It’s a beautiful Sunday morning…one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember.
And on the beautiful morning, I am filled with all sorts of emotions and feelings. I have to say, I enjoy sharing my life and the stories of my life with others, in hopes that it may encourage someone or maybe give someone hope. And as I share where I’m at today, maybe I’m doing it more to encourage myself, and to document and share a milestone in my life. After all, I began this blog for my children…that they may someday read these posts and possibly be blessed by them. I would give about anything to have stories of my mom’s life in writing!
We moved Alissa (Ali) in to her apartment this weekend.
It’s such an exciting time for her. I remember moving out on my own for the first time. It was an incredible feeling of freedom and independence, yet scary and uncertain, all at the same time. I can remember feeling “grown up,” and looking ahead to all of life’s exciting possibilities. So, I am embracing her excitement, her enthusiasm, and her desire to experience life on her own. She’s sharing a 4-plex apartment with three other girls, and it’s about 20 minutes from our home. Last night was her first night in her new place, and in her text this morning to me, she said it was a good night.
Yet, my heart is completely saddened, as I look at how fast the years flew by me and I question, how can my little girl be all grown up and moved out on her own? Part of me wishes we could have extended her time here at home a little longer…but we’ve already done that. She’ll be starting her second year in college this fall, and she lived at home all through last year. Part of me wishes she was still that little girl in pigtails who would pronounce the word caterpillar, “calapittar” and the word calculator, “calcalonny.” 🙂 May I never forgot those sweet, precious times that still bring a smile to my face!
With this new transition in my life, I find I’m asking myself questions like, “Have I done everything I could to raise my children in a way that would equip them to be ready to live on their own?” “Have I prayed over them enough?” “Have I guided them in the ways of God enough?” “What did I not teach them?” “Was I physically and emotionally with them enough when they needed me to be, yet not smothering them?” All these questions and more have passed through my mind in these last 48 hours.
And as I’ve tried to answer them, I do feel like I’ve done everything I could, with God’s guidance, to raise them in the way God has asked me to as their Mom up to this point. Yet, I also know, I’m not the perfect parent, and have failed time and time again. My children have witnesses that, and they’ve witnessed me apologize and try to make my wrongs right. Bill and I have probably been more strict than other parents (or at least it seems like it) in creating safe boundaries for our kids. As with every part of our lives, Bill and I are answerable to God…even in parenting. And as we’ve prayed for guidance to lead our children, our parenting probably looks much different than maybe how others parent.
I’ve been open with Alissa and Zach regarding the mistakes I made at their ages in hopes that they won’t repeat them. We’ve encouraged our kids to abstain from premarital sex. We’ve encouraged our kids not to drink underage and not to experiment with drugs. We’ve encouraged them to attend church regularly and have a personal walk with Jesus. We’ve led by example in reading our Bibles, praying with them, living our lives for God, and modeling what a healthy marriage with God in the center looks like.
This is where the rubber meets the road, I guess. Now it’s up to Alissa as she begins living out her own life. She’s in God’s hands now, just as she always has been. We’ve done all that we could do to prepare her, and we now can watch her step to the edge of the nest, spread her wings and soar! I pray that the solid foundation she received at home, along with her Christian roots, be her compass to a beautiful life of great blessings! And I pray she seeks God daily, and lives a life that glorifies Him.
I can also see this change will be hard for Zach, as he and Alissa are very close. I imagine their relationship will grow even stronger as well. I’m thankful I still have him here at home to love on and to bond with, and I look forward to that time too. 🙂
Through the tears this morning I’m thankful. I can remember my friend Donna sharing with me last fall that “God will prepare you to be ready for when your children leave, and believe it or not, it’ll be okay.” Donna knows from experience, and I appreciate recalling her words this morning. God has prepared me. I know that. But the reality of it all still stings. I miss Alissa already. I’m thankful that I’m not alone though…God is with me. And as I cling to Him through this transition in my life, I know it’s going to be okay.
This too, is all a part of the adventure I am blessed to experience. I’m embracing this time of transition, and I’m giving myself permission to grow through it. Thanks for joining me on this journey.
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