Tomatoes Don’t Go in Fruit Salad

This summer saw an end of an era and the beginning of a new one. After sending kids to  public school for twenty three years it's time to find something else to do with my fall. My baby birdie has graduated from high school and  it is a strange feeling not spending a small fortune on supplies. Although now that small fortune goes to college bills, food and gas.
I remember thinking when she was born, how old I would be when she graduated from high school.  And now here I am beyond middle age(if I live to be my grandparents age, I'm already past middle age)!!!  As I've thought about the adventure that awaits, I truly thought I had arrived in the 'wisdom' department. Hey, I've survived raising four kids, four moves from Iowa to Kansas to Indiana to New York, times 2, and navigating the life of a ministry wife, which I love by the way.
This summer I was searching the scriptures tearing the Bible apart to understand what it means to be wise. James 3 didn't disappoint. It's not so much what we say that makes us wise, but how we live.  Digging deeper into the book of James I found what I was looking for; what it means to be wise.  I want to be a woman who fears the Lord, a woman who  builds a lovely home;  not Sir Fool who  comes along and tears it down brick by brick. (Proverbs 14:1, The Message)
James 3:13 Wisdom from above=
  • pure
  • peaceable
  • gentle
  • open to reason
  • full of mercy and good fruits
  • impartial
  • sincere

  • Am I gentle and reasonable?
  • Does my life overflow with mercy and blessings?
  • Can I do the hard work of getting along with others?
  • Can I treat everyone I meet with dignity and honor?
These are all questions I'm asking as I pursue godly wisdom, making sure I don't put a tomato in fruit salad. By the time this posts I will be flying across the U.S. to eat ravioli with my granddaughter..and visit her parents. And then off to Iowa in October to celebrate my nephew's wedding. I think I like this new fall schedule.  

Letting Go of a Hand

August for most of the United States, and those who live in New York, September is a
kids leavin moms month...
I can still see Lauren looking out the window of the bus years ago as the bus chugged up the hill to the next stop. This isn't Lauren, but it is any child who goes to school for the first time. This will be the first year Lauren will not be getting on the bus the first day of school. Or going to public school. This week, as school starts for our district I won't be sending anyone that direction.  But there is still a sense of letting go and loosening my grip. I had to loosen my grip on Justin as he went to boot camp many years ago, and again several years later when he was deployed to Iraq. My older daughters are have been out of the nest for many years. There's been a lot of experience of watching the backs of my kids as they walk away to the next adventure.
If there was one thing I would pass along  now that I'm crackerjack at raising kids, haha, I would say, let them go.   Kids grow up and leave. Which should be our goal as parents, right? Unless you want them living in your basement well into their adult years. Whether it is the school bus, their first overnight at friends, watching them be wheeled into an operating room, or watching them pull out of the driveway with the family car for the first time, there are so many days and nights of watching the back of their heads.
I've learned I can't control much...if anything. But I love and trust God so much that I know He is watching and He is in control...so I pray. I also have come to understand we have to let them go. Let go of them literally and let go of what we think the future holds for them. Let go of your dreams for them and let them dream dreams of their own. Let go, move forward, pray for them and encourage them in what they believe is the path they should follow. Will there be failure? Yes. Will there be hurts and disappointments? Yes. Life will happen and life will not always be fair, but pray God will be with them in all of this and in the journey they are taking.
Do all you can to love them no matter what, pray for them day in and day out. Love them some more, listen when they are telling you for the umpteenth time what happened today and love them again. Eventually, they will turn around to see  you're still there and will invite you along for the ride.  

Eat Chocolate, Drink Coffee and Sing Happy Songs

  Nine years to the day I opened my computer and began a blog. I began at www.jodylynne.blogspot.com and moved to Jody Lynne several years ago. Like the last chocolate covered caramel left  all alone in the box screaming my name, this space seems to have the same effect ...it will not be ignored. Time to eat that chocolate and begin writing again, so here we go. Nine years ago I was reeling from the sudden death of my dear dad, who died too soon at 68. I wasn't just reeling, I was questioning God, whom I had followed for many years,  how could he allow a dumb mistake made by a well-trained doctor to cause his death? I was screaming unfair. I needed a place to process, and vent, and try to make sense of what made no sense at the time. So, I began writing for all the world to see. I did a lot of processing here, but you can find it mostly in my book,  Confessions of A Farmer's Daughter, which I would be happy to send to you if you'd like a copy. More information can be found on the Jody's Book page. A note on unfairness...Yes, life is not fair so much of the time, but this woman found a way to be thankful while riding out her time in a houston shelter after Hurricane Harvey, bringing hope and joy to everyone around her. My last post was an Easter post in April. In the months that have passed high school graduation and party for Lauren happened, vacation happened and a summer slow down. Oh yeah...and I was elected to the LaFayette School District school board. More on that in the coming months as it's a three year term, and to date, it's been quite interesting to the say the least. And yes, I have to practice confidentiality, so I can't tell you everything, but I've been keeping secrets  confidences for 30+ years. I've also been studying  the book of James this summer. He has so much to say about the tongue, what we should say and don't and what we do say and shouldn't. Learning what wisdom looks like, because the older I get the less I know and the more I'm asking for wisdom. More on that as well, but for now    

Intersecting Life and Faith