A Grateful Lesson in Letting go of our Children

If you have grown kids, I’m sure you can relate to this feeling of gratitude. Another timeless parenting lesson in love, sacrifice, and letting go.

Journeys To Mother Love

Letting go of our children reaps a harvest in unexpected ways.

As much as I want it too, time doesn’t stand still. In fact as we age I’ve found that it actually seems to move at a faster pace. Kids grow up, graduate from college, leave the nest, and settle into a new life as they seek independence and start a career or family.

Whether our children choose to live nearby, across the state, or across the country, we will be faced with challenges to our parenting and our ability to let go.

It’s a timeless lesson in love and sacrifice.

My older son graduated from college a few years ago and, because of a lucrative job offer, immediately moved out of state. There was no time for transition between the two major milestones.

It was a crazy time for my husband and me as parents. We experienced the pride of his graduation and excitement for his new life. We packed…

View original post 421 more words

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I borrowed the title for this post from the 1969 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  Not that the Rolling Stones are a source of spiritual wisdom or Godly counsel, but these words are in line with scripture.  The song goes on to say “but if you try sometimes, you might find, you’ll get what you need.”

Click above image to view concert performance of this song by the Rolling Stones.

Click above image to view concert performance of this song by the Rolling Stones.

I have one simple example that has been running through my mind a lot these days as we transitioned our son Evan from college graduate to gainful employment 500 miles and two states away from home.  It started when he was a senior in high school going through the daunting college admission process.

Playing the College Game

Evan had taken a very challenging schedule of AP classes throughout high school.  Before that he attended the full-time gifted program offered in our school district.  It was a place ripe with talk and preparations for students to attend the top colleges in the nation.

We, and my son, bought into that dream until just before the first colleges started to send out their admission decisions.  We knew the odds were not necessarily in his favor, but we also knew how bright he was.  After much prayer, I started to have an inner sense that he may not get accepted.

usnewsbestcolleges2012_360_191God’s Ways are Higher

The morning before the first decisions were to be posted online, my devotional reading was based on Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I knew God was preparing me for the rejection, which in turn helped me to provide guidance and encouragement to my son.  The rejections and waitlist letters came one after the other.  It was a difficult time for him, and for us.  There was much disappointment.

IMG_8136Four years later, with the clarity of time and perspective, we can see how God turned that heartache into a huge blessing for my son.  It started with an award of a scholarship and direct admittance into the department that he ended up majoring in earlier this month.  That major was not something he had previously considered as a career.  Yet this week he started a full-time position in his chosen field at one of the top companies in the computer chip industry.

A Lesson in Trusting God

Shortly after these events happened and while still in high school, Evan submitted an essay for a scholarship with the writing prompt of ‘trust.’  His essay quoted Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  While he wasn’t awarded that scholarship, his essay did reflect a humbling posture and ability to move on with a new sense of purpose.

I thank God that Evan didn’t get what ‘we’ wanted for him.  Instead our son got the educational opportunities he needed to succeed.  He (we) also got a valuable lesson in seeking God’s will and trusting Him.  He learned firsthand that the Lord provides us with what we need, and not necessarily what we want (from Matthew 6:25-34, not the Rolling Stones).  I hope and pray he carries that lesson with him as he launches into this new season of adulthood.

Congratulations Evan and to the Class of 2014!

Congratulations Evan and to the Class of 2014!

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

 

Lights, Camera, Action, Part 3 ~ Creating a Movie Soundtrack

Here I sit late night typing away on my laptop rushing to write a post of great significance with the current goings-on in my life.  I am listening to some beautiful music to help put me in the mood to write.  I know it will because in one month, this music will be larger than life on the big screen.  And that is what this post is about…

I’ve dreamed of that day for the last several years, ever since I took my Spanish son into a recording studio and produced his first CD.  July 4, 2014 is the day when the music of Pedro González Arbona, the musical protégé whose career I help manage, will fill the theater as it accompanies his first full-feature American film, Tempting Fate.   I feel blessed beyond words to join Pedro in Houston, Texas for the private VIP screening of the movie.

Tempting Fate VIP Screening FB Cover

The Early Stages

Pedro signed the contract with KevStel Group, an Atlanta-based production company, for Tempting Fate while I was staying with his family last summer in Spain.  Within days we were on holiday on Mallorca, an island off the southern coast of Spain, without access to a piano.

