Yesterday was the last day of my vacation and it is back to work on Monday. I am really wore out from all the planning, anticipation and the emotion of watching another child achieve a milestone, graduation. On reflection of this week the only thing that comes to mind is “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me! Bless His Holy name!”
How do you thank God for the overwhelming goodness He shows us in our lives? There are times in my walk with God where I have felt so very inadequate when saying thank you to Him. This is one of those times. Years ago, as a single mom, I did not know how I was going to take care of my kids, let alone get them through high school in tact. I did not know how I was going to teach them everything they needed to know before going out on their own. My head would spin having four of them to corral let alone imparting pearls of wisdom on each one. I have found myself telling Esteban random things while driving him to school or taking him to the gym. How to buy car insurance or making sure he understands how debit cards work. LOL
But as each one has taken the step from being a student to adulthood it has reminded me of how much more God has had to do with it than I did. I can say yes, I did not give up on them. I can say yes, I faced each challenge that came with their transition while believing God would prevail in their lives. But I could still see there were so many gaps. And I want to scream, “WAIT, I still have more to tell you!!” And folks, that is where my belief kicks in. God fills in the gaps or he leaves them to learn those things on their own. OH MY!
While two of my kids are grown, with kids of their own, Esteban is my third child and I have on occasion said that of all my children he is the ‘high maintenance’ one. I do not even have the words to describe what that entails just suffice to say, he has literally worn me out as a mom! I admit I have actually told him I could not wait till he was grown and on his own. Yes, I have said that. And then immediately following I think I do not want those to be my last words. So I would say, “I still love you!” There is one exception, the day he was born. He came out in distress and was not breathing. It took them a minute or two but then I heard this little squeak. Air finally. I had a peace during those moments because I had felt him moving within me just before his birth. I knew he was in God’s hands. He certainly found his lungs by the third day. After that he had a determination to do things his own way in his own time.
As mothers sometimes we have a tendency to overlook our children’s bad qualities. I have often felt that I tend to focus too much on them. I have prayed for the Lord to help me find the balance in observing the good and letting them know that I see it. I suppose I have focused on the bad instead of the good because of the many disappointments I have experienced throughout the years of being a single mother. Guilt is a huge hindrance in a single mother’s life. And if one is not careful it can practically incapacitate you to the point of being too permissive or overindulgent. I have to admit to being both at one time or another. But thankfully God would snap me out of it quick enough. Especially when they got into trouble. OH MY!
I was reminded in watching Esteban march into the stadium last night that it wasn’t just Jesus and I raising him. It was all the people who invested in him these past years of his life. Friends from church, his family, the teachers and coaches. Even when I was making the invitation list I was remembering those folks who had spent hours pouring into his life prayer, guidance, teaching or just loving on him. Cheering him on. Showing up to his baseball or football games. Those who corrected him or praised him. Those who came into his life at an early age and those who just recently added to his quality of life. Those who committed to support him. There were even complete strangers, who at a very financially difficult time in our lives, invested into his life.
He marched along with his fellow students, smiling. Smiling because he looked up to the right and saw his family sitting in the seats above. All waving to him and yelling his name. He was genuinely happy. And that made me well up with love. He will be leaving in three months to go into the Army. He wants to be an Airborne Ranger. And I have no doubt he will do what he sets his mind to do and I truly believe God has saved him for something awesome! Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29 When he leaves I will be going through waves of emotion again. Saying goodbye, sending him off to serve our country knowing that life as we knew it all these years will be forever changed. He will in every sense of the word, become a man!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen!
PS. If you are curious about the title, it includes several remarks made to him about graduation! I added the 75 lb rucksack because his father was an Airborne Ranger and I would watch him pack his rucksack and could not believe the amount of stuff he would put in there and still have to carry his weapon and other gear. So basically, yeah that is what he is looking forward to in the Army!