Thursday, August 03, 2006

Engagement Announced -Life Changes

Blog 8-3-06

My oldest son, Ben, announced his engagement to his long time best friend, Melissa, last weekend. Jan and I are very excited. Melissa is a wonderful woman. We’ve come to know her over the last few years and welcome her into our family. Their plans call for an August 2007 wedding.

Ben & Melissa’s announcement has given me pause about phases in life. Their impending wedding brings changes in our lives as well. Our time of active parenting is coming to an end with Ben. He is ready to step out an be an independent adult. We, while always parents, will serve in a more consulting/support role. Not that we haven’t functioned that way before now, but the emphasis is different.

Parenting has been for me an incredible challenge and a wonderful gift. As a parent I’ve helped shape two wonderful children into exceptional adults. (Hey, parents are not required to be unbiased!) In the process, Ben and Matt have helped shape me. They’ve helped me be more compassionate, open, joyful, disciplined, and humble. They showed me the wonder and mystery of our world, helped me heal from old childhood hurts, challenged my long held prejudices, and even taught me how to whistle. While parenting them I’ve seen my best side and my worst side. I’ve learned what is to be loved and forgiven even when I didn’t deserve it.

I’ve not been a perfect parent. None of us are. But I hope I’ve learned to be a good parent. I’ve also come to appreciated, even more fully, those who parent under difficult situations.

Parenting is not for everyone. That is not a judgmental statement, but just the way it is. Parenting is not intended to be a solitary occupation. Along the way, our parenting has been supported and supplemented by many caring adults; family members and church community members.

So while parenting is not for everyone, everyone can be a friend to a child and support for a for a frazzled parent. We all know a child who needs an adopted aunt or uncle. We know a teenager who needs someone who will offer a listening ear and unconditional acceptance. We know a parent who needs a break for a little while or a word of encouragement when things are going hard.

(If no one comes to mind for you, then I challenge you to begin looking in your neighborhood, in your church, at work, at school, wherever you spend time. They are out there.)

As I look back over this blog, I could have talked about the joys and challenges of marriage. Oh well, maybe another time.

Wishing God’s richest blessings on Ben and Melissa, and all who are entering married life together,


No comments: