|Isaac "two toes" the Pirate on our pirate excursion at Beaufort, North Carolina|
I'm being honest. It's been a rough start to the academic year. With new teachers come new rules, boundaries, and expectations. And I'm just talking about myself here.
We have faced some new challenges--and some old ones that faded away when routine was absent.
We have had to deal with fears and anxieties that have never been an issue before.
We have had to spend more money on uniforms because SOME BOYS didn't listen to mom when she told them to "stop growing....right....NOW."
So when I was cleaning out Ethan's dresser, making a change in some sizes of course, I found a crumpled piece of paper that I had saved from back when I was a young girl that my parents had typed and framed for me. I had forgotten I had kept it. I must have stashed it away in Ethan's drawer for when he was older...and what an appropriate season of life to find it and be reminded. Here is what it says:
It's Your Move, Christa
I GAVE YOU LIFE
but cannot live it for you
I CAN TEACH YOU THINGS
but I cannot make you learn
I CAN ALLOW YOU FREEDOM
but cannot account for it
I CAN GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS
but I cannot always be there to lead you
I CAN TAKE YOU TO CHURCH
but I cannot make you believe
I CAN TEACH YOU RIGHT FROM WRONG
but I can't always decide for you
I CAN BUY YOU BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES
but I can't make you lovely on the inside
I CAN OFFER YOU ADVICE
but I cannot accept it for you
I CAN GIVE YOU LOVE
but I cannot force it upon you
I CAN TEACH YOU TO BE A FRIEND
but I cannot make you one
I CAN TEACH YOU TO SHARE
but I cannot make you unselfish
I CAN TEACH YOU RESPECT
but I cannot force you to show honor
I CAN GRIEVE ABOUT YOUR REPORT CARD
but I cannot doubt your teachers
I CAN ADVISE YOU ABOUT FRIENDS
but I cannot choose them for you
I CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT SEX
but I cannot keep you pure
I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT THE FACTS OF LIFE
but I cannot build your reputation
I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT ABUSING ALCOHOL
but I can't say no for you
I CAN WARN YOU ABOUT DRUGS
but I cannot prevent you from using them
I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT LOFTY GOALS
but I cannot achieve them for you
I CAN TEACH YOU KINDNESS
but I cannot force you to be gracious
I CAN WARN YOU ABOUT SINS
but I cannot make your morals
I CAN LOVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER
but I cannot place you in God's family
I CAN PRAY FOR YOU
but I cannot make you walk with God
I CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT JESUS
but I can't have your relationship with him as your Savior
I CAN TEACH YOU TO OBEY
but I cannot make Jesus your Lord
I CAN TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE
but I cannot give you eternal life.
Thanks for listening, Mom and Dad
That night, I was tucking my little men in with Dan and as he was chatting with Isaac in his room, I talked with Ethan about this school year ahead. He shared some things on his heart, and I shared some on mine. He curled up next to me and said, "Mom. Can you pray for me?" Of course I did. And I plan to do more than just that. This school year...
I plan to do what this letter says--what I can and NOT what I cannot. I have limits. I am an earthly parent with faults and breaks. Just as my children are growing, I am also growing. In wisdom, in grace, and in all the other necessary fruits of the Spirit that flourish when we love as Jesus loves. I am going to be swift to pray, wise to act,
I think I'm going to update this "It's Your Move" letter for Ethan and Isaac...print it and frame it and hang it somewhere they will see it and be reminded. Maybe, they will keep it and share it with their babies...
Sometimes growing means admitting you are where you are for a reason. Then, and only then, can you see the lesson God has budding for you. I am so thankful these boys have been placed in my garden to help nurture and teach and love. Here's to the growing pains.
|Our Family, Summer 2013|
|Size 1, Grade 1, Mr. Isaac Josef|