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Archive for May, 2016

The last family member has just driven away. The refrigerator overflows with leftovers. My phone is packed with pictures commemorating a weekend of celebration – sparkly dresses, beautiful women, handsome men and adorable  children. 

My son has taken a wife and I have a new daughter. Except for about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, I think I held it together pretty well. And when I did lose it, I was standing with a wonderful friend who let me sob on her shoulder. The tears were cleansing – my heart just couldn’t hold anymore. 

My wonderful family showed up in a big way. Uncles, aunts, cousins – all came out in force – from California and Texas, northern & southern Illinois, Cubs & Cardinal fans united for one evening to witness the beautiful, light-filled wedding of David & Tristen. 

Life makes a dramatic change now. I’m excited to spend time and attention on my loving and patient husband. He has encouraged and supported me as we’ve partnered to teach our boys a curriculum of life. I feel as though my homeschooling journey is truly over now. No more students at home – our kids (now men) have graduated into real life &  it’s time for them to use what they’ve learned & observed.  

Maybe I’ll pick up long ignored hobbies, or learn new ones. I’m planning more time with extended family. Softball & baseball games as an aunt & uncle sound pretty good. Probably need a couple new padded camp chairs.

 Thank you to everyone who helped us pull together a gorgeous wedding – lots of chairs & tables moved, food made & served, makeup applied, lights strung, candles lit, pictures taken and floors swept. I hope you know how very much we appreciate the love shown to us by the work completed. We truly could not have done it without you. 

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He’s always been a tenacious guy. Determined. Focused. When he wants something, you know it. And he goes after it. He’s learning that just wanting something…even working really hard at something…does not guarantee he’ll get it. Life lesson #1,081,993.

But he wanted his college degree. And he’ll get it. This weekend.

The end of 17 years of formal education. Formal may be a loose term since the majority of his education came on our living room sofa. He wasn’t always focused back then…at least, not on his education. I guess he was more focused on how to get out of writing a paragraph, or completing a page of multiplication problems, or learning his list of Spanish verbs.

But somewhere along the line, he fell in love with learning. Learning about film and music and history. Learning about culture and philosophy and literature. Honing his writing and project management skills. Developing his knack with people of all ages and backgrounds. (I always said he could make friends with a rock.) Excelling in work ethic and time management. He’s quite a fine young man.

Sean_clown_noseOf course, I’m very proud of him. He has accomplished many things in his young life. But my proudest moment won’t be watching him cross the platform on the 50-yard-line at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday afternoon, receiving his diploma from Iowa State, though I will add it to the list.

My proudest moments are the middle-of-night phone calls and text messages when he asks his parents for advice, and really means it…when he knows he’s hit the wall and can’t go on in his own strength, calling out for help from a sometime silent Savior…when he admits he’s as low as he can get, and yet still pushes on, climbing that cliff, scaling the next hill, always searching for the willow tree of hope.

Life teaches many lessons…some easier than others. I’m thankful for God’s protection and provision over us but life happens…learning to navigate through grief, disappointment, poor decisions, mistakes and setbacks…those are my proudest moments. When you’ve done everything you know to do, and it isn’t enough. When you realize that working hard and playing by the rules doesn’t always get you what you want. But you do the right thing anyway. When your head bows and shoulders slump and tears fall – but you still know God is in control. When you pray and pray, but never hear a whisper, let alone a voice saying “go here…do this.” Yet, still continue to trust. and hope. and believe.

Graduating from college is a tremendous accomplishment. He has worked so hard for this day. But I know greater things are on the horizon – maybe further down the road than we can see with the naked eye – but he’s ready. I’m excited to see the adventure he chooses and I have peace. He’s got this.

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photo cred: David McGarvey

 

 

 

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