Graduation: Came and Went… A New Day Dawns.

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“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. ~ Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)

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Since I learned that praying Scripture was a powerful weapon and tool in Spiritual Warfare, I’ve had select verses that I have prayed over my children, my husband and my family over the past five or six years.

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In the last couple of years, my daughters have informed me that I have “ruined” them with conceit because I have told them all their life how valuable, how precious and how beautiful they are. These lessons hardly came without a solid dose of grace, because each time they were required to return a polite and a gracious “Thank you.” Such compliments became the trademark of our relationships. One I wanted to instill deeply in them so they never felt insecure about who they were or what their value would be. This even before I discovered the love and value of God in my own life.

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About a year before Justin went home to Heaven, I began to seriously consider Scriptures that would have “life” meaning for my precious children. Brittany’s soon became Isaiah 43:4, included at the top of this post. I wanted my shy, beautiful wall flower who was often called “palm tree” by other children (related to her long, leggy frame and the sprig of ponytail that often lofted atop her precious, cheeky head), to feel and sense the confidence that comes from being precious, loved and valued by God. And, I believe that the Scripture has manifested great blessings as she is quite the confident young woman, sure in who she is, whose she is and how she is to live her life based on that identity.
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On Valentine’s Day this year I purchased two cards for daughters, one for each girl. I had not really considered which I would give to whom, but I knew that each sentiment was perfect for either of my girls and I would pray and decided based on how the Lord led me to fill out each one. When I got them home, the one I had selected for Brittany turned out to look more like a Taylor card. So, I filled out the cards according to this new realization. Later, as we read through them together, I found Isaiah 43:4 printed at the bottom of the card I had originally thought I might give to Taylor. Beautifully appropriate – that day I would give Britt a card with her life verse in it.

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She is precious and loved and beautifully valued by both God and everyone who knows her. She is quite secure in this knowledge. A month or so ago I assigned myself the task of praying an “adult” Scripture over her, one with wisdom in it for her future choices. Though I think she is already incredibly wise… I know she is not finished hardly with the difficult choices of life, in fact they are just beginning… So, I want this to be the calling of her life.

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As I have spent these last three or four weeks preparing myself for this week of Graduation activities, I had no idea the impact it would have one me. I busily tried to have a hurried and rushed Garage Sale on Friday before hosting a party for around 50 people on Saturday that was held in two locations. Plus, we had to make sure the last of the invitations got out the first of last week and make sure we had all the necessary food and decorations for the fabulous Pink and Black Grad Party we had planned together.

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I hurricaned my house some time between Monday and Thursday readying it for a Garage Sale. Completely beside the point is I had much to prepare since the last half of the party was a great family dinner to be served at none other than our house. Nothing like last minute spontaneity to really make a plan go off the track!

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So, by Friday evening, I was sore, severely behind and weary with all the Garage Sale Hoopla, and remarkably determined to accomplish everything on my week-long “To Do” list all by myself in less than 12 hours. I had to completely restore order to my house, plus give it a good cleaning, I had to assemble and display all sorts of graduation paraphernalia to decorate our house and I had to bake two Sopapilla Cheesecakes and a pasta salad and a cheesy sauce called “Chicken Chalupa” while preparing a tribute to my daughter’s 18 years of life to music by way of Windows DVD maker… which I still have not figured out how to upload that booger to the Internet… And, maybe that is for good reason, but who knows!

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By 6:30 AM, my husband was crawling out of bed, my youngest daughter was within a 1/2 hour of getting up to ready herself for Saturday School and work and my oldest daughter was somewhere between sleep and home after a sleep over at a friend’s house. I on the other hand was working steadily at my computer finishing off the DVD masterpiece to show at the family party some 10 or so hours away. (Might I add, my head had not hit the pillow… I was a woman with a mission and a desire to complete every last detail of the vision for this party.)

