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Sunday, August 11, 2019

As Summer wanes - a recap.

I have alluded to the fact that this has been a bit of a crazy, unusual summer for me, but it really wasn't so much for me but my youngest son.  I have been waiting for his world to slow down a bit before I posted about all his adventures over the last couple of months.  This summer, the "last" summer before he graduates from high school, has been truly a summer of extraordinary experiences for him.  We knew going into the summer that there were a couple of fun things on the horizon but never, in our wildest dreams, did we see the special things that God would place in front of him.

First: Deep See Fishing with Gump
Almost as soon as school was dismissed for the Summer my parents came and my Dad and Mom  really wanted to do something special for my son. They planned a day of deep sea fishing.  Although, we found out - too late - that my Dad apparently does not have his sea legs, I am so glad my son got this special memory with his Gump.

Second:  Palmetto Boys State:
My son, my super amazing youngest son, was a delegate the American Legion's Palmetto Boys State Encampment.  It was quite an honor to represent his school among 1200 of the best and brightest South Carolina has to offer.  To say it was a week that changed his life would be an understatement.  It sounds cliche' but he learned so much and grew so much in 7 days I was amazed.  It was like watching God mold the clay as one might say.  Unlike some parents, I will brag that my son stayed in touch with me and kept me up to date as the week progressed and culminated with him being elected the 2019 Palmetto Boys State Lieutenant Governor (from 1200 other amazing young men!) and being inaugurated on the steps of the South Carolina State House Steps along with the current South Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Pamela Evette and South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster.  If a race down Main Street in Columbia by almost 2000 (including Palmetto Girls State) outstanding young people and American Legion Staff and then being escorted down the Statehouse steps by the current Lieutenant Governor wasn't enough, my baby boy also was allowed to address the crowd of over 2000 people in attendance.  The icing on the cake came when he was selected as one of two delegates from our great State to represent South Carolina at the 2019 American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. for 8 days. Out of 20,000 young men across our nation he was one of 100 to be given this honor. Yes....I was/am a proud....VERY PROUD...Mama.


Picking my boy up and ready to have him home, at least for a few days!
Third: Puerto Rico
I think somewhere my sweet boy hit the summertime vacation jackpot when an out-of-the-blue invitation came for him to join a friend and his family in Puerto Rico. He had a wonderful vacation and a great deal of fun with his friend and his family.    I am so glad he got to experience and see new things and was able to see the beauty of Puerto Rico but also that there is great poverty and sadness as well. He text me at one point as he was seeing the differences within the culture, "the poverty here is insane."  Although he has been on mission trips and worked with Life Changers in areas that needed help this opened him up a little bit differently.  He was taken aback and it led us to some great discussions and thoughts on poverty here and in other areas of the world.  I am glad that even on holiday his heart was pricked and God was working.  I am so thankful to his friend's family for including him.

Fourth: Mission Trip with our Church to Chattanooga, TN
Yes, all these events were basically back to back. He was home packing just to turn around and head back out.  He also went on a much anticipated mission trip with our church to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It was a week that really again had my young man looking at his heart and realizing life isn't fair for so many people.  He spent time working in a downtown soup kitchen, working in a warehouse and also spending lots of time in fellowship and studying with his youth group.  When he called during this time I could feel him struggling and God working.  It was a good week.  The only downside is he had to fly home a day early because he had to fly back out the next morning for Boy's Nation in Washington, D.C.!!!  Yes, this summer has needed a calendar all to itself!
Yes, that is my boy in the dumpster...don't say he isn't willing to get down and dirty to get a job done!

Fifth: 2019 American Legion Boy's Nation
I am not sure what I can truly say to explain this experience.  Of course, I wasn't there and have only heard lots and lots of amazing stories, but my son had a truly life altering week.  He learned, stretched and competed with the best of the best led by the best of the best.  Being one of 100 chosen from 20,000 young men across the Nation made for quite the young think tank.  I am proud of the hard work my son had to put in to attend and participate in Boy's Nation.  He had to draft, submit and defend a bill as an American Legion Senator and he was challenged by young men from all over this great Nation and opened his mind and heart to others like him and some very different.  To truly learn more about Boys Nation, check out this article about my young man that appeared on the front page of our local paper: Local Teen Headed to Washington, D. C..

So, yes, this has been the post to end all posts....more like a novella.  There have been a lot of exciting things going on around here and I have not be more humbled than by the proclamation that I received last week that my son proposed to the American Legion 2019 Boys Nation Legislature:


These few words might not see like they would mean a lot, but, as a single Mom who literally has to make every decision and deal with every detail they mean everything. It is just the two of us and a lot of the time I don't feel like I am getting it right, but either way I know I am blessed to have the opportunity to try.  I am so proud of my young man and all the work he has done and as he begins his Senior Year of High School....I can't wait to see what God has in store.


Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 (NIV)


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