Friday, August 5, 2011

Forward and Backward

I'm in an interesting place right now.  Backwards and forwards.  Past and future.  Looking back and catching up on my blog while thinking about things we've enjoyed.  Looking forward as I try to plan for the coming school year.  Looking back over the years and remembering.  The precious little boy that made me a mom.  Looking forward to changes.  Big changes.  My little boy has become a man right before my eyes.  Those types of words seemed so silly when I was younger.  I just didn't understand.  I know many of you do.  

So many emotions.  I'm thankful.  Excited.  Nervous.  Happy.  And to be honest a little sad.  This change is good, but its not going to be easy.  One of my boys asked me if I was going to cry when we took Christopher to college.  I told him yes.  He asked if I was sure.  I again told him yes.  I've been tearing up when I talk about it for over a year.  I'm sure I'll cry.  He then asked me if I was going to cry all day long.  Lets hope not.  (I don't think I will if anyone is wondering.)  

I'm not sure that all of my children even really understand what is about to happen.  A couple of them have been talking about the changes for awhile.  I'm not really sure if I should be doing more to prepare them.  Is there really even a way to prepare them?  I'm not sure.  

One week.  That's all that left of Christopher's summer.  It's been a short one it seems.  And full.  In one week, he'll be moved into his college dorm.  One short week.  

God, thank you for these years.  Thank you for the ways that you have blessed me beyond measure.  Thank you for this wonderful young man.  My son.  Give us grace to grow through these changes and to come through stronger.  Give us wisdom to navigate.  Give us love to pour out.  Thank you God for your good gifts.  

On a different note, this past year was our first year participating in Awana.  I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I've had friends that have been in the program who loved it, but I still wondered how it would work for my family.  I wasn't sure it would work at all.  

I liked the structure of the program - scripture memory, games and Bible time.  I liked the practical structure of the Scripture memory books.  It was easy to integrate into our week.  The games are fun too.  Most of the time they did games inside, but a couple times a year, they headed outside.  

While I thought the two older boys would do well, the one I was really unsure about - was my youngest son.  He didn't really like to be in crowds and noise can be a challenge.  Having sensory processing issues can just make things hard sometimes.  We decided to give it a try ... and he loved it!

 I learned that he is great at memorizing verses.  I also learned that he was ready for this experience.  When we began the year, I went with him to every meeting.  I helped where I could in his class, but mostly I was there to make sure he was doing alright.

 As the year went on, I could see that he was becoming more and more comfortable.  He reached a point where it was fine for me to leave.  I know for many this may not sound like much, but it was a huge milestone for this little boy!  I wasn't leaving him in tears either.  He was happy and comfortable.
 One of our last meeting times included water games.  This is something that a year ago, I don't think he could have done.  This year, he did.  They squirted water into cups, passed soaked sponges over their heads, did a balloon toss and more.
 It was fun watching my younger sons enjoy this.  All of them.

 On the last meeting of the year, they were surprised by an ice cream truck.  What a fun way to end the year.

Ice cream and friends.  A great combo.  

This has been more than just having fun.  They have learned a lot of scripture and heard many Bible stories.  They had fabulous Awana leaders!!!  I was very thankful for the ways that they helped my boys personally.  I hope and pray that experiences like this will help give root to God's word in their hearts and lives.  

We are looking forward to the next year!  Looking forward to something good.  Looking back and giving thanks.  Working on looking forward and being thankful too.  I'm thankful that whatever lies ahead of me, I know that God is there.  I'm thankful that He has a plan for my life and for my children's lives.  I'm thankful that I never walk this path alone.  He is there and He is good.