FAMILY VACATION 2017 took place last week at Daytona Beach Shores, our every year place. Rob is now married to Rebeccah (1-15-17), Wes and Taylor are two and a half years married and going strong, and Mary Margaret invited her boyfriend, Jonathan, to join us and he seemed to survive the Collingsworth madness very well. It was a good week with lots of new memories made and lots of time to revisit memories made over all the vacations in this same spot. I am hoping “that time I fell into the hot tub” won’t be the most remembered and laughed at event of the week! They have all left now and I get to stay a few extra days to savor (and maybe recover) from all the high action of last week.
How do I feel?
Blessed… I am overcome with gratitude. JB has arranged his schedule and priorities to make this happen every year. While he is not really a beach person, he knows that I am, and he is willing to come and to use his creative ability with fun activities, mystery dinners, parties, etc.
Mary Margaret is doing so well in her career. She has great friends and takes full advantage of living in Nashville, enjoying musical and sporting events. She travels all over the country and uses her gifts of teaching and mentoring so many. WOW, I am a proud Mama.
Rob and Rebeccah live in Ft. Worth and both have great jobs – he, as Communications Director at Criswell College in Dallas, and she, as a Pediatric Cardiac Care Nurse at Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth. They are a perfect match for each other and bring out the best in each other. My heart is full.
Wes and Taylor enjoy life in Lexington, KY. He does what he loves everyday in his work – designing and installing audio, video, and lighting systems in churches and training people on how to use these. Taylor is the queen of hospitality and all things crafty. They have company over regularly and lead a small group. They make me laugh and smile everyday.
So, yes, I am blessed. The temptation, and it is real, is to take credit for the good choices and the good places our kids are right now. But, oh, how well I know that I am broken and I cannot take credit for any good in my children. And even if I did, would I also be willing to take credit for the terrible messes they have made over the years? And there have been some messes from all of us in this family….
The brokenness that I recognize and choose to admit is my sinful nature. I scare myself with some of the thoughts that go through my mind. I know for sure, those who know me best know, and God certainly knows I have natural tendencies that are totally not acceptable. These come from my heart that is sinful and full of pride and deceit. In relating to JB and our children it is tempting to push for what I want and to expect them to pursue the things I want them to pursue. And, trust me, what I want for myself and for others has often led to disasters. Too often when I have related, responded, and reacted to others based on my personal perspective, things have blown up in one way or another. The concept of “doing it my way” is not one I would recommend to anyone.
Lord, you are my only hope!
When Mary Margaret was in elementary school, we butted heads much of the time (while my Mama smiled). I recognized that stubborn, independent streak in her because it was like looking in a mirror. One day, in utter frustration, I said out loud, “Lord, You are my only hope!” That is about the smartest thing I have ever said. God began to reveal to me one day at a time that He really is my only hope – for me and for the others in our family. I got to witness first-hand as God got ahold of Mary Margaret’s heart and He began to do in her what I could never do! Any good in that child today totally goes to God’s credit.
The same goes for the boys. The more we entrusted them to God and pointed them to Him for counsel and direction, the more we saw Him working things out in and through them.
That’s not to say all has been smooth sailing. We have our ups and downs but God is good and He is always for our good. He gives us hope on our very worst days and He can work wonders and miracles when we choose to trust him and surrender to him. It is a daily choice.
Bad news… Good news
Bad news: Brokenness is a given, and I can’t escape it on my own.
Good news: Admitting my brokenness and the fact that I need help is such a relief. It is freeing and takes away much anxiety.
Bad news: It is frustrating that I can’t fix it and no other person or things of this world can either.
Good news: The grace of God is real and is available; Jesus is the answer for my brokenness. He paid the price for my sin. For those who admit their need and accept his gift, He will provide a new heart and life direction.
Bad news: Life will be tough. Sickness, consequences, tragedies, disappointments are part of life in this broken world.
Good news: Jesus will be with his followers and give us grace, strength, courage, direction, and peace in the midst of life as it happens. So, even though life is tough we can be assured always that God is good.
Life is tough but God is good.
I have no desire to take credit for any good God is doing in our family right now. To Him be the glory and the praise for what He can do when any one takes him at his word and surrenders control to him.
Though I am broken I am grateful to God that I also am blessed.