The kids are enjoying their summer spending loads of time with their friends as it should be. I have told them more than once, “you are kids and your job is to simply enjoy your freedom and your friends”. They have chores and take turns taking care of Ryan when Travis has something to do during the day or when we are both gone, but their main responsibility over the summer is to have fun and be with their favorites. They have the rest of their lives to be responsible, and I want them to soak up these teen years with laughter, friends, lazy days and making memories. There have been many trips to the pool and the golf course, and the oldest two continue to spend their fair share of time in the weight room at school training for fall.
Travis and I had our 20th anniversary last week; we celebrated by taking the kids to Red Robin. It makes me laugh how we spend our anniversaries now that we have kids, but it was actually really fun to enjoy a meal as a family and talk about the old days. Now that the kids are older, they actually appreciate our love story and commitment to each other. There is always a comfort when you see your parents in love, enjoying each other and celebrating the worn path of bumps, crazy turns and much earned victories. My heart will never be able to verbally express the thankfulness I have for the commitment Travis and I are able to share together. God has been so very good to see us through the years. And to celebrate it with our children was a blessing.
Ryan is doing OK. He appears happy, content, spoiled. Just how it should be! We continue to struggle with getting his GI system balanced and regulated which remains frustrating. On Thursday we have the appointment with the pediatric surgeon and will finalize the next step. I’m not looking forward to that talk as it will inevitably bring up a storm of emotions. I should be used to this by now but every change to Ryan’s health brings a fresh course of grief. And in due time this next season will be our new normal, just as it always has in the past. I have noticed him crawling more recently. Maybe it’s just a silly phase he is going through, but it concerns me as we know he is getting weaker. Ever so slowly, but weaker is the name of the game these days. He also seems to choke a little more so we have to really watch him when he is eating. He seems to struggle with some of the meat he used to be able to eat, and when he eats chips (Doritos are a new favorite) we have to be very careful to break them into small pieces or he can struggle. It just makes me sad, darn it! I’m afraid of the day that I know will eventually come when he can’t eat at all anymore. But worry about what hasn’t come yet does me absolutely no good and only drains me of the joy and energy I get for today. The comfortable truth I know in the deepest crevices of my soul says Ryan is in the Lord’s hands and me worrying about anything in the future is not what I should be spending my energy on. God’s got it all under control. Trusting in His perfect, divine plan is really the best – and only – way to deal with all this. I have a happy little boy who is my joy so for today I will celebrate all Ryan is!
There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18 (MSG)
I love the reminder this verse gives because this life is temporary. Our real home is with Jesus. But how quickly we jump on the worry bandwagon and take a ride down Fretting Lane. In the big picture, these struggles and difficulties and the pain and fear of what is to come are not what the Lord wants us to be focusing on. I can so easily get caught up in all the “what if’s” with Ryan’s health. And with the older kids I can really go crazy thinking of all the bad things that haven’t and most likely will not happen. All the poor choices the kids can make over the next few years, someone close to me dying, losing a job or the house or getting an ugly medical diagnosis. I can worry all day long but the only thing it does is force me to lose my focus on what is important and that is Christ. Looking at this life from an eternal perspective means all of our accomplishments in a high GPA, success at work, having the right possessions or clothes or friends, raising kids who make all the right decisions are meaningless. It’s all temporary yet we can all so quickly slide into the wrong focus. These last few weeks I’ve really worked hard to keep my focus on Jesus, on eternity and the things I will take with me when I’m gone. It can be a real feat to keep my focus on all the things that really do count instead of the things that are temporary and truly insignificant. I am really looking forward to the day when we get to be with Jesus. This world continues to bring nothing but contempt, hatred, indifference, inequality and the acceptance of everything immoral. And the Bible says this is exactly what is to come. Yet we have the hope of eternity to cling to. What a gift! There are brighter days ahead. Perfect days of joyful reunions and finally seeing our Savior face to face. I’ll take this temporary life anticipating the perfect place ahead!
Carrie Underwood has a song called “Temporary Home” and I love the chorus ~
This is my temporary home, it’s not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I’m passing through
This was just a stop on the way to where I’m going
I’m not afraid because I know
This was my temporary home