One difference between girls and boys… {In prepping for college} And a word of encouragement at the end. :)

We are in this family’s Round Two of Senior Year and College Prep, but this time, it’s with a girl.  Our daughter – Who patiently watched everything her brother went through last year and waited until we got him settled into his college life before digging in on her own.  But as of September 1, we have declared this the “year of Abigail” – and the prep for her future has begun.

Most importantly, her first big decision and purchase toward her future has been made.  And by that, I mean, she has chosen, and we have bought her dorm room bedding.

Yep. You read that correctly.  And, no.  We don’t know WHERE she is going, in WHAT she will be majoring, or with WHOM she will be rooming, but we do know this one important thing:  the COLOR palette for her room has been set.  WHEW!  And that will determine everything else we purchase DIY for said room from this day forward.  It’s almost as important as a major, isn’t it? At least for some girls?

I feel so relieved.  Progress.  I can see it coming.

And therein lies the difference between boys and girls.  Nathan’s college bedding was given to us by a college-age friend who didn’t need it anymore.  Nathan didn’t even know what color it was – and didn’t even look at it until the week before he left for school when we pulled it out of its package to wash it.

I was desperately searching blogs and Pinterest for wisdom in sending boys to college and what they really needed for their dorm rooms when I came across an article for “first time college moms sending their freshman boys to school.”  One piece of advice was that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, should one mom call the roommate’s mom to coordinate bedding. This killed me.  Because I was planning on doing just that.  I had all kinds of questions I “needed” to ask her.  The article said to just send them with navy, black, denim, or kaki and they would be fine.  So I obeyed, let my six-foot, 270 lb man-child handle all communication with his man-child roommate (in which they NEVER talked about colors, btw) and both families showed up with navy, black, and denim.  Surprisingly, their room looks pretty good!

But have you SEEN those Pinterest posts of college dorm rooms for girls?  Chandeliers!!! I know, right?  (PS: I must admit – though this isn’t my daughter’s style… it is TOTALLY mine!  If I were going to college today, I’d want one over my bed in a heart beat! I guess it’s a good thing that instead of designing my own dorm room, I’m a married woman in menopause in need of a ceiling fan more than a chandelier right now!  My husband will thank me for this sensibility, I’m sure!)

We didn’t go all Pinterest on the dorm prep – yet – We just ordered a comforter and pillow sham from Target on their dorm essentials clearance sale.  It’s grey, yellow, white, and gold, not too girly, but flowery, and fits Abigail to a tee.  And somehow, for both of us, that made this college prep thing seem… doable… and real.

It was like once the bedding was ordered, there was an extra pep in my daughter’s step to complete those applications, those scholarship forms, and to push herself to do just a bit more than she previously thought she could.

Then in the back of my mama-heart I could hear the slightest “snip” sound as those “College-Scissors” began to cut away at the strings that tied my baby to home.  And you know what?  It was ok.  Probably because it’s just September. And we still have all year. And maybe because my eyes just now settled back down to normal size from being swollen from crying over Nathan being gone from home that I’m simply refusing to think about Abigail leaving so soon too.  Maybe.  Or maybe, I’m learning just a wee bit about trusting God during this emptying-nest stage of life?  Maybe.  😉

I began writing this post as a tongue-in-cheek about how this year’s first big college decision was selecting and purchasing Abigail’s bedding… but realized that God’s hand and timing was perfectly at work even there.  About dorm room bedding. Something that doesn’t seem to matter much in the scope of eternity or in light of all of the crises that are going on around us… But it does matter to one seventeen year old girl in the Mississippi Delta… And so it matters to her Farher, too.

That’s just one of the gazillion amazing attributes of our God – He is fully aware and able and involved in EVERY crisis, need, plea, and heart’s desire… Both the impossibly heavy ones begged in agony and those ridiculously silly requests barely whispered.

He can be this way because He is not man. He is God! ALL POWERFUL. ALL PRESENT. ALL KNOWING. All loving, All merciful. All forgiving to any who comes to Him in repentance. All saving to any who puts their trust in Him.
Because we are a fallen people living in a fallen world, we don’t understand the ways and wisdom of God – and He won’t always answer our prayers as we want Him to. But this one thing we can know: Romans 8:28 is a promise… both for death-weighing decisions and dorm-room decor.

God is BIG ENOUGH, SMART ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH, and PRESENT ENOUGH to help every single one of us with every. single. thing we can bring to Him. And even better than that: He delights to do so!! It’s His nature to do this and to not grow weary of us coming to Him.

And somehow? Somehow He will take even the most horrible & painful and create something beautiful from it in His time (Eccl 3:11).

From car-wrecks to cancer to color-schemes… “And we know that God causes everything to work together[b] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Rom. 8:28 (NLT)

May the Lord bless you this week with a special reminder of His love and concern for you and the details of your life. 🙂


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. FWIW, my college freshman DAUGHTER asked us to please bring strings of Christmas twinkle lights for her room when we came to visit. THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about.