The Ending of an Era and the Anticipation of things yet to come!

Well, today marks the end of an era for our family. 
We have passed our family Scamper trailer on to a new young family.  

 I know it will be missed. I was feeling a bit sad as we unpacked it and watched it pull out of our drive way for the last time.

It has served us well! Many Father/Son & Father/Daughter campouts have been had in that old trailer. 

The first Father Daughter camp out with no trailer.

We have only camped out as a whole family a handful of times, but, those times are very special memories for us. 

The kids have had numerous memories and attachments to it.  
That trailer represents so much I think.

 I know it does for my Sweet Laborer. He has had such a hard time choosing to let it go. 
It has sat in our driveway for over 3 years now, unused. 
He so wants to create more wonderful memories with his children and I think that letting this "thing" go creates a fear in him. Fear that he wont have a chance to take the younger ones out like he did the olders and now that they all are getting older...... those times with them are drawing to a close as well.

Our first outing as a family was Easter 2003 followed by searching for baskets at Grandma and Pa's house.

Our first camp-out with Friends!


First Father/Son 2003

Caleb's First Father/Son 2005

One of the last Father/Daughter Camp-outs

On this same weekend, we must let our oldest daughter go as well. She is off to dorm life at College for the first time and will be moving 150 miles away on Saturday. 

I am writing her a letter that I hope she will get a chance to read when she finds a minute alone, after the dust settles, in her new dorm home. I just finish saying that I haven't cried yet..... well, these thoughts just did it! I am gone. I do pretty well in the moment and can float above my circumstances. I knew if I sat for a moment and let myself reflect, the tears would come, so I have avoided it. There are many things to do that keep me to busy to feel sometimes. I need to feel though, I need to sit and reflect. As I write her this letter, I am burdened by some guilt. So many good intentions, so many great plans to bless her have come up empty and wanting. I recall her 16th birthday I stayed up all night the night before putting together an album that I hoped I could finish and surprise her with, full of friends faces and special notes from each of them and of course one profound note from me......but, that album still sits....beautifully decorated, yes, but not finished and with no photos or words. 

Just pretty paper. 

I hope I have not just wall papered her world.... I want wonderful words of life to fill her up. Wisdom, sweet nothings and kindness to be her memories. God's unconditional love flowing from her father and I washing over her heart constantly. 

Her 18th birthday and High School Graduation came and went .............. no card from me. 

There wasn't time....

Don't you hate those words?! 

I do. 

I think of Erma Bombeck when I hear those words and of her famous essay. 

Time WHEN I WAS YOUNG, Daddy was going to throw me up in the air and catch me and I would giggle until I couldn't giggle anymore, but he had to change the furnace filter and there wasn't enough time.
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, Mama was going to read me a story and I was going to turn the pages and pretend I could read, but she had to wax the floor and there wasn't time.
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, Daddy was going to come to school and watch me in a play. I was the fourth Wise Man, {in case one of the three got sick}, but he had an appointment to have his car tuned up and it took longer than he thought and there was no time.
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, Grandma and Granddad were going to come for Christmas to see the expression on my face when I got my first bike, but grandma didn't like the cold weather and besides, they didn't have time.
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, Mama was going to listen to me read my essay on " What I Want To Be When I Grow Up", but she was in the middle of the Monday Night Movie and Gregory Peck was always one of her favorites and there wasn't time.
WHEN I WAS OLDER, Dad and I were going fishing one weekend, just the two of us and we were going to pitch a tent and fry fish with the heads on them like they do in the flashlight ads, but at the last minute he had to fertilize the grass and there wasn't time.
WHEN I GREW UP and left home to be married, I was going to sit down with Mom and Dad and tell them I loved them and I would miss them. But Hank, {he's my best man and a real clown}, was honking the horn in front of the house, so there wasn't anytime.

I was better at following thru on these ideas when she was younger. But then again, I must remember that she is the first, the oldest. I wrote her so many notes and letters before she was 7. Even the tooth fairy had a precious encouragement for her in a love note. Now if the tooth fairy even comes it is weeks after the momentous occasion for these little ones. 

How does one do this? If it wasn't for God's grace I would parish from the guilt alone. Thank you God for Grace.

God's word is eternal.

 I can't top it!

Lord, may my children look to you and your word for encouragement and guidance. 
Please Lord...... I pray that our lives together have pointed them fully to YOU alone. Your Word, your Grace, your Love. That whatever love they have felt from me has only been a vapor of Your fullness.  I pray that as they grow and go that you will guide them and call to their memory all the wonderful times we did have together and that though I haven't been able to capture it in written form for each child like I would like, they carry within themselves your Holy Spirit reassuring them and guiding them. 

Isaiah 30:21 
And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, "This is the way, walk in it." When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

I am so excited about all God has in store for us. We still have many children left at home and many have not been to any Father/Son or Daughter camps, but that doesn't mean they never will. We know God has our future as we know he holds our daughters future. I will take it one day at a time and be thankful!