Fourteen years is a long time to do something don’t you think? That’s the number of summers the Wohlfert kids have taken livestock to the Clinton County 4-H fair and it’s been one of the best things we’ve ever been a part of. I can’t even begin to write about all the ways 4-H has positively impacted their lives and Dave and I are so grateful for all the 4-H lessons, people and experiences that have helped mold and shape our kids over the past fourteen years. I’m having one of those weepy mornings as I type this post because at the close of the fair tonight it will be time to end this chapter; our fourteen year run will be finished and I’m not gonna lie, I’m having a hard time with that. For those readers who have parented kids through high school you know that senior year is full of “lasts” and last night’s livestock auction was the final high school last for Shannon.
It would take no effort at all on my part to let this ending wash over me like a heavy blanket and dwell on the fact that the Three Little Wohlfert’s have seemingly grown up in a blink right before my very eyes. I might be tempted to get out their baby albums and allow myself to be absolutely swallowed by past memories of chubby cheeks and first steps and cry about how empty my house is going to feel but that’s crazy because that would make this all about me…not them. God blessed Dave and I with three cool kids and it’s been our job to do our best to raise them in a way that would please Him. The greatest goal of any parent is to send great humans out into the world that can make it better. That’s a tall order for sure and the society we live in doesn’t help us much. I think that’s why I’m so grateful for all of our 4-H years because they did help; a lot! The kids were surrounded by great adults who were excellent examples of character, leadership and faithfulness. Each summer dozens of grown-ups who volunteered to be leaders, judges, show organizers and fair board members demonstrated and challenged the kids to be hard working, fair, honest, humble and grateful. I realized this isn’t nearly as much about an ending as it is a beginning.
I remember as a kid, watching the game show Let’s Make A Deal, where contestants had to pick a door. I always liked looking at the contestants faces as they waited anxiously to see what secret prize waited behind their door. Instead of worrying about my empty house, or time that has passed too quickly I’m at the point where I can enjoy my children as they see what unfolds before them. Just like the game show, sometimes they will pick the wrong door and be disappointed but hopefully because of the opportunities and experiences they have had growing up, they will lean on God’s wisdom and he will help them make the choices that will reveal beautiful surprises and blessings. I realize that endings are necessary; tricky sometimes, but necessary because without them, there would be no beginnings. Both require faith, trust and effort and if you do it right, both will leave you stronger, better and a little closer to the one who orchestrated the greatest beginning of all times! When you really think about it, the final ending will lead to the ultimate beginning we’re all aiming for!
A Seed To Plant: Take some time this week to reflect on things in your life that you should begin and things that you should end in order to make room for a new beginning that will lead you closer to the Father.
Blessings on your day!