May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV)
Sometimes, things turn out better than we plan. This is my second try at a bowl and while it is still not perfect, I am very pleased with it. It still has a bit of a misshapen rim, but I like how the flower pattern shows up. The glass fused well. Whenever I look at it, I think, “I made that!” I was happy to use the bowl to serve strawberries to my friend’s on Sunday. I had other things to be happy about this weekend. Both my boys had good news. Youngest son went to the state health occupation student association competition and placed second in the EMT category. He will be going to Nashville in June to compete on the National level. He also starts his job as a lifeguard on Wednesday, and he has been accepted to Fire Academy for the Fall term. Oldest son got a job with the National Park Service at Gulf Islands National Seashore. He will be working there full time and keeping his other two part time jobs as he is ready to take on the bills for his student loan and car insurance. Hip Hip Hooray for both of them! After twenty three years of parenting, I know how unlikely it is that there comes a day when you can say you are happy with all your children at the same time. It always seems like they run in cycles. I think that they used to draw straws as to whose turn it was to be in trouble. One would be the perfect angel while the other stayed up at night thinking of ways to give me heartburn. I always had one on the prayer list at church while I was praising the other for some award or good deed. We only had to have one “You’re Special Today” red plate because on report card day, one child would be on the honor roll and the other in danger of failing. And it wasn’t always the same child! So, I know that it is rare to have both children making good choices and being rewarded for it at the same time, and I am enjoying the moment! And just like my bowl makes me astonished when I look at it, my pleasure in my boys comes with the thought, “Who would have ever dreamed that this day would come?” Maybe some of it is tied to age and maturity, but I suspect they are not done disappointing me. Yet, I will always love them. Our Heavenly Father feels the same way about us. His love for us never fails. He knew who we would be even before we were born, what choices we would make, what paths we would go down, yet, unlike my time as a parent, He never loses faith in us. When we do well, He smiles with pleasure. When we fail, He shakes His head and sighs. But, He never gives up on us. Not ever.