Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hi Momma!

Hi Momma.

I'm writing this letter to you at the end of the day. I'm pooped. I've spent the day at work, and the evening answering to the demands of your precious oldest 2 grandchildren. :)

I see you chuckling in heaven as I'm living out all the things you did with us....and foresaw when you first held Sambo and Syd in your arms. It has been their little hands and hearts that have brought me to my knees. I have learned through their lives that there is always someone more important than myself. Serving them has left me tired and drained. Serving them has been the best thing I could do in my lifetime. Their lives remind me every day the things that you taught me..... that life is not about me, it is about loving others.

They have no idea now, but those kids are teaching me to lean hard into the moments that shape my character, no matter how uncomfortable they are. They are teaching me that serving others around the clock is hard work. But it is turning my life into something beautiful.

Before I had them I was told that children are a blessing. They were right, but I didn't understand what they meant. I thought children were a blessing because they were fun and and really cute to carry around.  Now I know that children are a blessing because they turn my eyes away from myself. Their lives have stolen my heart. My heart can’t beat for myself anymore. It beats for them from morning to night, and all through the night. When they are in pain or when they have to work extra hard, I feel what they feel. When their feelings are hurt, my heart breaks with them. When they experience something new and scream with excitement, I am cheering right along side of them.  Just like you did.

Sam is about to graduate. Oh, how I miss you.  I know you would be in the middle of this and so proudly among each moment.  He has chosen his school....Central Baptist College.  And playing baseball for Coach Brister.  I think you may have heard of him  :)  God has His arms holding our Sam....and has guided every moment....every decision.  While I'm sad that my baby is growing...I'm at peace with his future.  

Syd is searching for her first job.  And just was just chosen as a Pepstepper again for her Junior year.  And driving. This child is a mess.  Kinda like your daughter.  But everything I wasn't.  She is organized and honest and driven and loyal.  She is my best friend.  Hands down.  So much fun.

Today I am celebrating the greatness not only being their mom....but of being  your daughter.  I don’t want to be honored for the things I have done. I want to honor the One who hasn’t given up on me.  Just like you said He wouldn't.   When I slammed my fists and threw fits, and strayed from him, He held me close. He has forgiven me. I want to honor God for the work He has done in my life. My beautiful children are a blessing because they bring me joy and point me to the One who will never give up on me. They point me to the one who is making me great!

I was listing all the upcoming dates surrounding graduation festivities, and can't help but miss you more than normal.  But I know you're there momma.  For Mamaw Patsy wouldn't miss a thing!


PS....In honor of graduation in the air....this wasn't so long ago!  <3

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

To My Graduate...

Sam informed me that his days left in school are now in the "single digits."   How the days are fleeting.  Leaving me quicker.  All of the events surrounding the graduation of my son and his class are so wonderful.  Prom, Senior games, Senior Sunday coming up at church, Senior brunches, Senior breakfasts, Grad announcements, Senior Awards, Scholarship opportunities, just the mere fact that they are out of school weeks before the rest of the classes, and of course graduation.  I am so very proud of him.  I'm proud of them all.

I catch myself just sitting alone often.  In a quiet room, with no television, radio or other distractions.  I've been just thinking back on Sam and his childhood.  How he when I would pick him up from daycare....he would spot me from across the room and just make a beeline for me with the biggest grin.  No matter what kind of day I had...he was always happy to see me.   Fast forward to the equivalent today.  Every afternoon, I can expect a phone call when he reaches his vehicle after practice.  Everyday.  "What ya doin?"  "Where are ya?"  He will always drop by the office to see me (and not always to get money!  haha) or when he comes in from "wherever" in the evenings....he will lay across the foot of my bed and chat.  

I cherish these moments.  I pray that I will still get those calls next year.  Telling me about practice...and his day.  I'm watching this child....MY child....defeat so many odds and living out his dreams.  One by one by one.

