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Archive for September 9th, 2013

Labor Day weekend (in Canada), is a time when University and College aged students start to migrate to places of higher learning, driving in cars with little back window visibility, due to the over-packing for the school year away from home.

This year, Labor Day weekend I felt constantly aware of the need to pray for someone I do now know, yet whose life, thoughts, faith and passions are shared daily through her blog posts.

Through her posts at A Holy Experience , Ann Voskamp has indicated that her eldest son was readying to fly from her nest, into his new adventure also known as his university education and experience.

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And this Labor Day weekend, while my own third-year university-experiencing daughter was talking textbooks and tuition, schedules and psychology, my heart was heavy for a woman I do not know, who would be experiencing it all for the first time. The difference between she and me? My daughter has not flown away … and my face is not on the back of a New York Times bestseller.

I wondered if Ann would be given the space (really a gift of grace) by those around she and her son, as he met his roommate, unloaded a years worth of necessities into his half of a room, as the tours were taken, as the cheques were written, as the mingling was happening … as the memories    were    flooding … as the tears   were   welling. Space to just be … mom.

“No, no, I’m not ready for now to be over, for the kid who wore a tool belt strapped around him everywhere to leave, the boy who can drive a tractor and wrestle hogs and reads Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” just for fun — just to go. He drove me crazy. He drove me to God. He drove me to love. I don’t care what anyone says — You can cut umbilical cords but you can’t cut heart strings.” Ann Voskamp

I wondered if her face

familiar to her son as strength and grace

frailty and forgiveness,

familiar to those whose faces were unfamiliar to her,

I wondered if her face might draw the unfamiliar to her space,

her mother space.

And I wondered if the unfamiliar to her saw her only as the face on the back of her bestselling book,

as a celebrity in their midst.

I doubt that Ann sees herself as celebrity.

I doubt her son sees her as celebrity …

He sees … mom.

And while he was preparing for adventures, she was reliving

his life …

his whole,

entire,

conception to the now,

life.

“You don’t become a parent by bearing a child. You become a parent by bearing witness to his life.” Ann Voskamp

And I prayed that those who saw her in the midst of the crowds, were able to see her, with eyes of grace, as just another purple-hearted mom, and not a selfish opportunity to enter her space with her child-man. That would have given her a million things to be thankful for!

“Parents wear Purple Hearts: the brave who are wounded and die a bit more everyday – and only get braver.” Ann Voskamp

 

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