letting go...

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him, Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…" Psalm 127:3-5

I would not consider my husband's "quiver full" of children (Whew!), but the two in that quiver tend to keep us both quite occupied. Boys, especially the boys brought forth from the genetic make up of my husband's and my families lines tend to be creative, loud, more brave than they really should be, sometimes inappropriate, funny, highly destructive, gross, and the most curious of creatures. They work hard, and love even harder. Despite my fading hair and the occasional sleepless night, I recognize the blessings of raising boys, and, as I've said many times before---I am reminded daily of my mother-in-love's status of "saint-hood"!

This season of life finds me at yet a new "place". As I've said in my previous writing, things seem to be exponentially morphing into new around here. We've all settled into the routine of Mom working again and Dad traveling a little more than usual. We've adapted to cousins being away for months at a time, and adjusted to the many "holes" that exist in our family from lost loved ones. We've seen prayers answered and benefits of the "new", the "different".

We've always raised our boys with the understanding they aren't "ours". They are simply entrusted to us by God. (If you know our story, you'll understand why we believe this.) I think back over the years of raising them (keeping them alive) this far--and I am comforted by the many "firsts" of each of them. First words, first steps, first day of school, first soccer game, first sleepover, first hunt. So many of these exciting things where they let go of our hands and stepped out on their own.

I find it awesome how God can use the same scripture for different purposes, depending on where one is at in life. When I read the above scripture years ago, my focus was drawn to the quiver being full, the blessing of children. (Thankfully, God knew two Ashbaugh boys were plenty for this momma to keep pointed in the right direction!) But now I see God showing me something very different in this scripture…

A month ago, our oldest son went for his road test. You know? The one where some random Department of Motor Vehicles employee states my 16 year old is completely capable of taking a 3500 pound pile of steel out on the road ALONE and travel at 55 miles per hour? Yes, that test. Well, he failed. He learned. And then he tried again last week. He was so happy to call his dad, who was out of town for work, and tell him the news of his new, shiny paper taking up residency in his wallet. When he was done, he handed me the phone and jumped in his truck. My husband then said these words, "Wait! He's going? I'm not ready!" And as I watched "Karl's" (the Ranger is named Karl) taillights go across the lawn, over the curb, and down the street ( I said they were destructive!), I was reminded: The arrows that were once tucked safely into Dad's quiver, the arrows God has entrusted us with, they were designed to be shot out into this world.

"Train your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6