Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rejoice IN IT!

James & his dog Beau just rolled out of my driveway heading back to Oxford for another semester of pharmacy school.

With them rolled a significant piece of my heart.

He had a long break; over 5 weeks! And that just absolutely flew by. Time seems to do that often these days; the breaks & visits are never long enough.

Next August, it'll be both James and Anne rolling out of my driveway headed off to college. I'm in total denial and refuse to ponder it very much.

Got little ones around w/ dirty diapers? Young'uns who sometimes don't sleep when they're supposed to? Struggles w/ spelling words, science projects, book reports, summer reading & such?

Here's some cold, hard reality for you. The days will absolutely zip past you if you're not careful. When it's yours pulling out of the driveway, you'll find yourself amazed at how quickly s/he went from dirty diapers to driving off to college. It'll seem like just a week or two, trust me.

My challenge to all of to really seriously ponder this biblical concept: THIS is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad IN IT.

Make a conscious effort to live in the present tense, enjoying the moments, even when it's not easy. Though time has a wonderful white-washing effect, I do truly recall sleepless nights & dirty diapers & book report arguments & last-minute science projects & such. I know those moments are hard to "rejoice in." But again, my challenge from scripture is to find a way to rejoice, even on days when you don't really feel like it. As one of my favorite theologians Gary Shows says, when you don't feel like praising God, start praising God & keep doing so until you feel like praising God. (paraphrased & re-applied to raising kids)

Enjoy every stage w/ your kids! Even if it's hard work to do that at times. (it will be). Even if it seems to be purely an act of the will & not an act of desire. With all of the physical, mental, & emotional challenges of raising children, on balance I've enjoyed every stage w/ mine. For me, the hardest stage is this one...the one that involves "Aight, Dad...I love you...see you at Spring Break if not before..." followed by a car cranking & pulling away.

Yet again, here's another life moment that makes me totally long for the land of the eternal hello. I totally dig where my son is educationally, mentally, spiritually, etc. I'm so very proud that he's doing quite well in a program that I absolutely couldn't handle. Because such a large piece of my heart is there, I wear my Ole Miss stuff with great pride, for my baby boy is there. (Some of you will get to experience your kids attending a college that's not me--if you love your kids, this will not be a hard transition at all.)

My only problem...and it's a BIGGIE just that 4.5 hours from now, he'll be pulling in at HIS place. Which means he'll be 4.5 hours away from MY place. Which just creates massive suction...(despite the stuff in the previous paragraph.)

So I'll be at the "Theology for the Average Dude" series tonight. And I'll be worshipping & grooving on the presence of my Lord. All the while, missing the stew out of my little boy who just left.

Your prayers are most welcome. And if yours are still at your place, make it a top priority in 2009 to enjoy their presence at whatever life stage they are right now. Live in the present tense, and remember, this is the day that the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in IT.

Both excited about and missing James,

p.s. - on re-reading, this is a bit of a whiny entry...I'd apologize if I were sorry for it. But I'm not; it's my heart at this moment. I'll say this: Please focus on the challenge & not on the whining by the old dude.


Stephanie said...

Just what I needed to hear this a.m. after the night I had...3 precious kids who all ended up waking me up at some point in the night for various reasons. AND then at 6:30 a.m. when we didn't have to be anywhere today they were all ready to start the day! Thanks for reminding me to REJOICE in the Lord and be glad in IT! I think he then said REJOICE again just to make sure we got the point, right? :) I will pray for your heart as I know you and Lisa will miss James so much. I, too, am so proud of James and the man that he has become. year IF Anne decides to head to MS State, how will that work? :) Love all the Madaris clan and thank God for each of you!

Mustard Seeds said...

I am "misty eyed," to say the least, reading through this entry. . .but, like Stephanie, I too, needed the reminder! I love you guys, and I promise to pray that the Lord will comfort all 4 of the Madarii in this time of "away-ness" from James!