Saturday, June 1, 2013

The end of one decade, the beginning of another

A new phase has begun in our home: Junior High.

Elizabeth has graduated to Junior High officially as of yesterday. And as of Sunday, she will join the Middle school group at church.

When did this happen???

We are entering a new phase as parents.
    The emotional swings of a young woman blossoming are in full swing.
       The days of being home every evening are over, as we have begun the taxi"ing" process of lessons and church and friends now.
             Our daughter is maturing and growing as a young woman should, and I mean that in a mentality sense as much of a physical sense.

This is a new phase for us.

I have to admit, I am quite excited, as I watch her unfold a little more each day. She is still an open book to us, and I will hold onto that as long as possible. She hasn't yet entered the world of liking  boys, to which I will also hold onto as long as possible. She is beginning to embrace her talents and loves, like writing and reading (hmmm....where does she get that from???). She is constantly learning and sharing. Elizabeth is also developing a deeper love for God every day, which is evident in her desire to serve as a missionary (which she will endeavor into this summer on her first missions trip). She also is constantly reflecting God's word to me in her assessments of herself. That in and of itself is a beautiful picture to capture forever.

I will also admit, I am scared to death of what is to come. And it is in these moments I desperately miss my mom. I really wish I had her to call up or to sit with over a cup of coffee and ask her how to survive this phase! As the emotional roller coaster ride begins, we gradually go uphill with the soft emotions and then quickly race downhill with a change in temperament. In this case, i am glad that I can remember slightly what I was like during that time in my life, as it helps me a little to know how to handle these hills. However, that being said, those same roller coaster hills can be as exhausting as they are scary. I am scared as she enters the phase of really developing deeper friendships. This is the time where her decisions will really begin to shine. This is the time where I really place her in God's hands and let her become who she is. (Not that we haven't always done that; I'm just emphasizing that this is a time where it is more evident we must be doing this constantly. Elementary was a bit different). This phase scares me a little bit because where I grew up in beautiful Cedarville, I was in the same school all my years (K-12), I had the same friends, I went to the same church-life was pretty even as far as all those circumstances go. For me, it's new for her to change up a school. It is new for me to not know all her friends. It is new for her to want this independence. And though it is all natural and good, it is scary still. I wish I had my mom to talk to about these things. I wish mom were here to assure me, as she always did, that I am doing a good job as a parent. I wish mom were here to listen to my fears. But I will also thank God for blessing me with a few women in life who have been through this-ones I can turn to regularly. And I will thank Him for that and use that. And talk to my mom out loud as if she were here anyway.

And so a new decade begins. Life is moving fast paced and full force with the kids' lives and our lives too. I dare to embrace all these changes and love them! I dare to savor each moment- the emotional roller coasters and the beautiful changes. Here, in these moments, I am glad that I made the decision to wait on going to school. I want my focus to be on my children through all these changes. I dare to be the mommy God wants me to be. I dare to learn through these moments. I dare to embrace the very same lessons I am teaching my daughter- like how her beauty is found within, not on the outside; like how she can achieve what she puts her mind to each day; like how God has a perfect plan for her life. She serves as a mirror to me many more times than I care to admit. And I am so thankful for this journey. Scared? Yes! Excited? Yes! But especially I am thankful. This journey of parenting, of entering these new decades holds challenges. But those challenges shape me. And as hard as it is for me to say it sometimes, I am thankful for those challenges. I am thankful for my daughter. I am thankful for my son, too, who is developing into all boy as he grows as well. And i am thankful for the beginning of a new phase.


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