And there it was. I was driving out of the neighborhood, headed to the grocery store, when I spotted it. It was a familiar darkish-orange and yellow. It was shaped like a little car. It was a Cozy Coupe! It was sitting in the front yard of a neighbor and, to top it off, the car was smiling at me. I immediately had to take a picture. It brought back a flood of memories.
There she was. Brooke, our oldest daughter , sitting in a little, cozy coupe with her faithful friend, Bunny, riding in the back. She must have been just over one years old in my memory. She would take that car everywhere. I mean everywhere! She loved it. She and that bunny must have driven over 1,000 miles in that little car.
Fast forward to now. Brooke is 22 years old and off on her own in a new town. Her sister, Abbey, just turned 18 this week. Be still my heart. Where did that time go? Watching them grow up and branch out is so good and so sad. It has to be done. It is what the Lord has asked us to do. Raise responsible, Jesus loving adults. But, when they go, like Brooke has and Abbey will in the fall, you sit back and say again, “where did that time go?”
College went way too fast for Brooke. She has now struck out to do her own thing, in a new place. She is working hard, meeting new people, and earning money. She even pays her own bills! And high school went by like a blur with Abbey. She was just a freshman. We blinked. She’s a senior. It’s all supposed to be exciting! It is and it isn’t .
And this is where God steps in and breathes life into your heart. You see, the real walk of faith has just begun. This is the place where you open your hands and fully offer your children to God. And because he is who he says he is: He graciously accepts them and says, “I’ve got this – always have. Always will.”
The Bible tells us in Psalm 127:
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.
Most days as a Mom I have felt that way. Many days, I did not. But just as my mom promised, the time with them would pass quickly and it did.
So – here I am and what do I do now? My oldest is grown and on her own. My youngest is graduating and heading off to college in just a few, short months.
Well, my life as a mom is changing, but I will still be their mom. And although our life together looks a bit different, it is still good.
So, along the way, here are some thoughts I’ve gathered:
Be Thankful if You Are Invited
What? Invited? To what? Be thankful if you are invited to any part of their new life.
It’s like this. If your child invites you to watch – or even participate even in small ways– count that as a blessing. My brother-in-law and I had a great conversation about this last November.
Brooke was about to graduate college and new horizons were around the corner. He had already raised three great kids. He then told me that at this point in life, he and his wife count it a blessing if the kids even “invite” them into their lives. If the kids include them at all, they are so thankful. I pondered that idea and realized that indeed it is a blessing to be “invited” by them to chat, to visit them, to pray for them. Their lives are becoming their own. You may or may not be there or in it day to day, but, if they invite you in, treasure it, take it, and count it joy to be there.
So, if they shoot a text message sharing their latest victory or a fun, work story – count it a blessing that you are still invited in. I know I sure am.
Letting Go Is a Good Thing
I have hard time letting go of things. I have a hard time letting go of the things I love, people I love, ideas that I love. If you ever meet me, you will discover quickly that I am a very loyal person. A friend once said, “Nikki, you are fiercely loyal.” It’s true. But, here in this part of life, letting go is a good thing.
In Proverbs 22:6 the Bible wisely tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.
I believe that. Kids may sometimes go their own way for a bit, but you and the Lord have planted seeds and he has grown deep roots in your child. These roots will hold and letting go will help your child try their wings and accomplish great things.
Have you ever heard the song “Find Your Wings”? Click here. Get ready. It will make you cry, but it also speaks to your heart that your greatest joy is to give them wings.
Wings are what allow birds to be unlike most of the creatures God created. Their wings allow them to soar toward him each day. Toward him. Giving wings to our children will allow them to soar too. Love them and then let them soar.
Well Done – Good and Faithful Servant
I love that verse where Peter is sharing his greatest desire: the desire for him to hear those words from the Lord. One day, we all should aspire to hear those words as well. Words that show that the Lord is pleased with how we spent the time he gave us.
I think those words can apply in a small, similar way when we are parents and our kids are branching out on their own. Our greatest desire is for them to live a blessed life, And we wonder: Have we given them the tools to do so? To live a blessed life? I think that if you have shown your kids the love of Jesus and pointed them to the Father … I believe you have.
Not only is that guidance important, it is the most important. Put God first – others second – and we too will know that we have done well and have been faithful to what God has asked us to do.
By the time Abbey came along, I think the Cozy Coupe Brooke had used must have been worn out. I don’t really recall Abbey ever spending much time in it. But for Brooke, that Cozy Coupe was her cozy spot.
I kind of wish my kids could be in a cozy, comfy spot with me for – well forever – but I trust that God’s next chapters in their lives, in our life, will be blessed. Maybe not easy, but blessed. And I know that they will be because his plans are always good.
So, if you ever see a Cozy Coupe – think of our/your kids and how we are all working toward giving them a fast pass to the Father where the real race is won.
Blessings my friend!
XO – Nikki
P.S. I guess we were young together. 🙂 #crazyhairdays