Graduation Day

The BIG day!  Our first child has graduated from homeschooling high school…sigh.

Over the last couple of months, a lot of people have asked me how I feel about our little boy graduating, joining the Navy and moving away from home.  My standard reply, “If I don’t think about it, I’m doing ok.”

When they’re little it seems as though we’ll be in diapers forever.  When they’re young tweens and teens there are pimples, hormones and homework.  Next they learn to drive and now, here we are, he is becoming a man.

The whole journey is a path to independence and that’s a good thing.  At 35, I don’t still want him living in the basement trying to find direction for his life.  He is doing exactly what we’ve trained him to do.

From the very beginning, we train our children how to live independently.  It seems like a great thing – that first bit of freedom when they sleep through the night.  When you have one old enough that you can go to the grocery store alone it feels as though you’ve been given the world.  Once they begin driving even more of your time becomes your own again.  Each little step brings us closer to the time when we no longer need to carry them but they are able to walk on their own.

Just as I wrote that sentence, I thought of the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.

Footprints in the Sand
        One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.
                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.
          So I said to the Lord,
      “You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?”
                                 The Lord replied,
                          “The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you.”
                                                   Mary Stevenson
  Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

 It is interesting that just as the poem describes our relationship with the Lord, we aim to encourage our children to be their best.  We don’t do everything for them and we don’t always tell them what needs to be done.  We do, however, stand in the wings, cheering them on and stand ready to help them whenever they need us.  The Lord promises,
Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
The way I am dealing with my little boy leaving home is trusting that God will never leave him.  I will miss him and I am certain that I will shed some tears but God has him and God has me too!
Two of our children played a piano piece for our eldest’s graduation.  Carefully read the words and decide on what you stand.  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and tenderness.
The Solid Rock 
written by Edward Mote music by William B. Bradbury
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.


When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.


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