For Clay. Upon leaving for college.

AUGUST 2013 upon leaving Clay at his first year of college.

For my ClayBo.
Today’s the day. As you leave for your first year of college;

1. You have your priorities in order. Every day should reflect those priorities. Re-evaluate regularly to stay on track.
2. Sleep at night. Do not stay up until 5am and expect to be at full capacity.
3. Mom does not (knowingly) subsidize your social life. Budget accordingly.
4. When you’re uncertain on how to proceed, remember: now that you’re eighteen, you’ll always be tried as an adult. wink emoticon
5. If you’re having trouble academically, say something. Do NOT wait until I receive a letter in the mail informing me you’ve lost a scholarship.
6. Everything is cheaper at Wal-Mart than at the campus bookstore.
7. Don’t be embarrassed if I cry when saying good-bye. Most of the other mothers (and not a few fathers) will, too. I promise to try to wait until I get to the car.
8. Remember that there’s always someone smarter than you, dumber than you, more confused than you, less lost than you, more secure, less confident, more sensitive, less reserved, more dysfunctional, etc. Feel the blessings in meeting some, and show grace and mercy for the others; tomorrow the roles may be reversed.
9. Know that home is always waiting for you, regardless of how little time you may spend here.
10. Pray. Daily and diligently. Study God’s word. You can’t know God if you don’t spend time with Him. You can’t get His direction & blessings without knowing Him.

I love you.
Mama

Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8

 

Believe it or not – I didn’t cry. Not in front of Clay.  About a week after he left, I got word back that he told another mom, “My mom was fine, she didn’t even cry”.  I decided maybe he needed to hear a little more from his mama. 

When you don’t see me cry as you leave, please don’t think I don’t care. It has been my life’s work to get you to these days. The courage you have in this new adventure gives you excitement and in that excitement I find success. You are a wonderful young man and I am honored to have had a front row seat to your life. My baby boy, “my Claybo”, you will always be, but you are your own man for sure. Again, in that I find success. I save the tears for when you aren’t looking so that you don’t worry about me and so that you won’t be sad. Please understand that as my heart does break when I see you walk away, my pride in all you have become and my desire for you to continue growing wipes my tears. Good Luck this first week of class. Here goes nothing, right?? I love you, Mama

 

Father’s Day from the girl without a dad.

June 2014

My life has been a struggle of wondering and wandering. Searching for acceptance, fighting rejection, asking myself why I wasn’t worthy enough for him to stick around. Even now at times I struggle. Watching my own kids, especially the girls, with their dads. I hear Clarke & Sarah call them daddy, and I have no ability to even begin to wrap my mind around what that feels like to call someone daddy or be daddy’s little girl. But oh so thankful that these girls do.

My dad checked in and out many times when I was young, then solidly, firmly, deliberately slammed the door on our relationship when I was 19. I have thought often of searching for my earthly dad. As I think of what more rejection might be like, my heavenly father has gently drawn me near to Him. The years of crying in my room, God was there, listening. The years of self-destruction as I longed to be loved, God’s was there comforting me. The moments I sacrificed my dignity to be accepted, God’s mercy rained–in fact, it flooded. When I found the man to spend the rest of my life with, God gave me tremendous love-a love that is patient with my pain, & understanding of my lifelong grief. A husband who is a loving very present father to all four of our collective children.

So to those who are like me and are fatherless on this father’s day, hold tight to hope. You indeed, my friend, are not truly fatherless. God has sent his love to you in some fashion–whether it’s your mother, your husband, your children. And even if not…even if you feel as if you are all alone & unwanted, God has never left you, abandoned you or rejected you.

The pain you feel for yourself is the pain God feels for you, with you. He never wanted this for you… He never wanted this for us.

I cannot answer why, or tell you when the pain will end…but I assure you, the depth of God’s love for you is immeasurable. He does what every father should do….
He listens.
He quickly forgives.
He comes to your rescue.
He is proud of you.
He is patient.
He willingly gave His life for you.
Because He loves you.

So happy father’s day to all the dads who have loved & the dads/grandpa’s who have passed & to the husbands who love their kids more than life.
Happy father’s day to MY husband who has taught me true love & gives our kids a better life than mine, & a love that I have never had for myself.

Jesus said: “You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33