Well, it's finally here. there are a million amazing things happening in my pastor life and this is the time of the year for vision for the Fall, and everyone getting back to routine, etc... But for me and Sara - our routine is getting ready to be altered in a major way.
This Thursday, after elder's meeting I'll pile in with Sara and all the stuff Caleb owns (practically all) and drive him eight hours south to Knoxville TN and Johnson Bible College for him to begin his freshman year of college. We will get in in the evening on Thursday, spend the day with him in the mountains and just hanging out on Friday and then we'll move him in his dorm room on Saturday morning. Our plan is to be on the road by 9:00 or 10:00 (eastern time) because I'm preaching Sunday. There are a lot of things that run through my mind right now, a lot of different emotions. Our house is going to be different. We've arrived at "empty nest" and among other things here's where my heart and soul are right now:
1. I'm proud of Caleb (as I am my other son Michael) for he has grown into a great man of God.
2. I am going to miss his laughter and sharing sports scores and sermon notes and daily chatter at supper.
3. I am so happy for him to be going to college. I have only fond memories of my experience there and it changed my life in so many ways. What a blast.
4. I take pride in him being the fourth generation of Baker to attend Johnson. My great uncle Frank (my grandpa's brother) attended in the early 1950's. Both my parents attended in the mid 60's (so did Sara's parents). Sara and I attended in the early 80's. My great uncle, father and I all preached and praise God - Caleb is a preacher too. I love the heritage.
5. I can't believe it went so fast. I know this has been written before, but 18 years flies by. He was just going to Sunday school, going to his first Pacers game, playing little league basketball at Gametime Gym, a freshman in high school, getting his license, preaching his first sermon, etc... It was fast man... can't express this in words.
6. I love that my wife is still my best friend and that we'll still be together as always to do life.
7. I look forward to the first time he comes "home" to visit. That will be sweet.
8. I will be emotional Sunday when I preach.
9. Joy is my deepest feeling right now. And when I cry Saturday, they will be tears of joy and that trip home will seem really long!
10. I can't wait to see what journey God takes him on. Mine has been unpredictable, not what I thought and better than I could have imagined. Can't wait...just can't wait to sit in a pew is "his" church and listen to him preach. That will be amazing.