Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome, Baby!

Hello, world.

This is Jeffrey, my baby sister's first (and after 18 hours of labor, she thinks "only") baby.

He came yesterday via C-section at 3:39 p.m. weighing in at 8 lbs 6 oz. and 21 inches long.
I met him a half hour after he was born. Oh, so fresh from heaven.

I am smitten.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exercising the Shield of Faith

"I take the Shield of Faith
May I be ready for satan's fiery darts of
doubt, denial and deceipt
so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat."
- From The Warriors Prayer/Turning Point Ministries

These last few days I found myself a frequent visitor in the Throne of God.

It has been a week since we dropped off our son to college. What a rollercoaster of emotions in just 7 days.

At church last Sunday, he served as an usher with me for the last time. Before we left I asked the pastor to pray over him (I cried). Then our fellow ushers and my very pregnant sister who came to see him off prayed for him as well (Yup, more tears). Then another lady, who recenty started attending our church after 20 years of being a missionary gathered my two sons and I in a circle and prayed over us, too (By this time I was a blubbering mess). Needless to say, my son was covered in prayer.

We left Monday and stayed at a hotel for the night.

Move-in day was 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. It was so exciting because the students memorized all the names of the incoming freshmen and when we arrived at the dorm, they all yelled out his name. It made him feel so welcome. I spent the day organizing his room even moved the bed and desk to make it flow better (thank you some other Mom who watches HGTV). I put the new bible that I bought for him by his bed. Inside I tucked my well-worn copy of The Warrior's Prayer. It is a prayer detailing how to put on the armor of God. For the last few years, that is the prayer that I use to cap my morning devotions and to pray for other people.

We attended the Convocation ceremony later in the afternoon and had a dorm meeting with the Faculty Advisor. By 6:00 p.m., she said it was time for the students to send the parents out into the world. They gave us a pack of Kleenex, a Sharpie marker to leave a message for our children on the windows and a half hour to say goodbye.

Let's just say I made good use of the Kleenex.

We left for home on Wednesday morning.

Thursday night after our bible study, I came home in a semi-panic since I haven't been able to reach him that day. I tried Skype, text, e-mail and calling on his cell phone. I know the service for T-Mobile is very sporadic there. Oh, did the enemy have a grand time with me.

For a few minutes I imagined all sorts of bad things happening to him. Why did I not get his roommate's cell phone? Why did I not get the contact info of any of the RA's? Nor the Resident Faculty?

This went on for a good hour. Then I recognized it for what it was - a spiritual attack.

I took a deep breath. Remembered to pray. I needed to flex my Shield of Faith. That eventhough I can't see Him nor him, I believe that God will take care of my son. And that his time is in His hands. He will be here until God says his time is up - and not a minute nor a second too soon.

Last night at our Sunday night service I was still sad. A new usher was standing at his station. It was the last night of our study in the Song of Solomon about courtship, love and marriage. My friend, Cheryl, told me something profound when I expressed my worries about the things he will encounter at school. She told me God prepared him for it through that study. That he will know how to go through friendship, courtship, how to treat a woman, how to flee from immoral activities, etc. I am so thankful that God did that because I never could have talked to my son about these subjects.

He will start his first class in 8 minutes. (More prayers that he heard the alarm clock.) I asked him to take a picture of his first day of school for me, you know, for the scrapbook.

I know he's an adult now but maybe he'll humor his mother this one last time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Countdown Begins

Dear Son,

In four days, you, your Dad, brother, Grandpa (if he's feeling well) and I, are heading north on I-5 in a rented minivan to drive 7-1/2 hours - or so I'm told - to drop you off to college.

I know you were shaking your head at some bizarre things I did this weekend. But there are reasons behind it.

  1. I wrote your initials on 50 brand new mechanical pencils - yes I know they were disposable pencils. And no, I'm not saying your future roommate is a kleptomaniac. I did it hoping that in the midst of your busy day you will think of me when you grab a pencil.
  2. I started crying while cleaning the Brita pitcher for your dorm. (There is no explanation for this. It just happened.)
  3. I tried to stuff 18 years' worth of memories into three Target bins and a mini refrigerator.
  4. You know the three column list of things to bring printed in 8 pt Calvin & Hobbes font/landscape that normally would put me on overdrive as I realized we will be spending all weekend at Bed Bad & Beyond, Costco, Marshalls, Big 5, Target & Staples? It became a welcome distraction instead. If I'm hunting for Twin-XL bedsheet with the right thread count I can't cry, right?
  5. I was sad when you listened and FINALLY cleaned your room.
  6. I kept tabs on the remaining days and found myself saying, "This is going to be his last Monday, Tuesday, etc. here."

Then I wondered...

  1. I wonder if you can feel my love some 472.83 miles away?
  2. I wonder if you will look forward to coming back?
  3. I wonder if things will ever be the same?
  4. I wonder if you still walk with Him?

You see, son, I'm not crazy. I'm just sad at seeing you go. Our home will not be the same without you. But I know I have to pull myself together, trust God and just -- let go.

It is time.

So on Monday, we will drive you there, unload the bins and walk you to your dorm room. But I know that after we walk over the threshold, things will change - and not just because there is one less person heading back. It will be the beginning of your journey on your own path. The one that God meant just for you long before you were born. I can't wait to see what He has in store for you.

Meanwhile I will be here, just as I have done before, praying for you every step of the way. May you always walk with Him.