We both read the script while on holiday.  I sat poolside one day and read the page-turning script in one sitting.  Tears welled up at the corner of my eyes as I read through the last scene.  I could already see the music that Pedro would create for the poignant movie finale.  It was perfect for him and his music.

That script was all Pedro needed to start composing in his head and making notes in the margins on what kind of music to add to a scene.  And he was on his way to scoring the soundtrack.

Pedro at work in his studio.

Pedro at work in his studio.

The Music Comes to Life

Over the next several months, Pedro worked remotely composing and orchestrating the soundtrack from his studio while the filming was done in Hollywood.  After the film was done, he worked his magic to synchronize the music to the scenes—editing, revising, and composing on the fly to make the music work in tandem with the movie.

One of the most exciting parts of the process for Pedro was to be in the studio with the musicians who were hired to record the music—a pianist, violinist, percussionist, and guitarist.  An American soprano was hired to sing as well.

Throughout the filming and post-production stages, Pedro’s music started to trickle out onto the internet.  KevStel used his music for various promotional videos, as background music on their website (with the soprano), and finally, on the Tempting Fate movie trailer, released March 28, 2014.  I waited and watched in eager anticipation all along the way.

 

Post-Production Plans

When the conversations turned to the release of the movie a few months ago, we both had much anticipation for how or if we would be able to attend the pre-release screenings.  He was of course invited, but travel from Madrid would be costly.  After much back and forth planning and juggling, we both committed, and a few days ago finally secured our travel to Houston.

Tempting Fate Movie PosterAs the countdown calendar on the right sidebar of my site turns from months to days, we have turned our attention to rolling out a new website, registering a new domain name, and creating other promotional materials to coincide with the release of the film.  The Tempting Fate soundtrack CD will be available in the coming months—and you’ll be able to enjoy it like I have as I wrote this piece.

Finally, the main purpose of the screening is for media exposure and to line up distributors for the film.  You can help with that by creating a positive buzz about the movie and the music through your regular social media channels.  So please ‘like’ the Tempting Fate Facebook page (over 10,000 likes already) and share the movie trailer (almost 20,000 views so far) with your friends (or share this post).

Let the Fireworks Begin

Over the course of this movie project, my role was very minimal.  Pedro would occasionally send me a song and gave me updates on the film’s progress.  I learned a great deal from him about the process.  I basically served as an encourager and #1 American fan of his music—as I have from the start.  I think my biggest contribution was to pray for him, his music, and the success of the movie.

It is definitely an exciting time for Pedro and his music career.  I’m incredibly grateful that I get a front row seat (maybe literally) to watch all of this unfold.  I know there is no place else I’d rather be on July 4, 2014, than alongside Pedro as his music hits the big American screen.

IMG_8399

While everyone else in America is outside watching the fireworks, we’ll be inside this Houston theater experiencing our own private fireworks display across the screen.  I think this day will be an Independence Day celebration we will never forget!

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

What Are Your Memory Stones?

As I age each year and the significance of life events seem to take on more meaning, I am gathering more and more memory stones for my journey.

What is a memory stone?  It is a Biblical reference to a type of marker—usually tangible—that we keep as a remembrance of God’s activity in our life.  One such Biblical reference is in Joshua 4:19-24, about a time in Israel’s history when God did a significant thing—he parted the Jordan River to allow the Israelites to cross into the Promised Land.  The twelve stones that were left on the other side (one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel) were left as a memorial—or spiritual marker—for future generations.

January is of course a time when people often reflect on the milestones over the previous year, make resolutions and rededicate their lives to new areas for growth.  For me, January also comes with bittersweet memories of several significant spiritual markers.

Collecting Memory Stones

I didn’t pay any attention to these spiritual markers until my life hit a dramatic wall in January 2004.  That was when I was demoted from my job.  I am grateful for that life changing event though, as that event led me out of denial and into recovery.  Last night I celebrated that milestone by accepting a 9-year coin (memory stone) at a local Celebrate Recovery (Christian 12-step) meeting.9 year CR coin

But that is not all I celebrated as January came to an end.  I celebrated the one year anniversary of having my story, “Walking My Mother Home”, accepted by Cladach Publishing (exactly eight years to the day after my demotion).  In January I also celebrated the anniversary of the receipt of Pedro’s first song and finding out he was a composer.  I prayerfully remembered the passing of Rosa’s mother.  I celebrated a significant trip to Wisconsin five years ago that led to identity revelations as I poured through the personal effects of my late Aunt Ardis.

