Monday, August 16, 2010

Return to Sender

In light of the month of August which requires many moms and dads to do the dreaded “drop off at college” rite of passage, I decided to bring back the blog I wrote in August 2007.  It is a gentle reminder of our goal in parenting – to work ourselves out of a job. 

Return to Sender (by Lisa Clark)

I remember being in my preteens and doing chores in our home.  I liked to vacuum so I usually got to pick that as my chore du jour (oldest child privilege).  With the smell of Lemon Pledge in the air, I would vacuum away to my mom’s 8 track tape of Elvis’ Greatest Hits.  One of my favorites was “Return to Sender.”  I would sing along and vacuum my heart out.  Elvis had a way of making vacuuming seem kind of cool.

That song came to mind last month as my husband Brad and I left our oldest daughter in Nashville, Tennessee to start her freshman year of college.  It came way too fast.   I guess it always does.  I think I cried through most of her senior year.  Every “last” this or “last” that.  “Last” first-day-of-school picture, “Last” pep rally, “Last” Christmas school concert, “Last” Sadie Hawkins dance, etc. etc. etc….cry…cry…cry…

Brad never quite got it.  Never shed a tear the whole year…but then the day came to leave her in Nashville and come back to reality…I mean Plano, Texas.  He got it.  And got it the whole flight home.

As hard as it was to leave her there, we knew God was there with her.  Who better to walk her through this new chapter of life than The King of Kings and Lord of Lords?  I mean, come on!  You step out in faith when you begin your family.  What great woman among us knows if she is going to be a good mom or not?  I didn’t feel like a great mom those first few months after bringing her home from the hospital.  She cried all the time.  I was tired, hormonal, fat…you get the picture.  But I was doing my job.  I fed her, changed her, bathed her, loved her and she began to grow.

And now, I see the fruits of my labors…

We pray for our children as they grow that they will love the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds.  That they will accept Him as Savior at a young age.  That they will live lives that are pure and holy before Him.  And yet we hold on to them sometimes as if they were really ours.  God has reminded me over and over again that the children He has blessed me with are His.  His creation created for His pleasure.  He has gifted me with them as a blessing TO ME.  I can be part of the molding and shaping process that must take place for them to grow up, but I can’t claim them as my own.  I must return them to their Sender. 

Moms, we should not wait until our children go off to college to return them to Jesus.  We must be doing that on a daily basis.  In doing so, we are reminded that He loves them more than we do, has a plan for their lives and, in turn, we become free to love them just for who they are…Children of the King.  

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