I wrote a letter to Sam on his 18th birthday.  I have to share again, for on the cusp of his graduation, my thoughts and dreams and prayers for him.....have never changed.  I pray I've done my job.  And that either because of me...or in SPITE of me, this child is going to be a bright spot in this world.  He might even just change it.  

I'm thinking I can most likely speak to the entire Class of '15....from your mommas. :)

To my Sam...My graduate....

You knew it was coming. :) First of all, let me say that I do not mean to embarrass you with this; however, I do believe that it is a mother's prerogative to allow her emotions to overwhelm her at certain points of her life. The opportunity to begin the next chapter of your life as you enter into adult-hood is one of them. It is because this means that my chapter as your mother is going to begin changing as well. So be patient with me, because if I’m crying while writing this, I will most certainly be crying as you read it. A mother’s love knows no bounds and neither does her sadness and trepidation as her first born son moves onto the next phase of his life, without her holding his hand every step of the way.

I’ve been thinking about how we have sort of grown up together. I wasn't a parent before you came along and so I've had to do most of my learning, and failing, with you. When you were born, I was scared to death. I was only 25 and had no clue how to be a parent. Until that baby is in your arms, you can’t quite fathom the panic that sets in with all the responsibility looming ahead of you, but at the same time, you experience this unimaginable joy and love. Unconditional love… from the first look in your eyes and the first time your little fist wrapped around my finger. I was instantly in love with you. I remember standing for hours by your crib, just looking at you. I remember all the fear and down-right CRAZE I felt when we never knew if you would breathe on your own...let alone jump, and run, and catch footballs on Friday night! :) I was in awe that such a precious, perfect little baby was mine. Yes, despite your respiratory issues, you were perfect. I was so in love that I would just cry sometimes as I held you. Some nights I would get up just to hold you while you slept. I felt like I was the luckiest mom alive to have you for my son.

I remember you with your trach. How I never heard your little cry until you were over a year old. How you would sneeze and the filter would fly across the room. (Once into the baked beans at a church potluck! haha) I remember the fear of letting anyone NEAR you. You don't know this, but the whole community, our church, our friends and family....prayed for you so much. You were a little super star when you came home! So loved. Always. So very loved.

Parenting you has been the ride of a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it or give up a second I’ve spent with you, worrying about you, loving you, being your biggest fan. Always. It’s been 18 years of pure emotion: love, joy, worry, anger, frustration, terror. Sometimes the emotion isn’t even mine, but yours. When you’re excited, happy or, worse, heartbroken, I feel those things, too. Ever since you were born, I worried and wondered about whether or not I was being the best parent I could be. Did I make you feel important? Did we find enough time for the little things that live on in happy memories - like laughter, and hugs, and "just-between-us" moments? Did I show you enough that you mean the world to me? And, more importantly, did you always know I loved you, even when I was angry at you? I hope I’ve given you enough and made you feel loved, cherished and important.

Sometimes I just stare at you when you aren’t paying attention… and sometimes you catch me. :) Why do I do that, you wonder? There are lots of reasons. I'm staring because it amazes me that someone as handsome, funny, loving and smart as you ever came out of me. You have the sweetest, most gentle spirit of anyone I've ever met. So UNlike me! lol I think, how did I get so lucky?! I'm staring at you with hope, because I know that you're sensitive and sometimes a clueless, naive kid…and because I know that the world you're moving into can be unpredictable and cruel at times. I just hope that I’ve given you enough ‘tools’ to make it in this world without too much difficulty. The biggest reason I'm staring is because I know that our time together is short and growing shorter by the day. The day is coming soon when I'll no longer be a part of your everyday life. There will be college and work, a lucky girl who steals your heart, and some career that keeps you busy. So knowing that my opportunities to teach and influence you will soon slow down to only the occasional Sunday dinners and holidays, makes me sad. You're my friend! I love our time that we just hang out, watch stupid tv, and talk. I know that my moments with you are numbered.

