Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Journey

I do believe the best part of parenting might just be watching the growing that our children experience. I do not necessarily mean physically.
I mean the mind and the spirit.
My husband I were talking, probably 3-4 years ago, about the kids. I said that it would be fun to see who they would be in 5 years. I think it will be fun to see who they are in 10 years. While I realize there will be moments in those years, that maybe we will not like what we see, I think if it is part of a growing of their character, or their spiritual life, it will still be interesting.
We have watched Traveler take on traveling at a completely new level and pace. We THINK we see her trying to fit in as much as she can, because she is getting tired. Maybe a desire for a more even paced life? We see her not being satisfied in her customer service based job and her seeking something else, and what appears to be, maybe, her figuring out a little more who she might be – not just being different than where she came from, but what her passions may be. Or at least what they are not?
Ocho, at 22, has settled into a pocket of life that we had not thought he would. And that pocket, while none of our business, leaves us wondering if he will wake up dissatisfied with life and feeling cornered in. He had always been well rounded with his interests in the past and now he is in a routine of work and home and local playing and partying – but no exploring, not appearing to pursue or live his passions or utilizing and building the strongest parts of his personality.  At the same time, his life has an easier pace than Traveler’s and maybe he is saving up his energy for the next phase.
The Man has had a busy summer. He continued working on yards this summer and seemed to come to the decision, a few days a month in the heat and decent pay, was better than working 5-6 days a week, stuck inside, earning the same as the day a week. He turned 16 , started his Junior year of high school and has started driving. He has settled nicely into the independence so far. We will see what challenges will arise as far as time management goes – that seems to be a struggle for him. While he has always seemed to spin, in his lucky go manner, where ever he is, I have noticed, he is much more aware of what is happening around him then he has ever let on to. He is much more aware of the dynamics in relationships than I would have thought. And he just might be a little more head strong and sure footed in his decisions than I would have given him credit for before. I think I had him pegged  being a little more innocent and na├»ve – I am watching and listening and learning.

And then there is Demolition D. . . 19!! He just turned 19. He has always been my strong willed child. He has challenged parenting – not necessarily in rule breaking, but …obstinate, stubborn, argumentative, arrogant. And yet, he has taught me so much, that I wouldn’t change a thing (I think). While he was rather closed off with me, he wasn’t with others. He seemed to take in much of what my husband (his step father) offered as a role model; the Youth leader at church; and many others.

He had an amazing thing happen the other day…he works part time at church as an audio/video intern. Taking care of the sound, uploading sermons to the website, and I don’t know what all else, but there is more. His boss told him he needed to check his office box Sunday morning between services, that it could not wait – said with a certain level of sternness that left Demolition D a little nervous. In his box was a thin box and a note , saying to read the note first.
An anonymous note, typed, other than the one sentence on the outside – that handwriting being a woman’s writing and a little shaky looking.
Inside, a typed note, "Dear . . . .I saw you the other day and God [told me, nudged me, laid it on my heart] to do something nice for you."... "I have learned over the years to listen [and act]"

What a lesson, someone KNOWING God’s nudge.

Someone following through with the nudge.

Note,"I have asked around and have been told that young people like these...I will leave the receipt in the Church office if you wish to take it back or exchange it."

In the box was an Apple I-pad (4 maybe??)
My child hugged me with tears. He is not a hugger.
In his personality, this was seen as a gift because “someone saw what his does around church.”  No, dear son, this is gift because someone felt God speak to them. God speaking about you. 
“Yes, I know, but it is nice to that someone see’s what I do.”  Still not seeing, this is not about “earning” and “doing” on his part. This is about God’s whispering to someone to reach out, to demonstrate a form of giving, on giving and loving, but not giving to be seen, giving to follow God’s direction, to share God’s love.
“I guess I see what you are saying”
He continued to bubble over with words and in the middle of jabbering away, he asked me what I was thinking. I told him I was just wondering,  that at 19, could he see this as an expression of God’s love?  Of God’s community? Would the ability to recognize that come later? He thoughtfully cocked his head and said he was not sure. I smiled. I understood completely. I was able to share with him, that there were many times God ‘s love and care had touched me and protected me over the years, but I did not recognize it until just recently, and what a wonderful feeling, when my eyes opened to see all those gifts of love given over the years. Not always were the gifts or the love material or monetary . Many times it was just the presence of someone following God’s direction. Someone saying a kind word or just listening. Sometimes someone was guiding me through a very dark time.
 I am amazed that it took me that long to knit together all those moments and touches and see the wonderful path God has led me down, but our sight is sometimes funny like that.
I feel privileged to have been able to see this gift and see his reaction. I wish opportunities like this for each of our children. Maybe not necessarily in the material way, but in any way that touches them to their very soul. That they see the true gift is from God and that when we follow God’s nudging, we are a part of such wonderful world of love.
Our sermon, on this same day, was titled, “Who do you say I am.” For me, God is my mainstay, my guide, my challenger, my comforter (especially when I miss the next step or am in the midst of a storm), a light, my guide.  May each of our children have the experiences that allow them to answer that question too, who do they each say God is to them...


Chatty Crone said...

I think it is so hard when you are young - to GET the real meaning of that gift - yes it is wonderful things at the church - but it was something much more! sandie

Finding Pam said...

Lalilani, I enjoyed this post very much. I loved reading your description of each one of your children. Watching them grow spiritually is such a gift from God.

It gets even better when they become young adults and raise their own family. I can see what a difference God has made in my kids lives and for that I am so thankful.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

how utterly glorious...such a blessing to read this, thank you