Laundry Lessons

DSC_0005I had the most enlightening conversation with my oldest daughter, the EMT, recently.

We were discussing Christmas gift ideas when she mentioned that somebody could always give her another laundry basket so that she would never have to put laundry away again.

I looked at her puzzled.

She said, “What?! I have an entire laundry system!

“There’s the very dirty that I can wear maybe one more time,

“And the semi-dirty that I can wear a couple more times,

“And the kinda clean that I can wear a few more times,

“And the totally clean that I haven’t worn since I washed clothes the last time.”

“Oh – and then there’s my hoodies – I never wash them.”

I shake my head in disbelief and ask,”These are all in one basket?”

“Oh yeah.  But I know where every pile is. I have a system, mom.”

I shake my head in disbelief.

She went on, “Well, except for my work clothes,  they usually have blood or vomit on them so I wash those right away.”

Wow. I’m glad for that.

I think.

So – if all of her clothes are kept in a laundry basket on the floor – just what can be found in her dressers?

Wait. Strike that. I don’t really want to know.

Across the Pond

MattMatt’s heading to Oxford.

That’s in England.

Over 5000 miles away.

He leaves Monday.

Yes, Monday.

We’ve barely recovered from Dagmar’s graduation and now we’re packing Matt up for a month in jolly old England studying CS Lewis, Tolkien and the other Inklings.

He’ll be eating and sleeping and walking right where they did.

At Oxford.

Over the ocean.

In England.

5000 miles away.

On his own.

I’m okay with this, really I am. I think.

He’s beyond excited.

I’m excited for him. Really I am.

He’s on the adventure of a lifetime, arranged his own flight, bought his own ticket, researched phone options, and bought the needed electronic adapters.

All on his own.

He’s leaving on Monday.

For Oxford, England.

Across an ocean.

Alone.

He’s ready.

But am I?

Adjustments

ouray coloradoMany of you have asked how I’m doing now that my first born has the flown the coop.

And the truth is – just fine!

Those of you who have already experienced this massive undertaking are smiling right now. You knew it would be like this. 🙂

My mom told me that the first parting is always sad but it doesn’t take long for a new normal to emerge.

She was right.

Once the car left the driveway and Matt was on his way to Colorado – we watched the dust settle. Then we went in the house, picked up the school books and kept working.

That night we set the table for 6.

We divided up his household responsibilities with some of the younger ones stepping up and doing more.

Dagmar commandeered the massive desk in his room as her new “office”.

His siblings have made free with his extensive CD collection.

We savor his weekly phone call and pass the phone around the family until everyone has had a chance to catch up.

And yes – we miss him. But as my friend Cinnamon told me, “No matter where he is, he will always be a part of you.”

I understand that now.

We pray for him at every meal, remember him in family stories and jokes, and make plans to convince him to lose the beard. 🙂

We’ve learned that when he’s where God wants him to be, doing what God wants him to do – there’s an incredible peace.

Even in the goodbyes.

Leaving the Nest

flying the coopToday my firstborn flew the coop.

I knew this would happen eventually and I must admit that I even dreaded it a little – but it was a surprisingly blessed event.

But really – how could it be anything else?

After months of prayer and seeking what God would have him do, Matt decided the first of August to apply for Summit Semester – an intensive 3 month study program in the mountains of Colorado fashioned after Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri in Switzerland.

After a whirlwind of applications, references and interviews – he was accepted and the money he needed was provided.

In the span of 3 weeks, God opened the door and Matt was so excited to walk through!

We had very little time to figure out how to get him out there, what to pack (just how many bars of soap does one need for 3 months – assuming you actually shower?), and how to tie up the loose ends (like Matt’s on-line business.)

But in the end all the details worked themselves out.

He took off this morning, heading west on the adventure of a lifetime!

Will we miss him? Oh yes. We already do – although his siblings are in heated discussions about who gets his room! 😉

But we are so excited for him!

What will he do when the three months are over? Good question. I wish I knew the answer. But God didn’t give Matt a 5-year plan – just enough light for the next step.

But then – that’s all we really need.

Just walking in faith – one step at a time.

Go with God son. We’re proud of you. And we’re praying.