I will most likely share this with you on your graduation day. Which is only a few short months away. Although the days between now and then are few, they are full of importance. So many decisions. By then you will know the outcome of the Panthers season. Both football and baseball. Will you be wearing a state championship ring....or maybe 2? You will know where you will be spending the next four years of your life. And most likely how we will pay for it. You will be preparing for your last summer at home, with few commitments. All of the worries and "what ifs" that we are experiencing now will be answered. Enjoy every moment, son. And please be gracious. God is carrying us. And He will reveal opportunities to you each day between now and then. So be gracious.

I find myself frantically wondering if I've covered all the bases, told you all the things I wanted you to know…and wondering, too, if you ever truly listened. I hope you did. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own life. It’s a scary concept, isn’t it? Your happiness, your fortune, and your emotional well-being all essentially belong to you to control and steer. At this point we are still holding your hand and we expect to do so to some extent for some time. (Don’t worry – you aren’t going to come home to find all your stuff on the lawn. Yet. :)) I know you aren't sure what you want to do with your life yet, but I have no doubts that you can do anything you set out to do. And well. That’s why college would be good for you, it will allow you a little more time to figure it out and decide, while still having the safety of your family. It will allow you to ‘find yourself’ in a way working in the world, just won’t. It allows you to put off the responsibilities of being an adult, out on your own, for just awhile longer. Now is the time for you to figure out who you want to become and where you want to go in life. I am nervous for you, but at the same time glowing with pride about the young man that you have grown to be.

I'm sorry for any heartache and "bad cards" you may have been dealt at the hand of my mistakes. I'm sorry you haven't always had a daily father. One on the fields to teach you. I'm sorry that we can't always have the best of what I wish I could have given to you. I'm sorry that you haven't always had family and support watching from the stands. It's mostly just the three of us rooting you on. Thank you for never letting it matter. For never showing me an ounce of disappointment. I'm sorry that you have had to face "grown up" issues while being a child: divorce, financial issues, illness, and death. Thank you for always stepping up and facing issues WITH me and being such a soldier for Christ. For thriving sometimes...not because of me...but in SPITE of me. Thank you for ALWAYS respecting my rules and authority. I can honestly say, I've never worried or questioned you. Thank you, Sam, for your honesty. Thank you for loving me. And for always knowing that I did my very best by you. And telling me often.

Today you become a man.

At least you are the legal age of maturity according to our society. You can fight for our country...but can't drink in it. Remember that! :) But becoming a man is more than reaching a milestone. It’s a process that began on that day eighteen years ago when you took your first assisted breath and will continue until that time in the future when you take your last.

Being a man is not about accomplishments, athletic success, mechanical ability or financial assets. Being a man is more about character, compassion and courage. A man has character when he is a person of integrity who can be depended upon. How you act when not a soul is watching. A man has compassion when he not only cares for others, but demonstrates it by putting their best interests ahead of his own. A man has courage when he does what is right even when it's difficult. I believe you are a long way along this journey to becoming a man. You have learned so much already. You show so much promise.

Here are some other tidbits that I want to make sure I tell you... (For you see...I've been taking notes in preparation for this day. A long, long time.)

Remember who you are. Decide your values and what is important to you and live them out. Don’t be afraid to be an individual.

Listen more than you speak. You will learn more by paying attention to what others have to say, and people appreciate being heard.

Be selfless. Let someone else have the nice chair, closer parking space or last slice. Look for simple ways to help others.

Keep your promises. Doing what you say you will do is a rare thing in our world today. It is one of the easiest ways to stand apart.

Be confident but stay humble. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, so don’t doubt your abilities. On the other hand don’t think too highly of yourself. Humility is a wonderful trait. Remember Who gets the honor at the end of the day.

There is no substitute for hard work. The process of working toward a goal is often as rewarding as the achievement itself.

Intelligence and wisdom are not the same. Intelligence is the ability to learn. Wisdom is using knowledge and experience to make good choices. You can be both.

