This week I went back to work full time after a summer that wasn't exactly work-free. I loved seeing all my colleagues, meeting my new colleagues, and beginning to dig into all that this next school year will hold. I had to remember how to balance home and work a bit, making sure I had meals planned (and somewhat prepped) ahead of time. I had to start waking up to an alarm again and stop staying up late watching TV with James and the kids. And I'm really tired. Already :-).
This week (today, in fact) James and I finished week 2 of Insanity. I have lost 7.5 lbs. so far and have at least another 12.5 to go. 7 more weeks of the program to go. I am very encouraged at my progress so far: excited to see the scale move, of course, but even more excited to see my strength and stamina increasing as James and I push ourselves through these very challenging workouts 6 days a week. The thing will be maintaining AFTER we're done with the program, that's where I struggle every time. A good friend of ours is 3 weeks ahead of us in the program, and another has recently finished, so they're keeping me pretty motivated.
This week my daughter and her first boyfriend broke up. This is really a milestone. Austin's family was transferred to Ft. Drum, NY and left June 7, 5 months after they started "going out" ( a term I use loosely, since they never actually went anywhere without us, being 14 and 15 most of the time they were together). Long distance proved to be more difficult for their relationship than either of them had anticipated. They tried hard, but in the end, God led them to see that they needed to move on and concentrate on what was near them (their Christian walk, high school, friends, youth group, family) rather than those things 3000 miles away. I was very impressed with both of them and the maturity with which they handled it. There were many tears on both sides, I'm sure (I only saw my daughter's, but there were plenty), but they kept their friendship intact. He even texted both James and I to thank us for making him part of our family for those months, for our kindness to him, and for letting him date our daughter. God has big plans for each of these precious young people.
This week my firstborn, my only son, turned 17. I have reflected a lot on how my life was before Conor came into it and all he's taught me. I'm convinced God gives us children so that WE grow up. It's been a wild ride, to say the least. I'm sure I've changed almost as much as he has in 17 years. I have thought about how he was as a newborn, how he's always, his whole life, loved to laugh and had an amazing sense of humor. Our amazing, brilliantly intelligent red-haired boy has never made parenting super easy. But then, when is it? I have thought about the challenges we have faced and how people have misunderstood him or our parenting of him. One thing I've learned (and I learned it early, thanks to wiser people than I), is that you don't EVER judge someone else's parenting, especially if your child isn't to that phase yet, because you don't know the whole situation and your kid may end up doing the same thing. I've thought about all the triumphs and the amazing achievements he's had and seeing him find his voice as an actor, a singer, a writer, and a leader in his youth group. I've learned so much about God's love for us in the way I've loved my son (and daughter). I've learned to let go of so much, a step at a time, because every step your child takes is a step toward their own independence, toward adulthood, down the path God has for them. I'm proud of him as I look at the hours he volunteers every week at church to run tech for the student worship team, as I look at his heart that loves God, and as I look at how much he has grown in his character and heart in the past year. He is still misjudged and misunderstood by many who don't take the time to really see him or know him, which makes me sad. He's starting his senior year in a matter of days and next fall he hopes to be at William Jessup University, a great local Christian University, another step away from me.
This week a lot changed, but change is good.