greatly... which I do not (yet) have - but it will soon be on it's way! I can tell already it is a MUST READ!
How do I know this? Well... because of this manifesto:
Dare Greatly to Be Real... to Love Wholeheartedly... to embrace all the life He unfolds for you... the good parts... and the hard parts...
...because when we Stay Present and Be Real and Love 'All In'... He is able to transfer and transition the hard parts into gifts... and we count on!
#965 - Yoga with my girlie
#966 - Seeing her Giving spirit... and Forgiving spirit!
#967 - Discernment... hearing what WASN'T said
#968 - FNL's with my girlie
#969 - New opportunities in writing
#970 - Baskets of food and prayers for a neighbor who is grieving
#971 - Allowing God to work forgiveness in me for an offense (again)
#972 - Grace & Love - flung out like seeds!
#975 - Planning our Bethel trip
#976 - Sticking to my workout goal this week
#979 - Listening Prayer for my girlie... hearing God's words for her.
#980 - Having her read some of these posts and getting feedback... Being Real
#981 - A Gift Folded = My girlie's hands folded, clasped over one knee, sitting just like me, beside me at church.
#982 A Gift Hung = all of the Framed Photo's and cards, hung up in her room... reveals to me her priorities for words and relationships. Wise investments!
I am linking up with Multitudes on Mondays over at Ann's... counting gifts.. giving thanks!
I am also linking over at lol-ly-gag for her "Your Story Line" link-up where we share our stories of real life, wanting to pass on to the next generation what we are learning along the way.
What about you? How and what are YOU counting as gifts today and what would you want to pass on to the next generation?
Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.