The annual family Christmas party is over and once again, if we are rating adventures, I feel like our “crazies” have won first place. When this party was held in 2013, our exchange student from Russia was being introduced, Lori had graduated from college and Nicole had moved out of state in the previous 3 weeks and Kevin had just returned from a 9 week stint of teaching surfing in South Africa. What would 2014 bring? What stories would we have to tell at the annual Beck Cousin Christmas party in 2014? Well, not to disappoint, the kids continued to be adventurous. Kevin traveled to Israel, Lori moved to Pittsburgh, Victor, the exchange student, returned home to Russia, Nicole enjoyed living on Park Avenue in NYC, & Paul shot his thumb with a 9mm, But I think the story that wins top prize is Kevin biking across the United States on his bicycle. Thirty-Four Hundred Miles…Alone…Staying with strangers he met…on the internet! The part I like best about the story is the gasp that comes out of the mouths of mothers when I say those words. I almost wait for it and I’m excited when it comes because it gives me the opportunity to share one of the best things that happened to ME in 2014! I discovered how to trust and rely on God more deeply.
When Kevin decided to do this trip, I once again hit him with, “I don’t think this is a good idea.” That was soon followed by “I don’t have peace about this.” To that, he wisely replied, “You won’t have peace about this until you realize you have no control over it.” How true he was. How true he is. We don’t have peace when we are trying to control situations and/or others. We have peace when we trust and rely on God to be in control. When we let God be God, we can rest in that.
Though Kevin attempted to check in by text daily, there were times when I had no idea where he was or how he was doing, yet I had peace. I did not lose a night’s sleep, I did not worry, I did not fret. So unlike what I expected. It was hard to explain. I was just okay with it. When I’d run into someone at the store and they’d ask about Kevin’s whereabouts, I would have to admit that I wasn’t sure where he was that day. They would respond with alarm, but I was comforted knowing that God knew where he was even if I didn’t.
I had a visual in my mind that I kept to comfort me. It was an image of the United States map, my family standing on one side and Kevin on his bike pedaling across the map. The important part was that there was a string on Kevin’s bike going up to God. So, on any given day, even though, I didn’t know where Kevin was, God had him tethered to Him. He was safe & God knew where he was. I joked that the only problem with my image was that since I’m a left to right thinker, in my vision, Kevin was always pedaling left to right, which is actually, from California to the Atlantic Ocean when in reality, he was headed the other direction.
I shared this story with Lori’s boyfriend one evening at dinner. He blessed me the next day with an original painting of what I had shared. I was so excited to have my thoughts on canvas in addition to in my mind.
Kevin’s trip was a huge success and also a huge success for my mothering journey. I didn’t think it was a good idea. I didn’t have peace, but when I decided I had to give control to someone else, I gained peace and get the incredible opportunity to share the story with cousins, friends and now you! I wonder what my family will bring to the story board next year! Here’s to PEACE and adventure in 2015!