I'm not sure how I feel about this summer coming to and end. Actually I do. I'm really sad to say goodbye. I'm looking forward to the Fall weather that is around the corner, and even to an extent to the routine that the school year will bring. However, I really am sad to say good-bye to this season of being at home together with all my kids everyday. Sadie is only going to be in school for a few hours each day and she is sooooo excited, which makes the transition easier, but it's a transition none the less, and for those of us who don't particularly like change transitions are always a challenge.
As I've spent a lot of time thinking about the coming change I feel like God has really been challenging me to embrace the new. It does no good to wish I could go back and relive the years, or to spend time wondering if I could have spent the time better, or even just reminiscing about how great it's all been. This next season will have it's own blessings and joys if I'm willing to embrace them.
A good friend of mine just sent her youngest to grad school and wrote about launching, landing, and letting go. She reminded me that it is part of our job as parents and that we will continue to do it for the rest of their lives. As they enter each new season we will launch them into their own life, help them to land, and then leave them behind, (in this case only for a couple hours thankfully) but it is what we do, as much as I don't like it already. As parents it's our job to prepare our children to launch and land wherever it is that God has called them and then to trust Him, in perhaps a more tangible way than we have been, to take care of them while we are apart.
A year ago I honestly didn't even want to talk about school because I couldn't even think about letting her go for even a second, but now I'm trying to refocus. Rather than focusing solely on the leaving part, which makes me sad, I'm trying to focus on the launching and landing and on the great privilege it is to be a parent. God allows us to have so much influence in the lives of our children and to be a huge part of launching and landing them throughout their lives. So, although we do have to loosen our grip in order for them to experience and grow into who God has made them to be maybe it doesn't have to be quite as scary as I've built it up to be. I just need to keep remembering that the growing up is all a part of God's perfect plan.
I've also been reading 1000 Gifts and have especially appreciated the authors thought on fear and faith as they relate to living a life of gratitude. I recognize that much of the reason letting go is hard is because of fear.
Ann Voskamp writes:
"Sometimes, too often, I don't want to muster the energy. Stress and anxiety seem easier. Easier to let a mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead. Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?"
"Without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all-sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe?"
"Choose stress, worry, anxiety, reject what God has given now."
"Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt. Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear. To lack faith perhaps isn't as much an intellectual disbelief in the existence of God as fear and distrust that there is a good God."
Therefore rather than operating in fear we should remember and be grateful and trust,
"If I'm grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again. Remembering frames up gratitude. Gratitude lays out the planks of trust. I can walk the planks - from known to unknown - and know: He holds. Remembering is an act of thanksgiving, a way of thanksgiving, this turn of the heart over time's shoulder to see all the long way His arms have carried. Gratitude is the memory of the heart and so it is thanksgiving that shapes a theology of trust."
So I am practicing gratitude in order to grow in trust, that fear might decrease and faith might increase in this new season of my life.
Now as we wrap up the summer and look forward to the year ahead here are a few things that didn't make it into any of the other posts.
End of the Year Carnival
We were invited to attend the end of the year carnival at Sadie's new school with some family friends/new friends the Zuidemas. Kasey will be in 1st grade this coming year and Cole will actually be in Wyatt's class next year which is exciting!
Sadie, Kasey, Cole, Wyatt, and Cooper
My messy little puppy dog.
Vacation Bible School
Sadie and Wyatt enjoyed VBS once again this year and the western theme was right up their ally.
Definitely sisters. I keep telling Sadie that I think she's teaching Hazel her sense of humor. Hazel think she's so funny!
Like they planned it :)
Spending Time Outside
The kids are pretty creative. This was right before they actually pulled the table into the back of the truck marking up the side of the truck. Opps! Sorry Daddy!
Mommy loves the new chairs Daddy bought and we spent quite a few days enjoying the warm weather and picnic lunches.
Only peanut butter and jelly for this one.
Minnie always keeps a close eye on what's going on.
Spending Time with Great Grandpa
We've loved having great grandpa living at the dairy over the summer. It's such a blessing to see him playing with the kids.
Grandpa and Jerry
Potty training was a big failure. We tried and Cooper got it for a whole day, not a single accident. I thought for sure we had it, and then came day two with accident after accident after accident and when I finally asked him, exasperated as he wiggled all around the potty not even trying to go, "Cooper can you please sit still and try? Mommy doesn't think this is funny. Do you think Mommy likes cleaning up all your messes?" He literally grabbed my cheeks and said in his silliest most dramatic voice, "Mommy, do messes make you sad?" I could barely keep a straight face and asked him completely defeated if he wanted his diaper back, to which he replied, "YES!" So I guess we're saving this battle for another time because honestly if he doesn't care I'm not sure that I do either. Although it would be awesome to be done changing his stinky diapers.
Spending Time With Friends
We were so excited when our good friends the Scullys moved up to Vancouver this summer. They're here for six months or so and we've been trying to make the most of our time with them. It's a bit of a drive from our house to theirs but we've managed to get together a few times for play dates in between which has been such a blessing. It's not quite like having them across the street, but so much better than having 15 hours between us.
Love every one of these silly kiddos!
Wyatt, Cooper, Sawyer, Sadie, and Mia
Ava and Hazel were doing their own thing :)