Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Do Your Children Teach You?

 "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

Road Trip! This past weekend we hit the road. We wanted needed to see both our girls. They were participating in big things over a span of three days; an art exhibit and a friend's wedding. 

Our daughters are 21 and 26 and almost shared a birthday. Almost. Yep, baby girl’s labor pains were wracking me as I tried to smile for my birthday girl. In the beginning they shared a birthday celebration. Most years I felt like the character in the movie Groundhog day and just repeated all the Carver traditions with different little friends and decorations two days in a row. 

One day and five years separate them. They both have their Daddy’s beautiful brown eyes although the oldest one’s are more hazel. They both have a wicked sense of humor, are talented and love others SO well. Their lives are currently quite different and their personalities always have been. September sisters...

                                                               (This pic was taken last fall at Whitworth.)

First we hit the road for Spokane where our youngest had her art displayed on the Whitworth University campus. Our girl! Beautiful colors! So passionate about her major in Art Education... She can't wait to use the experiences she's been through to mentor her students and make them all feel equally appreciated and valued. She's going to be a fantastic high school teacher in another year.

She obviously got her talent from her Dad, along with being gifted by God. We also got to see her big brother (the one in his ridiculous fish hat) and his girlfriend, see Sarah's new off-campus house for next fall, meet the new roomies, and pig out at P.F. Chang’s. 

I love downtown Spokane. It’s very walkable and has lots of restaurants, shops and a mall with favorite stores. Yay Pottery Barn, Apple and  Nordstrom! You get the idea... Sarah joined us overnight at the Davenport Towers. It’s hard not to feel like a princess between the robes, plush bed, and attentive staff. Our baby girl youngest who is now old enough to enjoy a Lemon Drop is such a joy. I'm really thankful we could spend intentional time spoiling her and listening to her plans.

After brunch  at Madeleine's, browsing some shops and having our door opened by an official, uniformed Davenport doorman, we visited our soon-to-be-in-Graduate-School son at Ritters, the gardening center where he’s working. We need him to come bring his plant knowledge to our new yard! And his discount!... Of course ALL his co-workers mentioned what a kind and fun young man he is... 

After a quick trip to the grocery to stock our girl up, and lots of hugs, we headed to the Tri-Cities. It's the second time we've visited a couple wineries. (The first time was the day after we became Empty- Nester's back in 2012.) This trip we enjoyed great wine and a wonderful conversation with brand new friends that we met at the community table we were sitting at. It was a privilege to hear the story of how they’re planting a new church. They are brave and trusting in the Lord. Am I?

The next stop on our road trip was Bend, Oregon. Our family has had many fun trips to Sun River in this town. Our purpose for this destination was to see our Nashville girl participate as the Maid of Honor in one of her very best friend’s wedding. The celebration took place at the Five Pine Lodge in Sister’s Oregon. Gorgeous setting. Beautiful bride. Heartfelt words and blessings said over an amazing Godly couple. COLD weather. 

Most people were focused on the bride and groom, but I had my eyes on someone else; our beautiful oldest daughter. She looked adorable as always. And then, while the bride and groom took Communion, she sang and played her guitar. God was good and warmed up her freezing fingers just enough to allow her to strum. I wish I could say she got some of her talent from her Mama, but that would be lying. I do LOVE to sing, but my voice isn't meant to be shared. Hers is. She has been given a gift from God plus through hard work she taught herself to play guitar, continues to excel on the piano and keyboard, and writes her own music.

But that’s not all! She also gave the most heart-felt toast making the crowd smile, laugh and cry. She made us all want to be young men and women “on fire” for God. Then, she sang another song that she had written especially for this day. I think everyone in the room would agree that her talent needs to be exposed to more people in her current town of Nashville. (I say current because yes, this Mama would love to have her move back to PNW but I know full well that she is right where God wants her and she’ll stay put until HE tells her to move.) She teaches me SO much about faith, trust, obedience and  being a good friend. Her love for the Lord emanates from her. 

We drove Allie to Portland on our way home, so we were given the surprise gift of 3 extra hours to visit with her. A whirlwind three day trip but oh so worth it!
I hate to share this to you younger parents, but it NEVER gets easier to say goodbye to kids. You sort of learn how not to cry in front of them.

The 3 Sisters Mountains

Little pieces of my heart are scattered; Spokane, Nashville,  L.A. not to mention my family back in Indiana. 

We made plans for when we’ll be face-to-face again. (I totally get why MY Mom keeps asking "when is my next visit?") In the meantime I’ll have to make due with phone calls, texts and Face time chats. Such is the life of the Empty-Nester...

Have I mentioned how PROUD I am of my two beautiful daughters? My "Mama-Heart" is bursting with pride and thankfulness. It’s hard to fathom that God loves us even more than the love we feel for our children. 

Has your Mama-heart been bursting with love and pride lately? 
Have your children taught you new things lately?

In His Grip,                           
Thank you so much for stopping by See Jane Learn!
P.S. None of our trip would have been possible if it weren't for two awesome couples who stayed at our house to care for our fur-babies. Thank you! Also, boys, we love you too!

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