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Today’s blue plate special is white milk sky and drippy outside.

It was the same yesterday when I put on my rain jacket and ventured outside to sow grass seed.  I was going against the experts when I decided to sail full steam ahead and sow my seed in the rain.  Sometimes I ignore well-meaning recommendations and do what my heart and gut tell me is right.  And with all the lovely Irish rain we’ve received, this time I’ve suffered no regrets from doing it my way.  

Wouldn’t it be nice to live ALL OF LIFE without regrets?   I think some people can do this fairly successfully.  People like my husband for instance.  When he makes a mistake, he doesn’t beat himself up.  Instead he shrugs it off — knowing he’s done the best that he can — and then doesn’t look back.  How I wish I could be more like that.  Is it self-confidence that allows this man to sail through trials so easily? 

One of my children is going through rough seas right now.  Part of me wants to throw out a life preserver to keep my child from drowning in sorrow.  But  I sense this situation may be a life-defining moment for one who tries to live life as a people-pleaser.  So I’ve forced myself to give my child space to swim out of the storm without my well-meaning intervention.

The situaton reminded me of a letter I wrote to one of my children not too long ago.  In it, I tried to string together a few motherly pearls of wisdom on this very subject. 

While it’s not easy asking for help or admitting mistakes, you can do both with grace and often with a sense of humor.  But if I’m going to keep this real, you do not do this as quickly as you could or should.  Humor your mother by allowing me to offer lessons I’ve learned from the school of hard knocks:   Be vulnerable – accept that you do not always need to be strong or right.  Especially trust in the goodness of those who love you.  Don’t sit on bad news (or what others might perceive to be bad) that needs to be shared.  And don’t worry about other’s opinions – seek the input of those you love then own your own decision – make no apologies for living your own life.  It’s yours to live.  It’s a funny thing that we humans strive for independence when I think God designed us to be interdependent, one on another. Why else would each receive different gifts and graces, if not to give and receive help?  Child, I think your life choices have shown you the value of dependence.  If others knew the story of your life, they might think the trials and challenges of school were a cakewalk in comparison.

It’s hard to see those I love suffer.  And though I’ve made sure my child knows that I am here if needed, I know that this trial is something that must be overcome without my direct involvement.  So even now, I sit on my hands and take solace in the words of the good book when it teaches that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint.  And in my book, one who experiences no disappointment is a close cousin to one who experiences no regrets.

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