Stepping off the Sandbar: Sending our kids to college {with courage}

It has been 77 days since the band played “Pomp and Circumstance” and we watched our daughter march triumphantly across the field to receive her high school diploma.

Since then, we’ve been seemingly stuck in a pre-college no-man’s land…rather like running aground on a sandbar, and the tide just isn’t right for moving any of us.

And being stuck gives us time.

Time for preparations, like orientation, choosing a bedspread, and meeting a new roommate.

Time for “lasts:”  the last dinner with high school friends, the last day of church together, the last family vacation.

And time for new thoughts and plans and questions as she embraces the about-to-be freshman experience. She’s curious and excited and nervous.

Me too.

College conjures a new list of worries in my maternal mind:

Campus safety
Noisy dorms
Academic stress

West Nile Virus
I get a little carried away sometimes.

And yet, history tells me that all of these worries will likely be unfounded. We’ve endured many “firsts” with our children, and we’ve all emerged victorious…

However, these “firsts” require courage.

I remember our daughter’s first steps, her chubby legs lurching forward in syncopated rhythm (looking to us, like graceful ballet…) Similarly, I can see, in my mind’s eye, that terrifying, exhilarating moment when Tom let go of her bicycle seat, and she peddled that two-wheeler down the street and out of sight. And, in the blink of an eye, she was in the driver’s seat, possessing a shiny new laminated license, and driving right out of the neighborhood.

I have admired her mettle and determination at each of these rites of passage, and I know that these qualities will serve her well as she begins college next week.  All of these “firsts” that are prologue to the greater challenges that she will face in the grown-up world. This is another “first” in her journey, and it will take a great lot of courage for my daughter to step off the sandbar and swim toward the life God has planned for her.

And it will take a great lot of courage for me to let her go.

 

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Summer Sampler: Great ideas for your family and your ministry!

Hi, all!
Just wanted to share some events, programs and services I’ve come across this summer…add them to your idea file and enjoy!

Summer is a great time to delve into a new book or two. When our kids were little we always joined the summer reading program at our local library. It was a fun place to visit when we needed a  break from the heat, and the kids always enjoyed the games and prizes as well as their books. Christ Community Chapel’s Hudson Campus is inviting the community into the church library for a similar program What a fabulous way to reach out and draw kids into some great reading that points them to Christ! Read more about it here.

Our friends at St. Gabriel’s Parish in Concord, OH. held a special “One Day Voyage” Vacation Bible School for the second year. This program allowed children with  disabilities who were not able to participate in the week-long program to enjoy learning about Jesus in an environment that is the “just-right-fit.” I’m a little biased about this, since it was the brainchild of my friend (and Key Ministry Board Member!) Amanda Mooney. Earlier this summer, Steve Grcevich interviewed Amanda on his blog…check it out here.

When we attended our daughter’s orientation at Calvin College, we learned about a program run by Student Academic Services. Calvin’s “Coaching Program” pairs students with trained study coaches (also students!). Together, they set goals for issues such as  time management, study skills, and test taking. What struck me about this program is that it is completely funded by a donor and the services are provided at no cost to the students. What a wonderful way to make an impact!

Finally, we attended a fabulous party at Fellowship Bible Church: The Luau. This event, led by the amazing Abby Hamilton, hosted over 60 adults with special needs. The evening included games, prizes, food, crafts and a whole lot of good fun! It was a wonderful way to serve as a family as well as meet some new friends.

Now…share your summer sampler with me! Leave a comment below to tell me about the programs and events that you’ve enjoyed…I can’t wait to learn from you!

~Katie

Around here {February edition}

Around here, we’ve all been wishing for more snow.

Around here, we’re excited about Annie’s decision to attend Calvin College next year. She’s been busy applying for scholarships and connecting with other “Calvin admits.”

Around here, the warm weather has meant mid-winter basketball in the driveway. (but the beloved net will need to be replaced in the spring)

Around here, I’ve been in the middle of several writing and teaching projects…and this is what my desk looks like…

 

Around here, Bill is studying World War II in history, and he is fascinated. His class is using this book as a supplement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around here, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with chocolate, flowers, and meatloaf in the dining room.

Around here, we love each other.