New Stones to Treasure

My latest memory stone, a heart shaped stone, was received last week at the end of a 4-day spiritual retreat in California led by Tamara J. Buchan and based on her book, Identity Crisis: Reclaim the True You.  I left there feeling energized and renewed in my purpose and more firmly grounded in my identity in Christ.  (I had multiple revelations that in time may surface in my blog.)

Two of my significant memories stones.

Two of my significant memories stones.

As if to wrap all of these January memory stones together with a bow, this week I had yet another reminder of how special the last few years of my journey have been.  During my dedicated weekly time of prayer at a Catholic Church, I wrote my thoughts on the last page of a beautiful leather bound journal.  My first entry in that journal was in that same church after Rosa’s mother passed away. I have reserved it for my times with God.  The journal in itself is a beautiful memory stone that I will always treasure.

The final words God gave me as I finished this book of prayers and meditations were these:  “Your life used to revolve around the payroll calendar (in reference to my secular job and demotion).  Now your life revolves around Me and the liturgical calendar.”  It was music to my ears as the words flowed from my pen.  For this I am grateful.

So you see, memory stones come in all shapes and sizes.  What they have in common is the memory they hold to encourage you on your journey—to never forget what the Lord has done for you.

What kind of memory stones do you keep and what does it represent to you?

Celebrating Our Milestones

My definition of family has expanded greatly over the last few years and now includes Pedro’s family, the young man we hosted from Spain in the summer of 2010.  My whole world has expanded as a result of participating in the Education First international exchange program.  Mostly thanks to Pedro and his mother, Rosa, I’ve learned much about Spain—its culture, food, economy, music, and more.

On top of that, are the simple pleasures in celebrating life’s milestones together—the good and the bad.  Since meeting Pedro, we have mourned the loss of both families’ maternal grandmothers and the passing of my father this past summer.  We celebrated his high school graduation, the recording and creation of his CD of original piano compositions, and his acceptance at a Spanish university where he studies law and business administration.

When Pedro turned 18 last year, we heard about some of his “coming-of-age” milestones, like legally being able to drink and to vote.  He proudly sent a photo displaying his voter certificate as proof that he voted in the Spanish presidential elections last fall.

Pedro’s new car

Last week, Pedro marked another rite of passage—passing his driving exam and getting his driver’s license.  This was quite an achievement for him since he took the exam multiple times—a common occurrence in Spain due to the extreme level of difficulty.  Pedro sent videos of him and his family picking up his new car at the dealership and driving home.  It was an unexpected surprise and a delight to witness this first in his life.

As with so many of Pedro’s milestones, he wrote a song to commemorate it.  A year ago he wrote “Drive” (click link to hear the song), in anticipation of his learning to drive.  Now that goal is a reality. (“Drive” © 2011 Pedro González Arbona)

Celebrating our milestones via video, photos, music and Skype has certainly connected us, although we are 5,300 miles apart.  It is the next best thing to being there.

I enjoy celebrating life’s milestones with my extended family and others who have journeyed this road to wholeness with me.  Watching the videos of Pedro’s milestone reminded me of the many blessings I have had in my life since his arrival in our home.  Last fall, when I had a significant birthday celebration, Rosa and Pedro joined in via Skype.  I wrote about this celebration on the “Journeys to Mother Love” blog.

The physical expansion of my family has expanded my whole world perspective.  It has taken me beyond my local sphere of influence to a global sphere of influence—one that will include a monumental trip to Europe next summer.  In the meantime, I am continuing to celebrate life’s milestones along the way.

I encourage you to celebrate and commemorate the milestones in your life—no matter how big or small.  We can cling to these milestones, along with God’s Word, when times are rough.

  • WELCOME to my site!

    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

  • Returning to Spain

    Arrival on Spanish SoilApril 29th, 2018
    Vamos a España!
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 368 other followers

  • Recent Posts

  • Ardis A Nelson ~ Writer ~ Speaker

  • Most Popular Topics

  • Journeys to Mother Love

  • What I Write About

  • Songs Composed by Pedro Gonzalez Arbona

  • Copyright Notice

    © Ardis A. Nelson and MakingMeBold, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ardis A. Nelson and MakingMeBold with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: