Friday, March 28, 2014

Half a century, a full life.

My parents have been married for 51 years!!  I can't get out of my mind what a miracle that really is!  How people can stay happily in love for that long baffles a lot of minds.

They have known each other since they were kids.  Got married.  Wanted kids.  Couldn't have a baby, adopted my amazing brother.  Then miraculously a few years later had a baby.  Demanding job.  Crazy work hours.  Moving all over the place.  Raising kids, then teens.  Sending them off to college, then marrying them off. Retirement.  New job adventure.  Financial hardships.  Building a house together.  Selling a home.  Taking care of sick and dying family members.  Medical problems.  Grandchildren. 

Otherwise, in richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad times...

They quoted those vows...and they meant them. They didn't just say them, they LIVE them. Life has never come easy for them.  There have been plenty of faith lessons along the way. They've usually gotten an A+ on faith lessons...maybe not always.  Mom has not always been graceful and beautiful; Dad has not always been a knight in shining armor.  But God has been good to them and has honored their faithfulness and obedience to Him.  A legacy that cascades down their family line.

I am proud to call them my parents.  I wanted to honor them at their 50 year mark last year, but our life was in full swing of moving.  I will throw them a huge party someday...maybe at 55.  Maybe at 53 just to be different.

Their lifestyle of living on faith is one that my family has adopted.  I probably wouldn't be comfortable with this lifestyle if I hadn't seen it lived out in my parents' life.  But I see that my dad and God are best friends, so I know I have nothing to fear.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking those wedding vows seriously.  Thank you for living them out in front of us, in good times and in bad.  Thank you that my family is blessed because of your faithfulness.  Thank you for your loyalty and love to Aunt Bo when she was dying, to Grandma and to Aunt Joan as you took such good care of them as they breathed their last and entered heaven.  Those will be the first there to greet you when you get there with a crown of loyalty and gentleness.  Thank you for the example you are to my children and the blessings you give my children.  But most of all thank you for praying for your children so passionately for God's blessings to continue to us.  And thank you for loving and caring so deeply for each other.  I pray that Michael and I are annoying each other as lovingly as you guys are when we hit 51 years!  :)

Happy Anniversary.  I love you from the depths of my soul.  And we WILL have a party...soon!  

Mr. and Mrs. Archie Caudle 1963

Mr. and Mrs. Archie Caudle (& Punkin) 2013

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Momma's Boy

My son gave me the most amazing compliment in the world today!  He didn't realize he was giving it to me.  But, man, it was awesome!

I've been under strong conviction lately that it's time to start cutting the apron strings a lot more for my children.  I literally do everything for them.  And I'm learning that is hurtful to their development.  Of course, I do it not to hurt them, but because I love them so much.  My spiritual gift is service, so I'm showing them how much I love and value them by doing everything for them! least that's what I've been thinking.  But after much reading, I'm finally getting it through my head to start letting them be who they are.  Letting them fail if they have to.  Letting them clean their rooms even though it's not as clean as I'd like it.  Letting them have their own say.  Within boundaries, of course.  I'm not letting them go totally...just easing up a little.

Over a lunch date today, my tender hearted Evan told me of his desire for friends.  Friends who liked the same things he liked, he used to have in North Dakota.  His desire to be viewed not as "the new kid nobody knows", but the cool kid who everyone likes.  Back in North Dakota, he was cool because he was Mrs. Becky's son.  Mrs. Becky used him for a vital role in children's church.  All the kids knew Evan.  They all looked up to Evan.

I explained to him that NOW he has the opportunity to be cool based on who he is...not because he's Mrs. Becky's son.  His reply to me with crocodile tears was, "But I always want to be Mrs. Becky's son."  Oh, my dear will always be my son.  You will always be my super cool, super intelligent, big hearted kid.  But now you can define yourself based on who YOU are.  Not based on who I am.  Not a person has ever met Evan who didn't instantly love him.  I am so thankful for his presence in my life.  And I cannot wait to see what God chooses to do with that big cool heart of his!

Instead of him being Mrs. Becky's son, I now get to be known as "Evan's mom". COOL!