Catching up… I know you know how it is. ;-)

This and That.


Yep – I know you know how it is… because I’ve watched many of you walk through it, or something similar, yourselves… and sometimes something’s just got to give.  Right?  If I haven’t mentioned it a time or a hundred, my son is graduating from High school in a few weeks {eek!} and though I’ve known (or at least hoped) this day was coming for the past 13 YEARS of public education— it still seemed to sneak up on me and catch me by surprise.  So I’ve been operating in somewhat of a fog lately.  A fog of forms to fill out, announcements to address, and decisions to be finalized.  I know you know how it is.  In fact, I remember quite well several of my blogging friends whose blogs went practically silent during this particular season of their lives.  And now I understand why! 😉

The Senior-Mom-Fog and the fact that people’s worlds are going crazy right now in Nepal and Baltimore and in so many other places… it just doesn’t seem that I have been able to pull together anything worthy or witty enough to say that would be of benefit to anyone.  Somehow when people’s lives are being devastated, posting silly pictures of coffee sayings just doesn’t seem to be appropriate.  But then again… maybe they are.  Because there is always tragedy around us, and there is always room for joy in the midst of the burdens of life. Hmmmm…..  Just some random thoughts I’m pondering on my porch this morning.

{Insert space of many minutes trying unsuccessfully to segue back into Senior-Mom mode… so I’ll just jump right back in.}

I wanted to share a few Senior pictures of Nathan.  My friend, Elizabeth (who sometimes does Smelling Coffee TV with me) took all but his formal one and edited them beautifully.  I can’t believe this man-child is my BABY BOY!!! (And, this little boy had such a large neck that his shirt wouldn’t button or lay normally across his chest – even though it was cut down the back – so it had to be photo shopped closed, and the bowtie had to be photoshopped on!)


After so much seeking the Lord for direction and provision, Nathan will be attending Mississippi College, a Baptist college outside of Jackson, MS, and we are so excited!  It’s where my brother, sister, and I went, and in a million years, I never dreamed that we would live where our children would be able to go there too, if God so called.  We don’t know anyone attending as a freshman this year, but if you do, please let this mama know! 😉
Nathan has surrendered to full-time ministry and will be majoring in Christian studies.  At this point, he wants to be a children or youth minister.  We’re so proud of him, and know firsthand that this isn’t an easy or financially profitable way of life.  But if it is what God has called him to do, then we know that God will faithfully take care of Nathan and his family just as He has faithfully taken care of us (and everyone else who serves the Lord – whether in full time paid ministry or full time life-style ministry.)
Have we ever talked about his hair?  And why we let him grow it out?  {I think I have a post in the draft pile called “Why we let our son grow long hair” that never made it to publication.}
The short version of his long hair is that several years ago Nathan asked if he could grow out his hair.  When we looked at the scope of rebellious things teenagers could be doing these days, and the fact that he wasn’t doing any of them, we told him that he could do it for a year.  We put three stipulations on it though: 1.  Before senior pictures were taken, it would be cut.  2.  He would keep his face clean cut and shaved, and 3. If he did rebel in any of those other teenage areas, he would lose the privilege of long hair.

{I’m sure that you are already responding with your own opinions on the subject right this moment – but that’s how we handled it at the time.}  Well… two years later, as you can see, he still has the long hair.  And in the senior pictures, no less!  And with some facial hair!

The bottom line for our family was that we had to decide what really mattered.  What did it matter that our son had long hair if his character remained intact?  What even does some facial hair matter?  Because we are in the ministry, I’m sure that many have had opinions on whether we were right or wrong in this, but everyone in our church body has shown us and Nathan great grace.

By the time for senior pics to be made, Nathan wouldn’t have looked like himself without his hair!  It’s actually very beautiful!  We decided to pick our battles, and let our son have this bit of “individuality.”  I’m sure that one of these days, he’ll come around to getting it cut.  But for now, I’m so thankful that we didn’t deny him this desire.  And that’s why we let our son grow his hair out. 🙂

And now, I must get back to addressing some envelopes.  Thanks for sharing in these moments of our lives with us.  We’ll be doing this again next year.  Same time, same place, when Abigail is a senior.  {Eek! – I should go on and double address envelopes now!}
So thankful for you all~


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. I say he’s a handsome young man~and what a blessing that you’ve raised a son who wants to follow God! Congrats on graduating,Nathan! : )

  2. Lori Balzer-Castaneda says:

    Sending up prayers and blessing to you and your family! I went through the Senior-Mom- Fog last year with my son Caleb. There are so many emotions to go through, hang in there! Congrats to Nathan! May God continue to lead you where he wants you to be!