by Laurie Noteboom

usethisnoteboomThis fall marks a new stage in our family as our oldest son begins high school. As excited as he is for the change, the transition was breaking this mom out in a rash early this summer. However, a meal and an ah-ha moment reminded me all would be well.

Recently we stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, as we have so many times in his fourteen years. Between bites, my eye caught the little ones playing in the indoor play-scape and I started to remember all the days he had done the same thing. How many hot days over the years had friends and I met with our kids to let them wear themselves out in that air-conditioned play scape while we caught up with one another? Back then, I ordered him 4 small nuggets and begged him to eat. On this day, he inhales two chicken sandwiches with two fries and proceeds to ask if I’m going to finish my meal. When did this hairy legged, deep voiced young man arrive?

As obvious as the physical changes are, the heart changes are the ones that caused my ah-ha moment. He is still on a high from the Living Water mission trip he returned home a few days before. Story after story are shared about the children who attend the school in Guatemala where they drilled the water well. One boy loved wearing his baseball cap and another would run and try to tackle him whenever he was spotted. One of the little girls only wanted him to carry her on his back and the football he took to share was constantly being thrown.

The spark in his eye as he tells me about the sweaty, greasy work it took to complete the well, which they had to actually do twice because the first location was not successful, is undeniable. As he comments on what a difference six simple feet made to find water and what a difference clean water will make to his new friends’ lives, the ding dong bell went off in my head.

For years, I have prayed God would not only work in my son’s life, but that he would do so in spite of me. I knew early in motherhood my abilities were extremely lacking and my goal should be to try and stay out of God’s way when it came to my son’s heart.

As I watched my teenager pull his gangly legs under him and collect our trash to throw away, I said a prayer of thanksgiving. I’m thankful God has given my son a hopeful outlook and a heart for service. I’m thankful God heard this mom’s plea to ignore my best intentions and give my son the abundant life God desires for him. And I’m really thankful my nervous rash immediately feels better.