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An interesting quote from my son Jake is: “Some days, it’d be nice to go back to the days when all I had to worry about was how much candy I was going to get that day. Meaningful words coming from a type 1 diabetic and a rookie with the New Orleans Saints. (Nick on left, Jake on right)

When my daughter Betsy (below) is overwhelmed, she whines, “I want to play Barbies with Jake and Nick.” (In defense of Nick and Jake, though Betsy calls them Barbies, the boys had G.I. Joe figures. Right guys?!)

I’m still keeping Nick’s toys in a tote container in the corner of a room in the basement, though the days are gone when he’d pull out the army dudes and Hotwheels and stretch out on the race car rug.

I miss the days when I was in charge of candy, and a trip to Wal-Mart always meant buying a Barbie outfit and two .77 cent cars. (If the kids were good, which they always were).

Now, Nick is preparing to make a college decision and maybe graduate early.

Betsy is making her final preparations to fly off to London to study for a semester.

And Jake…well…

An NFL player?

Still trying to wrap my mind around all of this. How can I let these babies go off and do big people stuff? I want to give them candy and set them on the race car rug where they belong. But no, they’re playing big people games (like professional football), taking off to new places, and avoiding sugar to stay fit and healthy.

After Jake’s few weeks break between rookie camp and regular season camp, he had to pass a timed fitness test. Not passing meant being cut from the team. I’d really been praying for Jake and was delighted when his text came in that he’d passed.

Later, while at my small neighborhood market, a store employee asked, “How’s the fam?” I reported the good news from Jake. I explained how we’d been praying and how Jake said he felt God was running with him.

The man asked, “Do you think God really cares about this stuff? Like football?” It was not a challenge question, but an inquisitive thought.

My answer: “Sure He does.”

God is within us and beside us on our journey on this earth, and He does care about all that happens in our lives. He’s a loving Father who cares. He’s our Savior who shed blood and died for us. He’s the Holy Spirit that speaks and guides us. He is our Creator, who has a plan and purpose for each of us.

Specifically, does God care about football? Well, although I hope God is a Saints fan, for sure, he’s a Jake, Betsy, Nick and you and me fan. Perhaps He cares more about what Jake does with football. Through playing football, Jake hopes to inspire and encourage young people with diabetes. That’s a worthy cause. I think God cares about that. Type one diabetes is a challenging disease for kids as well as their parents.

God cares about all of us-our dreams and plans-and there’s Grace available to help achieve our God-ordained and God-blessed goals. Hard work and prayers help.

It’s going to be a tough road ahead for Jake as a rookie in the NFL, for Betsy flying off to a foreign country, and for Nick leaving high school and entering college. I’m sure they will each have moments of wishing all they had to worry about was candy and what Barbie (ahem…G.I. Joe) was going to wear. Being an adult is tough, It means heard work, pressing on no matter what. But don’t worry, God is with us, running beside us, through it all.

As a Mom, I just need to let go…and remember my kids are big enough and so is their God. More than candy and toys, now they mostly need their mom’s prayers.