Never stop learning. There’s a whole world to be explored beyond the classroom long after graduation.

Embrace “IT”. Whatever life throws at you, embrace. Change, obstacles, accomplishments, difficulties, adventures, success, failure are all opportunities to grow. Enjoy the moment.

Stay away from the bad things. You know right from wrong. Don't be swayed. Always be above reproach. Never give others the reason to question you.

Reach higher. Your Mamaw Patsy always told me to dress, act, and work as if I had the position I aspired to be in. That is true in all of life. Show your superiors that you are worthy.

Love outrageously! Be a man who is known by his affections and his actions. Value your family and forge friendships that last. Treat the woman that receives your heart like a princess. Be the man you would choose for your mom or your sister. I promise...nice guys don't ALWAYS finish last.

Love Jesus.

Live Jesus.

Launch Jesus. Go out and show your love for Him just by being you.

Pray. Everyday. Pray, son.

These eighteen years you have been alive also happen to coincide with the best eighteen years of my life. That’s no coincidence. Your coming into this world has profoundly changed mine. No words can adequately describe my love, my pride and my hope for you. I am blessed to call you my son. And today I am also pleased to call you a man.

While today you may curse the conviction behind my beliefs, and rolling your eyes that I shelter you, know it is this same determination that helped you learn to stand up for what’s important to you. While you’re frustrated by the lessons I have to teach, know that it’s taken twice the amount of time, heartache, and self-doubt to figure out how to teach it to you, when I could have easily been indifferent. While lately my strong will might seem to limit your choices, know it was this strength that helped me rock you to sleep every night you were sick or afraid , all while doing it on my own. My goal has always been that when you look back on your childhood, you have to know that your momma was there. Always.

While some days you question my need to protect you, know that it is this fierce nature that ensured you were never alone and always safe. While sometimes you may wonder if I think about you when you’re not here, know that it feels like a physical part of my body is missing when my children are not with me. While right now you sometimes wish I would leave you alone, someday you’ll wish you had just one more day with me. While you become excited by the prospect of love in your life, know that it was the first moments of your life when you slept upon my chest that you first learned the meaning of unconditional love. Know that I pray everyday that God show me how to fill the gap between how to love, shelter, and protect you and trusting HIM. Thank you for being patient with me while I find it.
I know its crazy to get a "love letter" from your mom.  Cheesy...I know. But know by now, you will have words written about ya, and a camera in your face. :) You are my favorite man in the entire world. I love you like no other. And that will never change.

Follow your dreams. Never give up on something you desperately want. Ever. Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made in life. You are my first-born and I want great things for you. You are loved and all things good in my heart. When you hurt, I hurt. When you have joy, I have joy. Of all the things in my life that I might have, could have or should have done differently, there's one thing I'd never change, and that's having you for a son... If I didn't always find a way to say it, I hope I always showed it - I'm proud to be your momma and I love you with my heart and soul.

Happy Graduation,  My Sweet Sam. I love you…forever. (I love you for long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.)

"For this child, I prayed and the Lord answered my prayer." 1 SAMUEL 1:27 (Straight from the book of "Sam"....:)

With a bushel, peck, and hug around the neck.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Just put on a little lipstick..."

My mom was a wise gal.  It's no secret how I feel about her as I've written before...many times.  Among the wisdom that she passed on to me are the following....(Keep in mind, most of them are "duh" pieces of advice that we shouldn't need to be reminded....but her reasoning was sometimes comical.)  

- Always wear clean underwear that aren't ratty.  "If you have a car wreck and have to go to the hospital, you will want nice panties on...."  
(I'm sure I'm not the ONLY chick on the planet that worries about that when the laundry is piled up and you're down to those in the drawer that...well aren't your first choice! )

- Make your bed everyday.  "An unmade bed makes the whole room look messy.  Besides, ya never know when company may be comin'."

- Don't lie to your parents.  We know.  (I won't go into that one....but trust me, the woman knew everything.)