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After previewing the picture slides with Martina McBride singing “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” followed by Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella,” and another Martina tune, “She’s a Butterfly” with my rested hubby by my side, I gave him a few nominal instructions for last minute things to do for the party and toddled myself off to bed. He had specific instructions not to allow me to sleep past ten, but I would not have anyway.

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Sometime after my girl came home, she set about her responsibilities of cleaning her room and getting her end of the house in order while I cut a few Z’s in the bedroom. I awoke around 9:30 and called for her to bring me the DVD. She brought it to my room and put it in the DVD player and we laythere and cried sweet Mother-Daughter tears. A nostalgic moment as the pictures of my girl with her brother and sister and a few other family members and friends marked out her years in a poignant tribute to the accomplishment of life that High School graduation is.

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The party was a smashing success, she had a fabulous time with water balloons, water guns and many friends at the park before coming home and enjoying a family meal cooked by grandmothers with her family and a few close friends all around. The last of our family left around 9:30 PM and we were all completely exhausted, but completely blessed by the entire day.

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On Sunday we went to church and received an anointed word about how our relationship with God is our only safe refuge, stopped by Target for a pair of shoes for the graduation ceremony and returned home to nap throughout the day. Baccalaureate was at 2 PM but we decided to forgo the formal event for an afternoon lazing around the house. A little later in the afternoon she went to another friend’s grad party and returned a few hours later to a house replete with tired parents, leftover food and quiet rest.

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Which leads into Monday… Hubby went off to work while the girls and I slept in – ’til almost noon I think. We went to Wal-Mart and had a little Bar-B-Que (such a Texas thing to do) to go and returned home to dye her hair sparky auburn red and ready ourselves for the trip to downtown Fort Worth for the ceremony. Hubby returned home and his kiddo’s plus our Megan’s boyfriend arrived shortly before five. We took pictures, got ourselves completely decked out and off we went to the Convention Center for all the “Pomp and Circumstance” our hearts could stand.

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It was such a joy to see my “little” (nearly 6′ tall) girl beaming up at me with pride, while I beamed right back. She was graduating… The day was finally here, the moment we were waiting for. My hubby spotted her first in the little alcove under all the seating at the far end of the arena… She stood head and shoulders above most of the girls in her class and I could barely stand it when she walked out onto the floor. She looked all grace and beauty and quite stunning in her blue cap and gown.

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She had not great academic achievement, no drapes, sashes or colors around her neck. She had simply and successfully completed all the course requirements to achieve High School Graduation with a “B” average. It was a very proud moment for us both – since school lost all its appeal after her brother died. Not to mention that the T. A. K. S. test for Math had thrown her for a loop threatening to rob her of the graduation success. (That, however, is a story for another day.)

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But, Graduate she did, walked right up as they pronounced her long and Polish name perfectly to receive her diploma and congratulatory certificate from the Texas House of Representatives. While I snapped photos, our whole family whooped, hollered and applauded with great joy. She smiled as she passed by and we waved and hollered again. Then the Alma Mater played and the signal was given to change the tassel from left to right before a great cacophony of hoo-rah’s resounded through the auditorium and hats went flying… Hats off to all the Grads of 2008 – we are very proud of you.

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As a final note, during my all night session scanning and applying pictures to the DVD of her life, I discovered the new verse I would be praying over her as she ascends the halls of college and into the realm of adulthood.

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” For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” Proverbs 2:10 (NIV)

A Graduation indeed: My hat is off to you my baby girl, and I am looking forward to all the things you will do as you navigate life with God at the helm… A New Beginning just around the bend. May God bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6) I love you.

4 thoughts on “Graduation: Came and Went… A New Day Dawns.

  1. Congratulations to your daughter. My daughter graduated this year too….but because she is home schooled we can plan her graduation whenever….we are waiting for her older sister to return from her missions trip overseas. She comes home next Saturday and has been gone since January!

    By the way, I would LOVE to eat at your house! The food sounds wonderful. How did you learn how to cook all that good Mexican stuff??? Recipes please!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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