Thursday, March 19, 2009
My son, Stephen, left for Navy boot camp this week. I asked family and friends to consider a scripture that might be meaningful for Stephen. Then with a post it note or sheet of paper sized to fit within the Bible, I asked them to write the reference only, and then why the scripture is special to them, or why they thought it might be meaningful for Stephen, etc. I placed each note (in a fully zippered small Bible we bought him),where the scripture was located, using repositional glue on the papers that were not post-it notes. I'm hoping it will be really meaningful for Stephen, that at the right time, God will lead him to just the right notes of encouragement with just the right scripture!
Stephen not only entered with our blessing, we planted the idea to begin with. But I had no idea how difficult it would be. Sending children off to college was hard, and sad, and seemed rather heavy duty at the time. But I knew they'd be home for short breaks during the semester, and a month at Christmas, and long summers, give or take the occasional visit to another friend's home, mission trip, etc. Their permanent address stays the same, I'd still make their dentist appointments,the bedroom is more or less intact with all the stuff that didn't make it to the dorm, etc. But the military is really leaving home, and there's no guarantee of any holiday spent with family, and only four weeks off a year.
I'm genuinely excited for the good things this will bring into Stephen's life, and grateful to be doing this in the internet age: I can't really be in contact with him (though I did get the "15 second phone call" that recruits make when they arrive) other than by snail mail until after boot camp, but the Navy has videos so that I can get a glimpse of what Stephen is doing (without having to know about the stuff I don't want to know about until after he's through, lol!)
For those who are interested, here they are:
Boot camp part 1
Boot camp part 2
Boot camp recruits (For this one, click on the link for "faces of bootcamp")