In 4th grade, I came home breathless and excited, clutching a blank permission slip and desperately hoping my parents would go for the tennis lessons I wanted. It was the very first time I remember wanting to do something. My mom was hoping I would take piano, like my best friend Heidi, but she agreed to talk it over with my dad. I sat across from both of them feeling nervous and a little giddy that they might just say yes.
Finally my dad said, “Ok– but you can’t quit. Once you start, you have to finish out the year.”
I nodded vigorously and started to picture myself as the next Jennifer Capriati. (Minus the hours of community service she “earned.”)
My mom tried gently one more time, “Are you sure you don’t want piano lessons? Because we really can’t do both..”
I shook my head no and a smile crept across my hopeful face.
“Okay.” Dad said. “You can do it.” And that was that, I jumped up, gave quick hugs, and excited “thank you’s” and ran off to locate my favorite scrunci and slouchy socks just in time for practice the next day.
If you’re wondering why I’ve never mentioned my tennis career, there is a very good explanation. It was terribly short lived. About 6 months later, the school had to plow up the tennis courts to make room for more parking and they never were re-built. So that was that.
So here I am, a non-tennis playing Minister’s wife– who consequently doesn’t know how to play the piano, either. HA!
At one point I asked my mom why she let me take tennis lessons on my own little whim, and I’ve not forgotten what she said, “Because we really didn’t know who you would become– and we wanted you to be free to decide.
Free. That freedom means a lot more to me now that I’m 32 and a mother myself.
At the time, I was the 5th in a long line of sport-playing, tuition-check needing kiddos– and somehow they sacrificed yet again to allow me the FREEDOM to begin to figure it all out with a Jr. Tennis racket and a pair of shiny white keds.
And by the time those tennis courts were nothing but a parking lot– I had gotten it well out of my system, and they didn’t care one bit.
They let me stretch my wings a little, and it taught me a lot about freedom — and being who you are.
Fast Forward to a couple of years ago when our little family blog was the exact spot where I wanted to spend more time. I wrote as often as I could, and it made my heart beat fast to edit, edit, edit and then finally press– publish. The more I wrote, the more I loved writing.
And when I sat down with Lance and told him how I longed to be… an actual writer– he said this, “Go for it. I think you should.”
And I felt it all over again, that exhilarating breath of air that comes when the people we love the most create the space for us to thrive. The space for us to continue growing, all throughout adulthood to change and become more of who God made us to be.
He is continually doing a new work in us, giving us fresh life and fresh opportunities to grow and serve Him better. That fresh bit of life brings great Freedom as the seasons of our lives change bit by bit.
I hope that our children grow up with the same space around them that I did. The same space I live in today– the space to become– whatever God has created them to be.
So naturally, when Dayspring asked a few of us what “word” would be special to us as a family, I chose Free. Namely, Free Indeed.
Because, if the Son has set us Free–(and He has!) than we are Free indeed. Free from the chains of our sin and self– and Free to grow in Him and in this life He has blessed us with.
The gorgeous letterpress blocks can be completely customized to whatever word, phrase or verse is special to you and your family. The fun part is, you can go to their website and play around with the tool to see exactly what your blocks would look like!
“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8: 35, 36
**Dayspring is sending me a $25.00 credit in exchange for my honest and heart-felt opinion of these letterpress blocks. I actually won my words, Free Indeed during a Twitter party for #Allume, and the blocks are just as beautiful in person as they are on the site!!