- Always iron your clothes before going out.  Don't even think about going out in anything wrinkled.  Just don't.

These are just a few that come to mind.  I could probably think of others and write for hours....but my favorite, that comes to mind today...."Just put on a little lipstick...."

Tomorrow is the day.  3 years.  It also happens to be the day I go back to the oncologist for my 4 mo. checkup.  I will suffer a wealth of emotions.  While deep inside, I've not suffered any symptoms of a recurrence....Cancer is sometimes a tad sneaky and can announce its presence in bloodwork or a scan or an xray.  At any given checkup....I can walk out a different person than when I entered.  Either relieved of a reaffirmation that I'm still "cancer free"....or....well....or the other.

I will come in contact with all of the "cancery" things....the smells, the ports, those who are in the midst of the fight.  It's just hard y'all.  And like every 4 months, I get anxious.  And afraid.

I've written before about my "Cancerversary fears"... 
Here....Survivor...Now what?
And here....Another 4 months...

Not much in the way of the anxiety surrounding an oncology checkup has changed with me. And going on the day that just happens to me my anniversary date....of that day 3 years ago when it all began.....just seems almost creepy.   Prayer warriors, I ask you to pray for me.  And for the kids.  They always wait for a text from me...."just to make sure".....I've replayed over and over in my head, the scenario of what I will say to them if we don't get the "all clear?"  For that is my worst fear.  Also, Please pray in advance for all of those that will come across my path tomorrow.  Those in the midst of the fight.  Pray for them.

Whenever we would be sad, or afraid, or anxious....Mom would always say, "Pray about it!....Now, go put on some lipstick!"  As if to say, put on a smile, look pretty and never let 'em see ya sweat. the spirit of mom's advice....If y'all will handle the prayers....I'll handle the lipstick!
Muah!  :)

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

In Him,

PS -- I just published my 150th post.  To those of you who have read them all....Thank you for still being my friend!  :)  I'm sorry!  <3

Monday, April 20, 2015

Back to the basics....Errr, I mean...Bible!

I am officially deleting devotional apps! I think they are great resources, I think they’ve helped a lot of people (myself included) make sense of things in life, and I believe for the most part that those that write them are called to do so, to share their message. So why in the world would I give up on them? For a number of reasons actually, but mainly, I found they were hindering my spiritual growth.

I may be crazy, and I may be offending many, but PLEASE let me explain.

1. I was getting frustrated that I could only go as deep as Rick Warren did. Or Beth Moore. Or whoever wrote the "Jesus Calling" that day. My growth stopped where theirs stopped. I was framing my mind to think like them, to see the world and God how they did. My daily dose of “hang in there” was coming from Max Lucado, not from Jesus himself. Devotionals became where I turned each day to hear from God instead of the Bible, and so I wasn’t hearing from Him. I was going there for spiritual guidance and comfort, not directly to God.

2. I was using it to cross “God Time” off my list. I don’t hate devotionals or discourage their use, but for me personally, since I was essentially reading them instead of the Bible, they were causing me to become weak in my faith and never sparked a greater thirst for Christ.

3. It made me a lazy Christian. So much so that I didn’t even realize it until I stopped reading them. I was reading these without intention, getting that good feeling for a moment that I had done the “right thing”, patting myself on the back for my dedication, then forgetting what it was about almost immediately after. Once I realized I was doing this, I knew something had to change.

4. Certain verses really stick out to us based on where we are at in our journey and what our circumstances are at the moment. That’s why the daily verses chosen for me that day in a devotional almost never “did the trick” for me. I realized this very quickly in my “no devotional” experiment. Verses that weren’t your typical ones picked for devotionals were suddenly hitting me very hard, convicting and refining me, and helping me where I was at. I’m not someone who hears a verse and can just take it to heart. “God says don’t fear? Uh, ok, I won’t!” Yeah, sorry, my brain just doesn’t work like that.

