When my son left for college: a mom’s life lesson.

From the Archives:

My 18-year-old son recently left home to attend college. I was more concerned about what he needed than he was. I was constantly asking him, “Do you need towels, sheets, or soap? Do you have enough toothpaste?”  He would roll his eyes at me. I knew I had to let him go.

I had several other friends whose kids were going off to college and leaving home for the first time. They shared with me that they were struggling to “let go.” I was glad I was not the only one.

As a Mom, I have a built-in instinct to take care of my son, and that is a necessary part of bringing him up. But now, I have to trust God, and let him go. I still pray for my son, of course, but God wants my son to develop his own relationship with Him.

I came across an interesting verse in scripture:

Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.  —Samuel 4:4

I have heard this story preached before: “The nurse picks up the baby and drops him, and he becomes lame.” But look more closely: Mephibosheth was not a baby—he was five years old! Most five-year-olds can run faster than most adults I know. She meant well, but she should have just grabbed his hand, and run with him. The nurse turned Mephibosheth into a cripple because she tried to do for him what he needed to do for himself.

I thought about this, and realized that I have to let my son “run his own race.” Of course, I can stand by and cheer him on, but I can’t carry him. I don’t want to cripple him so that he cannot face the challenges that life throws at him.

Growing up is uncomfortable, and we make mistakes. If he forgets to do his homework, or forgets to study for a test, he will have to learn to be more organized for next time. If I continue to oversee his work, I will deprive him of developing the skills he needs in later life. In a sense, I would be crippling him.

God does the same with me. Although He is always with me, leading and guiding me, He doesn’t do things that I should be doing myself. Jesus promised us, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  –John 16:33

God walks beside us in our tribulation. We should do the same for our adult children.

Things that bug me, aka First World Problems. What bugs you?

How about the guy at the gym that does one set on the machine, doesn’t wipe it off while it drips of his sweat, then paces back and forth through the other machines, with headphones on, singing intermittently and scaring the crap out of each time he starts to sing, and then goes back to the machine for another set with the weights on the highest they will go so that he can GRUNT with every rep?

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How about waitresses that ask if you want cream or lemon with your tea, then after you tell them ‘cream’ they return with tea and a lemon slice? Where is my cream?

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Or the waitress who doesn’t write anything down (I’ll loan you a pen and a pad) and returns to the table three times to ask how you wanted your meat cooked.  I mean, I know my memory is not sharp lately and that is why God invented notebooks and pens.

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And what about those writers who start sentences with “and”. Don’t they know better, or worse, don’t they care? [Looks in mirror] Yes, I do that often. This is because A) I don’t like to make long sentences because both the reader and the writer can lose their place and 2) I think of something additional to add to the sentence but don’t want to change the verb tenses. Or something.    {A and 2 is from Mad About You}

Then there’s the teenager who is driving slowly through the intersection while you are waiting to make a left turn, and as she goes by, you notice that she is texting while driving. Grrr. Does your mother know what you do?

skittles

Priuses, or is that Pri-i? You know the little cars that get 50 miles to the gallon and you don’t hear them coming but suddenly they are in front of you, hyper-mile-ing, which means going as slowly as possible but just fast enough so that you cannot run up to them and slap them.

Why is it that when you pass road construction, there is always ONE guy working and six others watching him? There are two more guys off to the side smoking cigarettes, and an old guy, probably the boss, on a cell phone? This is your tax dollars at work.

Well that’s just off the top of my head. What bugs you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s start in the middle

When telling a story, it’s best to start at the beginning, but if you can’t find the beginning just start in the middle.

There’s never a dull moment in the Porter household. Just ask Bailey:

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He’s not bored; he’s exhausted. It’s a lot of work shedding fur all over the rug. He wore himself out.

Last weekend I had an encounter with a homeless person and I had intended to blog about it. I wrote three sentences but was then pulled away on the next adventure. Here’s the short version:

Mr. Porter and I decided to spend the day in Saratoga Springs, or as the locals say, “Toga”. Saratoga is known for the Springs of water that bring forth both fresh and mineral water, and also the horse racing track. People with money are attracted to Saratoga especially in the summer. The main street has lots of shops and eateries. People are dressed nicely. They carry bagfulls and clothes, knickknacks, and jewelry.

I was surprised when a woman jumped in front of me holding a cardboard sign that read, “Homeless. Anything will help.” My first reflex was to ignore her and walk around her. Suddenly the compassion of God reigned down on me and I looked into her eyes. Her face was weather beaten. I couldn’t ignore this human being in front of me. Let’s call her Louise. I reached into my wallet and handed her $20, but that wasn’t the end of it. I started talking to her, asking about her situation: Does she have any kids? No. Did you ask for help at a church? Yes, they handed me a bag of potato chips. Have you tried the shelters? The ones around here are full, if I could get $60 I could stay at the motel up the street and at least get a show. Well, I don’t have $60 to give you. I really didn’t.

