For me the first casualty of a frantic schedule is losing my grip on what I care most about. It takes serious reflection to fully appreciate even half of life’s best events. Just think about this time of the year and how many students are graduating. Graduating from college. From high school. I even have a FB friend who recently celebrated her child graduating from preschool (with a 4.0 I might add).
My kids have been dropping milestones on The Perry Timeline left and right this spring! Let me talk about two. First, our nuclear family graduated from one generation to two. Poppy Nora Perry graduated from the coziest classroom ever into the big, bad world on April 8th – just a few minutes after midnight. Talk about showing up “early on your birthday”. This child is going to be punctual I predict. My son Aaron and his wife Savannah graduated from the world of couple-hood into the world of parenthood. Silas and Phoebe are now Uncle Silas and Aunt Phoebe (both are amazed at how much older their names sound with uncle and aunt in front of them). Tim and Cheryl graduated from parenthood to grand-parenthood. I can’t begin to tell you how cool it is to be grandparents (when the word itself sounds so cringy from the outside). Actually we did what all other rebellious first-time grandparents do. We subverted the stodgy “Grandpa” and “Grandma” by renaming ourselves. I shall be called “Pops” by my offspring’s offspring. Cheryl will become “Amma”. Pops and Amma. Pops and Poppy! I really like the sound of that…
A second defining moment happened last week. My awesome fine-arts daughter who has been training since age 6, got her first serious offer from a ballet company. She’s been applying and auditioning for over a year. I once saw the four-page spreadsheet of companies she sent her reel to. 129! The tenth company down the list on page four was the winner: San Diego Ballet.
This is huge. This means Phoebe has graduated not only with her BFA from University of Missouri Kansas City, she’s also graduating from living with her parents, living in Omaha (in fact, living anywhere near extreme corn fields). She has got a shot at life on the coast, in a big city, where things are far more diverse, expensive and admittedly exciting. Way to go Phoebe! I’m not going to talk about how much our home and our town are going to feel your absence when you leave. Not. Going. There.
However, if you know of people in the San Diego area who could be of help with Phoebe moving there, give us a shout. Her contract starts in mid-September. She’ll need to find a place to live and somewhere to hang her massage therapy shingle. Oh, did I mention she’s graduating soon from Midwest School of Massage here in Omaha?
When a new generation is born whether in the arts, in a family or in education, a profusion of life and energy stages a fresh display of God’s creative being. We are made in his image to constantly germinate truth, beauty and goodness everywhere. These incredible family milestones push me to expect more from the mission God has called me to. Cultivating the Kingdom of God in every corner of the university is a lot like training in fine arts. A lot like parenting. Hard yet rewarding work, nurturing vast potential over many years. May God’s creative power pour out from his people so his glory can been seen on campuses today. Thank you for partnering with me. Thank you for how your investment in InterVarsity blesses my family and enables me to serve GFM staff, students and faculty.