This weekend both Rachel and Joshua are gone on adventures: Rachel to Gatlinburg with friends and Joshua to church camp. I always get sad and melancholy when they leave. Once we settle into a routine without them I’m better, but it’s that fear that something will happen to them when I’m not there. It’s that loss of ability to protect them and keep them safe from harm. When Rachel started her full-time nanny job I was lost without her company. She had become my best friend and cherished treasure and it was hard learning to be without her so much of the time. She’s 19 with the world in front of her to explore and experience. Now she comes into my room most evenings just to talk about her day and stay in touch. What a blessing.
When my sister died 8 years ago I realized how fragile life is. Two hours before she died I was talking to her on the phone and then she was gone. Sometimes it seems that I’m morose in my postings, but I don’t want to live with regrets of things not said or done. It’s hard to live by. People are human, with failings and idiosyncrasies. Irritations, they’re called, that make each of us difficult to live with in our own way. And in a family it is multiplied. Add to that homeschooling and it’s 24-hour-a-day parenting. I fail so often and lose my cool, but that’s okay. The Bible says don’t let the sun set on your anger, and I’m trying to live by that. It seems to be easier with kids than with spouses! But what matters is the trying, the apologies, the forgiveness. We are to be God’s hands and feet to our children and to a watching world. No perfection, just the trying. My greatest desire when I die is to hear God say “well done, my good and faithful servant.” Live every day as if it were your last. Forgive people, even if they don’t deserve it. Love them even when it’s difficult. And pray. A lot. All the time.