Monday, September 21, 2015

Growing pains.

We are beginning my trio's fifth week of college. There have been exams, papers, fraternity rushes, senate elections, theater auditions and a couple visits home for quick hugs and laundry.

And to be honest, there have been some hurdles, some obstacles, some deep deep sighing that sometimes the good road is the hard road.

Benjamin took his college career by storm. He boldly drove into auditions for the semester's theater production with an awesome monologue and no trepidation. He rolled right into callbacks with the same attitude and secured a part in an original production of one of his favorite professors called, "Ghosts of Mississippi." It will be performed outdoors, around campus, near Halloween! How awesome is that?

His next week ended on a rough note when he drove his wheelchair off a curb (details here) but he went right along with battered and bruised feet and only missed the one class he was driving to when the accident happened.

Benjamin visiting Mason's dorm room at Millsaps!

Still, the trauma has left its marks and he is more hesitant to traverse from the top of campus to the bottom of campus without me. I fretted that his peers would think less of him for this but no one seems to mind in the least.  I have even made some darling young friends as I hang out on campus while I wait to take him down the hill. And my heart says that we are taking giant leaps in so many areas, it is ok to go slowly in others. Even if -- oh hear me loudly -- that is not what I thought his first semester in college would look like.

Because the pattern of me wanting him to follow my paradigm is forever my shortcoming.

Leaving Belhaven's orientation the rainbow was a great reminder of Who is in control!

Mason did not enter college quietly either. In his four weeks, he has run for Senate (and WON!), rushed (go Lamba Chi Alpha!),  and begun volunteering in an inner city kindergarten classroom -- not to mention written several papers and  taken several tests. I got a text from him earlier today that said he was not feeling well. I told him his body needed rest. His reply: "Rest. That's funny."

Mason doesn't operate under my paradigms any more than his brother does. But he does operate under his own. And in our house, his Cerebral Palsy looks so mild by comparison to Benjamin that I think he forgets most of the time that he has huge obstacles to overcome. And as his Mother, I simultaneously am cheering for him until I my voice is gone and wanting to wrap him up and make him take a nap and rest. Fortunately for him, he is living on campus, so neither my cheering or my blanket-wrapping needs are able to embarrass him too terribly. Fortunately for me, his campus is near and I can grab a quick coffee date every now and then to catch up and do my best to encourage and support him in a non-embarrassing way!

On campus at Milksops for the Riverside Rumble -- the football game between the boys' two schools!

Claire is in the midst of rush for the social tribes at her school. She is making sweet friends and has already plugged into a local church's special needs ministry. Her heart is thrilled to be surrounded by so many people who are like-minded with a heart for missions, and even special needs children...and Spanish!

Move in day -- we were stuck in the parking lot waiting our turn for a very long time! It was a great time to giggle, cry and work through the emotions of the day!

Her campus is the furthest away and of course her needs aren't physical so I can't force myself on her as often. But bless that girl, she texts faithfully and shares her day with me. Yesterday, she came home after her volunteer work at church to have a belated birthday dinner for Dad. She decided to stay the night. We stole a minute together this morning to have a quick coffee -- literally ten far-too-short minutes together -- and just be. I miss my girl so much but am so delighted by the way she is blossoming into exactly who God wants her to be.

Saying good-bye to her sister who had JUST been discharged from the hospital.

We are being defined right now by growing pains -- not just my college kids, but myself, my husband and Little Red included. We are learning new roles, and adapting to a new home, new job, new schools and did I mention new roles? 

My Quiet Time recently was through the First 5 app on my phone (you should try it!). It included a description of the Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Lisa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries said the olive tree must have both the harsh desert winds and the refreshing winds from the Mediterranean Sea in order to bear fruit. She suggests that for our lives to be fruitful, we need the harsh winds and the refreshing winds to blow over our lives. Oh I take encouragement from that. 

I am thankful for the desert winds. I am thankful for the refreshing winds. Use them all to make me fruitful, O God. 

Carol - The Blessings Counter