Vote for Pedro...

Brittany moved into her dorm room this past Wednesday. We would have loved to have gone with her to help moved her in, but I didn’t have the time to take off from work. So instead, this past Saturday we packed everyone up in the van, along with a few boxes that Brittany wanted us to bring, and traveled the 3 ½ hours to Whitewater. With the exception of needing to stop 50 million times (ok…4 times) for bathroom breaks, it was a pretty peaceful trip with Kyle & Hope watching a movie on one DVD player, Vinny & Nick watching their movie on another DVD player and Trevor watching a movie on my IPod. We drove through Baraboo, dropped Trevor off to visit friends for the day and stopped at Wal-Mart to put together a care package for Britt. We arrived in Whitewater about an hour later and after taking a few wrong turns, eventually found the campus and Brittany’s dorm.
After unloading and resting a few minutes in her room, we took her out for a late lunch. We let her choose and she chose a Mexican restaurant named, Cozumel. The food was ok and the interior was over-the-top gaudy, but the highlight of this outing was our waiter (and quite possibly, the owner) Martin. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, you know the character, Pedro…well, Martin sounded just like Pedro, so I kept talking to Brittany and Lisa like Pedro. After lunch, Britt took us on a walking tour of the campus; the field house and the student center were both very impressive! It was good to see her and we could tell that she enjoyed showing us around the campus. We miss her.

Today, the rest of the kids started school. Trevor is now a sophomore, Vinny & Nick are both in 6th grade and Kyle & Hope are in 2nd grade. Hope is both excited and nervous…which is pretty normal. She’s been having a few ‘stress’ dreams and has been asking Lisa and I a lot of questions, but if you know Hope at all, she’ll be just fine! This year will be a new experience for all of my kids, not only are all of them are starting new schools, but Trev and Vinny will also be riding a school bus for the first time ever! I’ve really been thinking about the new people they will meet, friends they will make and relationships they will establish…how often do you pray about your child’s friends and relationships? Lisa and I went through a valley (still going through, actually), concerning the friendships that Trevor had made back in Baraboo and speaking as a parent who’s been through the rough seas, prayer IS your lifeline!

There is NO other area in your life that can make you feel more like a success when things are going well, or more like a failure when things go wrong, then parenting. Sailing this ocean we call parenting, we have all experienced the smooth as glass calm as well as the full blown tempests with dramatic 30 foot swells where we hang onto the rigging and fight to keep the boat upright. There is nothing as fulfilling and exhilarating…there is nothing as depleting and exhausting. In Stormie Omartian’s book, ‘The Power of a Praying Parent’, she relates of herself, ‘I had countless agonizing concerns for my child’s social, spiritual, emotional and mental growth, but most compelling of all, I feared something bad might happen to him. Kidnapping, drowning, disfigurement, disease, abuse or even death all played across my mind as possibilities to his future might hold. And with each newspaper or magazine article or TV newscast that told of the rising crime rate against children, my concern for his welfare grew. It was more than I could handle. One day in prayer, I cried out to God, saying, ‘Lord, this is too much for me. I can’t keep a 24 hour a day, moment by moment watch on my child. How can I ever have peace?’ Over the next few weeks the Lord spoke to my heart about entrusting my child to Him. We had dedicated him to the Lord at our church as an infant, but God wanted more than that. He wanted us to continue giving him to the Lord on a daily basis. This didn’t mean that we would abdicate all our responsibility as parents, but rather, we would declare ourselves to be in full partnership with God. He would shoulder the heaviness of the burden and provide wisdom, power, protection and ability FAR beyond ourselves. We would do our job to provide discipline, teach, nurture and ‘Train up a child in the way he should go…’ What God really wanted was for us to depend upon Him to enable us to raise our child properly and He would see to it that our child’s life was blessed.’

We, as parents, really need to move past the ‘basics’ of prayer. Prayer is MUCH more than giving a list of desires to God as if He were Santa Claus…Prayer is acknowledging and experiencing the presence of God and inviting Him into our lives and experiences. It’s earnestly seeking the presence of God and releasing the power of God, which gives us the means to overcome any problem.

OH!...remember earlier when I told you about how nice and peaceful our trip to Whitewater was? Well, the trip back home was the polar opposite! Nit-picking, arguing over how someone said something...yes, HOW, not WHAT! Whining and tattling and snapping at each was pretty close to a full two hours of it. Needless to say, we were getting pretty close to being certifiable!

Before I was married I had six theories about raising children. Now I have six children and no theories (John Wilmot, earl of Rochester)...oh well!

~ V


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