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Traveling Together

Life offers an amazing assortment of moments filled with potential beyond our comprehension. I think way too often we only see a small portion of what is at stake.

Here's what I mean.

As I make time to share a meal with my family do I realize the potential of what could transpire as we eat together? Could it be as we share our BEST and WORST of the day, we get to see a glimpse of a dream God has planted deep inside one of us as we share? Could it be that we are invited in to see place of vulnerability in each other? Or maybe it is simply in the shared laughter we find perspective and strength.

You see in those ordinary moments the potential for the extraordinary is always present. The question is... will we see it and will we seize it. Will we do our very best to take hold of it?

A few days ago, a friend of mine asked me if I had "had" the going away talk with Chelsea yet. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Had I? Was there some prescribed talk I was supposed to have with our daughter before leaving her at college? Was there a list of things I needed to check off making sure I had transferred the right skills, the right mind set, the right social graces... all the necessities to be prepared to succeed at school?

I'm not sure what I said to my friend. I just remember thinking... wait a minute I don't think this is a sit down let's walk through all the things you need know and be conversation.

First of all, how could I narrow down and possibly even know what that list would entail considering I am still growing up and learning. Secondly, I was pretty sure I had been doing this "talk" for the full 18 years of her life.

You see Chels (and my boys) have been with me more than any other person. They've seen me at my best and my worst. They've experienced my care, attentiveness and responsiveness from small children through their adolescent years. They've watched me as I navigated disappointment and difficulty and hopefully gotten better at it over the years. We've played games realizing it is possible to win and lose gracefully. We've cried until we've laughed. And we laughed until we've cried. We've created crazy stories and explored grand adventures together. We've driven hundreds of miles for the things they love to do. Within these various moments we've talked about heart things -- what they love, what they dream of, who they are becoming, and what God might be up to in their life.

They know what is important to me, not so much because I've said it but rather because they observed it first hand as we've traveled together. We've learned from each other, we've challenged each other, we've encouraged each other, we've cheered each other on, and we've committed to doing life together!

So, as we sat down for dinner at one of favorite Purdue restaurants (Nine Irish Brothers) marking this moment. We celebrated, dreaming of what is just ahead and grieving what we are leaving behind. And YES, declaring that especially in these moments of change, we will make time to stand together because we travel together.


  1. You and I think alike on this subject. I remember discussing this close to 15 years ago with a life group via "HomeBuilders" by FamilyLife. Discussion around "telling" our kids certain things and making them do certain things. My response was, is, and always will be that our children will learn most by watching me, seeing where I devote time, where I spend money, how I pray, what breaks my heart and makes me laugh. Doing life, opening my heart, and navigating tough situations will be far more effective and trustworthy and shaping that merely having a single talk. Dialogue has its place for sure, and that tool in and of itself is again one of those things that has evolved over the years.

    thanks for this post. I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. I'm smiling because I was having similar thoughts in the days leading up to Rebecca leaving for college...I considered buying a journal and writing as much down as I could think of, including all the things I feel I might have "left out" during her growing up years. I didn't want there to be any gaps or regrets of things I should have/could have said. It could even contain some recipes, my favorite Bible verses, how to do laundry, etc. Realizing that this would be a monumental undertaking and quite unrealistic, I pictured her rolling her eyes as she read it (if she even found time to read it) and saying, "yes, mom - I already know this, I've been with you for 18 years!" :)


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