June 24, 2011

Just love them....

Wow! It has been way too long since I last posted but we have been truly busy getting the final touches ready for the homestudy. We had to delay our last visit due to colds/fever and I've been appreciative of the extra time. I really want everything to be as perfect as possible because I am so anxious for everything to go well.

I decided to add some new decoration to the girl's room, which really did need to be done, and I am going with the butterfly theme.

I just love the meaning behind it because I am currently watching two of my oldest girls emerging from their cocoons and fluffing out their wings to be ready to fly away. I guess technically they have already flown away since they have already left home. But, I think they would both agree that they are still working out the kinks as far as living independently and what that all means.

I still often wonder why so few people talk about the transition of young adults leaving home.

Where are the books??

Where are the talk shows??

Where are the magazine articles and quotes from "experts"??

How come when everyone talks about parenting, it is about diapers and sleepless nights, "terrible twos", and shuttling children around in mini-vans???

This phase of parenting is equally if not *more* imporant and it is really hard!!!! And, it is hard for the "adult" kids as well as their parents. The only info I have really heard on the subject is the stupid cliche of "the empty nest syndrome".

Well, all of you can see that my nest is definitely not empty! LOL! Nonetheless, navigating how to parent during this phase is taxing me more than any other phase of raising my children.

I love them absolutely and completely....and now I have to stand by and watch them make mistakes without being able to provide a safe cocoon for them to be in.

They love us completely....and yet now they have to be away from us and find new deep connections with others which is sometimes scary and comes with a risk of rejection as well as the risk of linking with the wrong folks.

Ultimately, spending time with the two of them on a *daily* basis and laughing, crying, squabbling, having deep conversations, and just hanging out is gone. It's over. And, that is horribly painful.

Of course, there is Skype, Oovoo, texting, Facebook, email, and the ability to come back and visit. But, all of you who have navigated my uncharted sea will know that it isn't the same.

Since we homeschool we spend lots and lots and lots of time together! LOL! And really, I love it and value it more than anything else. Time is such a precious commodity and I know more than ever that I want to spend as much of it with my children as I possibly can.

But, when that time is suddenly cut....you feel it! I think if I had the type of teens that were rude and hateful and were rarely ever home that perhaps it would have made it easier...or maybe not.

But, here we are and we navigated Lauren's visit and we're almost to the end of Corinna's.

 And, if I can step out of my own pity party long enough to be in their shoes...it is really hard on them too. They have come back to a changed home(furniture moved, floors and paint changed etc), they don't have their same room, their siblings have changed and grown, and they don't know exactly where they fit anymore....or how to be a "part" of all of us.

And, they have a mother who wants and expects so much from them and their futures but often resorts to lectures and frustration when they make mistakes.

I made mistakes. Lots and lots and lots of them. Still do....

So, this brings me to the title of this post.

About a year ago, I was having some problems with getting along with some people in my life. And, I knew that I wasn't being Christ like or forgiving in any way and I felt really conflicted about it. So, that night I prayed and prayed for help and understanding in what to do.

I had a dream that night that I will never forget. Well, actually, I have forgotten much of it...but, the main message that I heard over and over in the dream was very simple, very direct, very difficult, and extremely profound (at least for me!). It was "just love them". That's it...plain and simple...

Just love them!

I really thought that my problems were so complex and that God would have to either help me "fix it" or that the solution would be specific to the situation.  But, I think Heavenly Father was trying to show me that I was making it way more complicated than it was. 

Jesus was our perfect example and showed us how to do this.  He provided pure and altruistic love to all that he came into contact with.  He embraced, taught, and corrected those around him in love. 

I was humbled when I imagined what an impact would be made if I used this powerful principle with the most difficult people and situations as well with family and friends.  It would force me to not push forward with my own agenda and needs but to stop and consider how my actions are translating into supporting, uplifting and *loving* them.

So, I dedicate this post today to my beautiful daughters whom I love with all my heart and with a promise to work harder at "Just loving you"

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