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clapping for our children, my next book about gel manicures and unicorns, and why I believe we are c

Today is my 8th grade daughter's "moving up ceremony". Yup. I know. She did it! Can you believe it? She graduated from the 8th grade! We are over the moon excited and so proud of her! The caterer's will be here at 5pm and the chocolate fountain should arrive this afternoon. Thank God the weather will be good for us...we have an outdoor carnival planned in the backyard, and a live band scheduled. We never imagined this day would come...and yet, here it is. Amazing.

OK. So sorry for the sarcasm (did you catch that?), but is it just me, or are our children sort of expected to make it past the 8th grade??? I don't know...maybe I am just a killjoy, but things like pre-school graduation, kinder-graduation and 8th grade graduation - in my own opinion - are just a wee bit over the top. They are up there with jumping and clapping when your kid goes down a slide, handing every little league player a trophy, and throwing team sports parties "for the kids" when let's be honest, folks...those parties are for us. Hence, the beer.

And yeah, I know, many parents will read this and maybe hate me just a little bit. Because I clapped and jumped when my kids went down the slide, and I was fine when my daughter sat on the bench and still walked away with a trophy. But now that the kids here are somewhat grown...I can sort of see this constant unmet expectation...this entitlement...this nothing that I can ever do or give will now ever be enough, this anxiety, this emptiness that no trophy or applause can ever fill. And so on this "moving up" day, it is not that I am not proud of my beautiful girl, as these years have not been easy...and it is not that I am not hyper aware that, ya know what?... Some kids don't make it past the eight grade, and some moms don't have this day to look forward to, and I should be nothing but grateful....and believe me, I AM. For every living moment and breath my children take, I whisper a huge THANK YOU JESUS. I am just kind of wondering if maybe our focus is a little bit off center...if maybe we are celebrating the wrong things. Or at least, failing to acknowledge those things that in the end, will truly matter. And not matter for us, but for them -our children. Because God willing, they will be on this earth when we are no longer...and then, who will be there to clap and shout,"great job!"? Who will hand them their trophy and say "well done"?

Just something to think about. What we choose to celebrate.

But ya wanna know what IS worth celebrating? My book! Victorious Secret! On the Barnes and Noble website! E-book edition! Come one, folks! That is pretty cool, right? Jump up and down for me! Clap! Someone hurry and hand me a trophy!! Throw me a party!

Oh wait. You are throwing me a party.


So sure.

Maybe over the top.

Maybe a little too much self focus.

But I promise. This book and this party and every word that I write? ALL FOR HIS GLORY. Believe me, putting yourself out there for God is not asking for celebratory recognition, but rather, for a legion of demons to throw arrows at you all day and all night and when they see that you are still standing, they start shooting at your loved ones. And I was warned and I knew this would happen. Step out and be loud and bold about your faith in this world, and be prepared for the spiritual warfare. I was expecting this. And can I just say....the battle is no joke. And the book isn't even out yet! Good grief, people...what was I thinking writing about the spiritual battle? My next book is going to be about unicorns and margaritas and gel manicures. Let's see what that attack looks like. And ya know for a long brutal moment....I thought it best for me to stay down. To stay quiet. To push any hoopla over this book aside and continue on leading a quiet and unseen holy life.

And then....

...then I went and created a Pinterest page for my book and party.... because guess what legion of ***holes? TOO FREAKING LATE. The book is coming out on Friday, and we are celebrating the God who is our commander and who fights for us, and I am choosing to step out and speak up because I do not fight alone...the battle is on.

But first, I have an 8th grade moving up ceremony to get to.

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