5. I find them often to be quite cheesy. Ah, sorry, don’t get mad! I just am not someone who is comforted by platitudes and nice sayings. Two truths: God is good and life is tough. No I don’t need babied through it, I need truth, even if it’s hard to swallow or understand. I found devotionals always trying to wrap things up nicely, but that just wasn’t my life anymore since cancer. And I could not relate.

6. Devotionals don’t always tackle the “tough stuff”. The Bible does.

I knew I needed to try something else. So I did…

I am now reading the Bible, regularly, in succession. Book by book. (New Testament and Psalms, I’m even reading through the OT...and making references to each.)  And I’m reading with intention. This is the biggest and most important part, in my opinion. Every day I read to get something out of it, to feel the nudging of the Spirit, to hear directly what Jesus wants to say to me -with no middle man. Just connecting every day with my Savior. It’s been so beneficial in my spiritual journey and in how I relate to and see others, that’s why I felt compelled to share this.

I’ve found that my time with the Lord has become so high quality. The closeness is tangible at times. I feel His leading and direction so much more now and I now yearn for my time with Him. Full disclosure here, I used to just make myself read devotionals and the little accompanying verses. I had to schedule it in, and a lot of times I’d let other things trump that time because, well, I didn’t really want to do it anyway, I just felt like I should. Oftentimes, I'd log on to Facebook or Twitter before or (gasp!) instead of my morning devo. But reading the Bible itself has changed that. I yearn for my time with God now, can’t wait to hear what He will have to say to me. It’s hard to even explain the change that has taken place within me, but I feel now like I’m hearing what God wants me to hear each day, not what someone else needed to hear that day and not what someone else felt they needed to share that day.

My favorite outcome of this little boycott, is that I feel like I am gaining so much more of a bigger picture about God, who He is, how His heart is. I never gained any greater understanding of the Bible by just reading a verse out of Galatians one day, Ezekiel the next, and Psalms the next and the accompanying anecdotes for the day. I knew Jesus and had a personal relationship with Him, but never really got a big picture of everything as a whole. Now that I’m reading this way, I feel that I’m making connections I never did before, I’m gaining so much more understanding and reverence for God, and reading through John over and over has given me such a sense of Jesus’s heart.

It’s hard to explain, and I sure hope I’m not coming across “preachy” or like I have it all figured out. Because that would be very incorrect. But I can honestly say, without hesitation, that this is changing my life! It seems so obvious right? Duh, read your Bible. But I had to get the other people out of my head first before I could fully let Jesus in and let Him have control. I’ve been doing this for just a few weeks now and have wanted to share this, but never felt like it was the right time until now. I hope this makes sense, maybe others can read devotions and read the Bible and not have any issues like I had. In fact, I’m sure that happens often.

Again, devotionals are not bad or wrong. In fact, I love when someone reads one and thinks I could be helped or encouraged by it and shares it with me. I’m not anti-devotional, I just feel that I’m better off not relying on them, that’s all. My hunger is deeper.  And my life needs more.

In this day and age where everything competes for our time and attention, if you only find a few minutes a day to spare to intentional time with God, may I humbly recommend trying this approach? If you feel how I felt before, I urge you to give it a try. I feel so much more open an available to His using now, hard to believe this is what made the difference. I can see you, my sweet little brother, reading this and saying, "I told you so...." :)

Just one small change that changed my life.

Please continue praying for me and mine....
In Him,

Friday, April 17, 2015

Prom Prayer.....

Its been a minute since I've written....

Well, let me rephrase....I've written often. It's just been a minute since I've posted for the world to see. You can all pick up your mouths, as little of a filter that I have for most, yes....I DO have some private thoughts that I don't share with the cyber world. :) Been dealing with some heavy stuff...."Finding myself" would be society's way of describing my sabbatical. However, I feel like if I don't write my thoughts and try to gather them here...I just might implode...explode...or just both.