Sure, part of me thought this is all a scam to get some easy money, and who knows, maybe it was. But then again, how many of us could stand there all day and beg for money, being insulted and stared at, or ignored? That’s hard on the soul, to be rejected for hours at a time.

I asked Louise if I could pray for her, and she agreed, so I prayed for her right there, in the middle of the street, while people groaned that we were standing in their way and they needed to get to the next shop. I felt the presence of God so strong while I prayed for her, that it didn’t matter what these people thought of me. God was there, and He approved.

I searched my mind for answers, and then remembered that I have a friend from my Tuesday prayer group that makes little bags for the homeless with soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Maybe she would know what to do. I called and left a message. I told Louise I would find her later, that Mr. Porter and I had a few things to do in town and I would find her on the way back.

My friend called back and told me of a place that takes homeless people overnight and gave me their phone number.

By the time I got back to the main street again, Louise was gone; I couldn’t find her. But I felt that I had “passed the test” that God had given me.

The following week the TV news proclaimed that Saratoga is working to crack down on the homeless people that are bothering the tourists.  Panhandling.

I don’t know what their solution is, whether to arrest the homeless for bothering other peoples’ day out, or are they going to actually help them?

Our next door neighbors who live on the other side of the wall of our townhouse have moved out. We barely got to know them. Their landlady sold her other house and will be moving into the townhouse. I feel bad for them because they have only lived there a year and a half, and spent thousands of dollars on landscaping. I hope that they are happy in their new place, which has a swimming pool.

Mr. Porter and I have planned a short vacation to Lake Placid, but I will not tell you when we are going so that the burglars will not know when we will not be home.😉 Of course there really is not much to steal here except Bailey’s fur.  Our last trip to Lake Placid was during the Great Arctic Blast of 2014 and you can read about it here.

I bought a new pair of sneakers and a new pair of shoes. For most Americans this is not noteworthy. Unfortunately, I have to take these shoes down to the Foot Doctor / Podiatrist and get a “prescription” so that they can put a “lift” in the right shoe because remember, my left leg is 1/2 inch longer than the right leg. Ugh. If I walk around for too long without the lift, my left bionic (artificial) hip area hurts. I have a few fake body parts, but I guess the deal is to be happy I’m still on the planet.

Mr. Porter is looking for a new job. He doesn’t like the job he currently has but thankfully there are lots of job ads out there and I’m sure he will find something better.

I got new business cards. I’m not really a business yet, but I am always looking for more readers and Twitter followers, so that when I finally do publish, I will be able to sell a book or two.

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I am working on the first two chapters of “Arm Wrestling” and I hope to self-publish this year. My sister-in-law already did the cover for me. Keeping that picture in front of me has been helpful in reminding me to “write the vision and make it plain.”  Habakkuk 2:2

Well that’s the news from the Porter Household.

Have a good week, everyone.

#amwriting

Sauerkraut Part 2: Dinner Disclaimer Edition

sauerkraut

Well, you know me. The only thing I stir up in the kitchen is trouble. After having dinner in the German Restaurant last week, I bravely decided to try a sauerkraut recipe I found online. It had caraway seeds and bacon drippings listed as ingredients (the waitress had told me that was the secret). What could go wrong?

So first off, instead of 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings, I decided I would use turkey bacon. It’s healthier and all that, but the main thing about turkey bacon is it does not produce drippings. No fat, therefore no drippings. I fried up several strips of this substance and had only a few microbes of fluid. So I added the 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, 1/2 chicken stock, 1/2 cup cooking sherry and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to the frying pan, hoping it would absorb the fake-baconness of the turkey “bacon.”

The recipe called for 1 cup finely chopped onion, but since I had forgotten to stop at the market on the way home last night, I had to skip that ingredient. Then it was time to add the bottled sauerkraut, which I had strained–but that was from a different recipe that I had read. For this one, I was supposed to put it in a big bowl, sour juice and all, and then add water, let it sit, and then wring it out. Whoops, it’s already in the pan.

I added extra brown sugar to make up for the sourness that had not been subtracted by allowing the sauerkraut to sit in water and then be drained.

Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Done.

So is it any surprise that when I sampled this concoction, it takes like sauerkraut and sugar?

Hopefully, when I add the chicken sausage to the pan, Mr. Porter will find it edible.

What could go wrong?