"We tried that one time with our children too." etc. So I answer with something along the lines of this: Our boys are friends, while they may not be 'best friends' they are friends - and they respect each other, they know and share the other's strengths, and help out in the weaknesses. They do not take or use something of their brother's without asking, and most importantly they enjoy being together. We're blessed that they know the Lord and that they've made good decisions in their lives [yet we all know that one bad decision could change the course they take.] And several times in the past few weeks as I've shared this I've been told, "You and C raised them well," or, "It's because of the way you parented." And you know, I have to say, that gives me a good feeling, because, C & I and worked hard to parent in a way that the Lord wanted. We tried hard to teach our boys to have the values and ethics that the Lord would want so that they would grow into men of good character with integrity. And, as we watch them grow - we feel blessed.
We miss them, and this whole 'empty nest' thing is very much a new beginning for us, but we know we're blessed as we watch them grow and follow the Lord's leading. Here's a little excerpt from a "Girlfriends in God" devotional this week where Leslie Nease is talking about letting her daughter go to college:
"Sure, I will miss her deeply but seeing her so miserable out of the will of God made me realize that I'd rather let her go than keep her here and have her walking in disobedience and misery. Who am I to stand in the way of what God has for her?
I'm realizing as my children are all growing up that letting go is hard and exciting all at the same time... She's not really my child anyway -- she belongs to God. He has plans for her that are so exciting and wonderful that I can't help but be excited for her! I'm so blessed to have her in my life and as long as I point her to Him, I've done my job well... it's time for her to try out those beautiful wings now. Fly, baby! Fly!
I'm reminded today of these lyrics from Find Your Wings by Mark Harris:
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings
It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly
LOVED THIS - and it holds much the same thoughts that I wrote to the boys when they each went off to college - I want them to do great [and small] things for the Lord! And it's such a joy to see them grow and fly on their own! I'm blessed....