This summer was a whirlwind, and much too short in my opinion. It was filled with many restful still moments along with many crazy busy scheduled moments. We started off the month of June with a guy’s trip to Boston, my husband, teenage son and our youngest son. I’m delighted they let me tag along! It was a great time celebrating our oldest turning thirteen this year; while exploring a new city with our boys.
That week was an adventure; as Webster’s dictionary’s second definition clarifies, “an exciting or remarkable experience.”
The next week we were home with just enough time for my oldest and me to get ready for the youth mission trip to the Bahamas. That same week our daughter turned six! I knew if we didn’t celebrate her that week, it wouldn’t happen. We had plans to head to a lake house the day after we returned home from the mission trip with my niece and nephew, who were visiting from out-of-state, and my in-laws. June was definitely a full month! But it was one of those months I knew everything packed into our calendar was necessary. It was a busy time we’d prayed over and prepared for. This helped me plan for and embark on the many adventures happening in June.
However, I wasn’t prepared for the adventure smack dab in the middle of my one-week at home. This adventure I’d definitely describe using the first definition for adventure in Webster’s Dictionary: “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.”
It was Wednesday and it was packed. I had an MRI scheduled, I hurt my Achilles and needed it to be checked before we went away again. That afternoon we had a few close friends coming over to celebrate our sweet girl’s birthday and then we were heading to church. My son and I were going to meet up with our mission trip team and be prayed over before heading to the Bahamas.
As I laid in this machine, not able to move I had no idea things were going crazy outside of the mechanic tunnel. My husband got a call from our daughter’s camp that he needed to head there, immediately! She had a “moment,” and needed to be picked up. We hadn’t seen one of these “moments” in quite a while. Our sweet girl has EBD, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, and has certain challenges that can take an ordinary day and turn it into a lengthy adventure of searching for peace and calm. Reminding our daughter, she’s loved and accepted is essential during these times. Although we try to calm her down and remind her she’s loved, she struggles to accept it. She then shuts down, speaks negative words about herself, us, and those around her. These hostile, demanding, and unfortunate moments have been part of her journey since she was perfectly placed in our family. She was placed in our home when she was six months old and we were her foster family until getting the privilege of becoming her forever family.
That day she got in trouble, nothing major, but then panicked and wouldn’t accept the miniscule consequence. Things escalated and she made a couple of extreme statements, she was looking for a response, and she found one! Our princess is a smart young lady and she knows how to push buttons, and that she did! She certainly struggles with the word “no.” I don’t know many people, adults or children who like being told, “no.” For our sweet girl this has always been an issue. I pray often that we will find the root of her reactions. We have seen so much growth in the past couple of years, but we also have a way to go.
As I’m processing this phone call and trying to take in what happened, my heart just broke. Our sweet girl was supposed to be headed home for her party. Do I cancel her birthday party? Do I have everyone over and hold it together? Maybe I should pull this minivan over and just cry, will that make this moment better? Isn’t it funny how other people’s “moments” can lead us right into our own “moments.” Oh, and I had a captive upfront audience as my thirteen-year-old sat in the passenger seat taking in what was happening. Wondering if his sister was ok and watching how I’d handle this. This was an adventure I didn’t want! I didn’t want my daughter going through it and neither did I. BUT we don’t get to choose all of our adventures. Sometimes adventure appears and it changes our course, whether we are ready for it or not.
I didn’t cancel her party. My husband and I, with the help of her therapist, were able to help our princess process what she said. We tried our best to help her realize our words have consequences. This is something I still need to be reminded of an as an adult. The party went on, I might’ve not had as much time to prepare our house or decorate, but we celebrated her! It wasn’t my party but I definitely cried. And the mamas that were there with me loved me, encouraged me, and most importantly prayed for our amazing girl. Thankfully we even made it to church. It’s funny how in the midst of the crazy God Knows just what we need.
The next day my girl and I, hand in hand, both took the long walk into camp. She didn’t want to apologize, but she did. I knew she needed to go, because if she didn’t she wouldn’t ever want to return to the place she experienced such a bad day. Another part of this adventurous life is recovering after we blow it. Her coach welcomed her back and reassured us both she would have a good day. This wonderful woman isn’t just a cheer coach, she’s also a mom, and she was so encouraging to me that morning. Our girl made it through the last couple of days at camp and she performed her little heart out on the last day! She would’ve missed out on one of the best parts of her adventure that week if we let fear and shame keep her on the sidelines. She conquered her fear that week and recovered big time. We are so proud of her.
What a week….
I learned plenty to continue embracing on this adventure.
- Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes and that’s ok. We can still be adventurous while accepting help from others.
- Being adventurous doesn’t always mean it’s enjoyable.
- If we want to be brave and embrace adventure, we have to be willing to embrace all types of adventures.
- Not my plans, but God’s plans. (“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9)
There were more fun adventures and memories made during the rest of our summer. My son and I had an awesome time in the Bahamas together with our team. We served the community through Vacation Bible Schools, visiting a foster kids center, and work projects in the area. We also had a great time taking in the beauty and culture of the Bahamas.
We enjoyed some much-needed family time when we returned. The cousins had a fantastic time visiting with each other and their grandparents. We went tubing, roasted marshmallows, played board games, and enjoyed just hanging out!
July was much calmer, a time to exhale……
We spent July 4th with friends who are more like family. We tried to beat the heat by enjoying lots of pool time. Thankfully our sweet girl was able to get a water proof cast for her fractured ankle. Yes, even in the midst of our calm part of summer more unplanned adventures occurred. She hurt her ankle at a trampoline park and needed a cast. She handled it like a champ and both her brothers stepped-up and helped her out.
Now school is in full swing and new adventures have begun. I’m back to working full-time. Our oldest is in his last year of middle school and growing up much too fast. Our middle is in third grade and has crossed over to the “older” side of elementary school. Our daughter is now at school with me and her brothers. This is the first year we’ve had all three children in the same place and I’m so excited! It’s been an adventurous adjustment to say the least, but we are making it.
I hope your summer was filled with fun adventures and time to be still. I pray this year we will all embrace the adventures that come our way with wisdom, hope, and joy.