I'm just not cut out for this, y'all. This mother of teens thing. Actually, I love it. I thrive on it. I LIVE it. But, someone failed to tell me how my heart would RIPPED from my body at the thought of them growing up and leaving. My little boy....who followed me around in diapers, wet the bed until he was 7, who used to tell me he wanted to marry me when he grew going to prom in 2 in his last 2 weeks of high school......will graduate in a month......and leave for college in about 4 months.

My baby. My Sydney Clare.....just turned 16, got her first car.....and is about to complete her sophomore year in high school. Tomorrow, she is trying out for her JUNIOR year on the dance team.

Wait, what???? Just stop already. I think I might just die. Like, right here.

This week has been a whirlwind... .Pepstepper tryouts for Syd....I've written about THAT before....

Here: Dance Mom

and Here: The List

My sweet, darling daughter is about as pleasant as a thorn bush this week.

For Sam, Scholarship applications, essays, grad announcements, cap & gowns, Senior games......

We have also had three ballgames....and this weekend is prom. My little boy is going to his Senior prom. The tux, the party bus, the prom tickets, the flowers, the dinner, the "grand gesture" for the "promposal". I just THOUGHT that boys had it cheaper. I'm broke and worn out. And can't wait to get behind that camera on Saturday night! :)

What I really want to do is give him an 11:00 curfew and not let him out of my sight. God, please, please watch over these babies. Walk beside each and every one of them. While I want to be excited for them to make these memories and celebrate their graduation, I'm terrified as only a mother can the very depths of my soul and in the pit of my stomach. I trust my Sam. With every ounce of my being. I do. But that doesn't mean I don't want to protect him and his future. And that of his friends.

I heard the other day an analogy that fits my fears as a mother. "A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that is not what the ship was built stay in the harbor." How true. I've done my job. In fact, I want to be JUST like my children, when I grow up. :) It is time to let them sail.....To let them SOAR!

Why does it hurt so much? I may just follow him to CBC. Yes, that is what I'll do. I can just tell myself that to make me feel better for today....shhhhhh, its our secret.

But today, as my kiddos have so much on their plate in the next couple of days.....Pray with me the following:

The Lord's PROM Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name....
God, you are holy in all that you do and in all that you are. Help us to see and live in light of your holiness. I pray for the many students who will be celebrating with their friends at prom this weekend. I pray that as they enjoy the gracious gifts of friendship, laughter, beauty, and dance that they would do so with a renewed understanding of your holiness. Help them to see that you have called them to be holy as you are holy. Give them the grace, boldness, wisdom, and conviction to honor you in all that they do while at prom.

Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven...
Father, your will for our lives and for all things is not just for your glory but for our good. May you show these students that life lived within your design is not just what is best for us, it is what is most joyful. May their wills be conformed to yours as they make decisions about who they ask, what they wear, what they say, how they dance, and where they go afterwards.

Give us this day our daily bread...
You are a good and gracious Father and you love providing your children with good gifts. Help them to see the goodness of prom and how it truly can be a gracious gift from you. May they receive and enjoy this gift in a way that honors the giver.

And forgive us our we forgive those who trespass against us...
Lord, I know these young men and women aren't perfect. Help them to trust and treasure the truth that while their sin may reach far, your grace reaches further. May they see that there is nothing they could do at prom that would disqualify them from being called your beloved child. Help them to live freely and faithfully in light of your limitless grace and forgiveness.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil...
Father, you are well aware of the many temptations that arise during these festivities. I ask that you would protect these children from the temptations they face. Temptations of vanity, greed, jealousy, lust, drunkenness, and most of all, disregard for you. Keep them safe and deliver them from evil by giving them hearts that love you fully, minds that think of you deeply, and lives that follow you faithfully.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and ever...
Lord, may you show them that while you are the God of the universe you are still the God of their prom. May they seek to honor, glorify, and worship you during this time. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen! -

For my Sam and my Sydney Clare.....I love you. Sail, Soar, SHINE! <3
In Him,