Friday, July 15, 2011

The Page Turns

"How I Learned To Live A Better Story" is the subtitle for A Million Miles In a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. The book is about choices, mistakes, purpose and responsibility; about recognizing the brilliance and beauty of life.
Are we aware of the story we are living?  Most of life is not like the intense climax scene when the character runs in slow motion through an exploding brilliance of colors in an imploding crisis of personal desperation.  He storms through the flames and comes through to the other side with courage, confidence, and blood spattered battle burns. The danger is averted, either to himself, the gorgeous gal or his treasure.

Sometimes, for us, the drama is heavy with disappointment or grief, when an hour ticks by in a thousand years.

As we "read" through the story of our lives, as in a book, we turn the pages, we reach the end of the chapter, move on to new parts, and eventually reach the end of the book, hoping our character has achieved his purpose. One big difference: in a book we can go back and re-read the good parts, the words we want to read again. In life, we turn the page and have to move on, unable to go back. We can only go forward.

This week, pages have turned for our family. Changes. Adjustments. Shifts. A room empty, an empty place at the table, the realization of "never again as it has been." From now on, it will always be different.  They will come back, of course, not as guests, still family of course, but different, grown up.

Somehow I always thought the kids would grow up.  Turns out I'm the one who still has to grow up, who still has to work to accept the brief, fleeting, impermanence of life.  I want to hoard them all, to keep them close, to treasure each of them now and forever.

Instead, I find another lesson to travel lighter.  To let them go. To give them wings and trust they will know the roots are always there. We have a family story, but each of them also has their own story to write and live.  Their own character to create, turning the pages as they bring that character to life, beginning new chapters, reading through their own story. And hopefully, none of them will have to run through fiery explosions (we have come close, twice). Just being the characters they are is good enough. Hopefully they will live their stories - with choices and mistakes, with courage and confidence - illuminated by the beautiful brilliance of life.
Trying not to be a basket case


  1. Beautifully written, heartfelt post, Maureen. And do I ever know how you feel!! It's so hard to see them go and yet exciting to imagine what God has in store for them. I hope you have a peaceful weekend and minimal basket case time:) And I finally got Miller's book...reading this weekend.

  2. I put my parents through the same thing just this year; very glad to get a paradigm shift and see it through their eyes. Thank you.

  3. This is really beautiful. My daughter is getting ready to head off to college in a month. Things will never be quite the same, and I am left looking at myself in a new light. I have seen myself as a "mom" for so long. I believe a new journey is just beginning.

  4. Welcome Donna, thank you for joining us! Yes, a new journey, that's a good perspective - puts a more interesting spin on the changes time brings. It is exciting to watch and help our kids grow up (just have to get my selfish perspective out of the way). I hope your daughter has a safe, smooth adjustment - and for you, too.