Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mixed emotions.....

Well, it's that time of year again....time to move the kids back to college.  This year, I said kids -- with an "s" first time moving two back!!!  And, of course, they are both going back early for band camp, which means....I get one less week with them!

Friday we move Emily to Ashland University, where she will embark on her college career with an intended double major in English and Creative Writing.  She is so excited she can't stand it, so I am, too!  (Until I get there and it's time to leave -- but I'm going to attempt to leave Krybaby Kaiser back at home this time and be a big girl!).

Saturday, it's Sarah's turn to move into her apartment at the University of Dayton, where she will be a junior majoring in Communications.  She is excited for different reasons -- she has a whole other set of friends at school that she can't wait to see again -- and I'm sure she's ready to get out from under her parent's thumbs!!!

I've been reflecting a whole lot the past couple of weeks about this moving up -- and out -- process.  It's not anything new to me -- and it's certainly what I want for our children, to be ready to  move on and figure out who they are and what they want to be.  I've had lots of people ask me how to do it -- how to move them out and be happy for them.

The first thing I tell everyone is that on the day you move them out, it seems at first glance like you will never see them again -- but let me tell you, that isn't the truth!  They will be home -- and bring their laundry, and friends, and in the summer, their "stuff"!!!  So, that's not the sad part.....

To me, the sad part is that on that day, when they move out -- your family dynamic changes -- forever.  No longer does that person "live" in your home -- even when they are home for the summer, things are still different!  So, each time another person moves, I feel a little piece of me go with them.

I try not to worry too much about them -- I hope and pray that we have raised responsible kids who make good choices.  I can't worry about their every move -- I would go crazy(ier!).  I just try to "let go and let God"!  Another thought is that our jobs as parents is to first give our kids roots, then give them wings and let them soar!

Jim and I have totally relied on prayer to get us through when Sarah, and now Emily, are at school.  I have found this beautiful prayer and read it often.  I would like to share it with you, in case you are preparing to send one (or more!) of your kids off to school.  I hope it brings you comfort!

A Parent’s Prayer When Children are Leaving Home

Gracious God,
you blessed me
with the gift of my child
and entrusted me
with his/her care.
Now he/she leaves this home
and begins a new life
apart from me.
Surround him/her
with good people
and watch over him/her each day.
And let him/her know that I will always be near
whenever he/she may need me.
Heal any hurts we may harbor with one another
and forgive our failings as we learn
to be in a new kind of relationship with each other.
And when the sight of his/her empty room
pierces my heart with sadness,
may I find comfort in knowing that my child is your child too,
filled with your grace and sheltered by your love. Amen. 

(By Diana Macalintal)

Transitions are hard on everyone - but it is comforting to know that God loves your children even more than you do, and He hears your prayers.   May He bless all of you preparing to send your kids off.  Let me know if you would like us to add you to our prayer list!