I’m (finally) growing up!

Do you have a moment when you look back at your youth and know that you just experienced a huge step in your maturity? All of time suddenly stood still and you knew, in that flash of a second, that you had just done something that was significantly more mature than you expected of yourself…and you were surprised.

I remember that moment for me. I had been super busy at college, super busy in my new job, super busy taking care of my new efficiency (tiny apartment), and super busy with a new relationship with this handsome, fudge-brown eyed guy – too busy to maintain relationship with my Mom. She was feeling a bit left out of my new life, as well as a bit lonely for our usual gabbing sessions. I knew it, but had been too busy to do anything about it.

On the way home for a weekend visit, I stopped by a small florist and spent nearly every cent I had to buy her a beautiful bouquet, knowing that when I went back to my apartment at the end of the weekend, these bright colored flowers would cheer her.

While I was waiting for the bus that would take me within a few blocks of my folks’ business, I zipped into the pharmacy to buy some gum to keep from getting sick on the bus. (OH UGH – there is nothing like riding on a city bus – b.o., alcohol, mothballs, cloying perfume, the smell of diesel – my stomach churns at the mere thought)

Performing a balancing act with my purse, my backpack, my overnight bag and Mom’s flowers took some effort. I asked the cashier if she could hold the flowers, so I didn’t crush them under my books. She agreed and immediately buried her face into them. I noticed as she did that, her eyes filled with tears. I paid for my gum and asked if she was okay. She smiled gently and replied that the flowers reminded her of the flowers her son used to bring her, when they lived in London years before. I asked what brought her to Indiana and that one question opened a floodgate of memories and sharing of the son who had brought her to America and then passed away, leaving her all alone and unable to return to England, her home country.

An hour and a half and three buses later, I was still standing there, listening to her story. No one else came into the store – we were all alone, there wasn’t even another employee in the place. As she finished, I leaned across the counter, pulled out one rose, to give to my mom, and handed the rest back to her. “I think your son would like it if I gave you these flowers. They were intended for my Mom, but I am still able to give her flowers another time. I’d really like you to have these.” She argued and wanted to pay me for them – I simply smiled, reached over, squeezed her hand and insisted. I gathered my things and we exchanged hugs and I left – me to catch a bus and her to weep into a bouquet of roses and lilies and carnations. I knew, in that moment, that I had grown up.

This past week, I think I have experienced some of that same kind of growing up. I was able to see an issue for what it really was, I was able to see the heart of the situation and was I able to enjoy it.

You know, I think I am finally growing up.

(Here is the situation that I was involved in: The story is here. Just so you know – the measure of my maturity (the one that caught me by surprise?) came when she asked me and my response was, with all sincerity, “I know your heart – so my answer is yes.” Whodda thunk I had it in me?!!! Not me!!) πŸ˜†

16 Responses to “I’m (finally) growing up!”
  1. Valerie says:

    It wouldn’t let me see the note! (lovely story, Dawn.)

  2. javadawn says:

    Val, thanks for the heads up! I’ll change the link immediately. πŸ™‚

  3. Margie says:

    Guess I can’t view the facebook either…you’re gonna have to post it here!

    Such an awesome story.

    I think the time I realized I was growing up was the year that I was more excited to see the gifts I had given opened on Christmas morning than I was to open the gifts I was receiving. Not quite the story you have πŸ™‚ but a sign of some maturity none the less.

  4. javadawn says:

    Hey Lady of Blue, I think I’ve got it fixed now. Check it and see – be sure to look at the pics, too. πŸ˜€

    I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about – I had a Christmas like that not too many years ago myself. I bet, though, if you thought about it, you could find another story – similar to mine, in your youth where you could make the same observation. It sure causes me to stop and thank Father that His work is much greater than I.

  5. Valerie says:

    Very cool! I always think that if it isn’t something permanent, or a question of morals, eh. Let the teens do it. Love the hair! Go Danica!

  6. Good story, Dawn. BTW, I’m still growing up.

  7. javadawn says:


    OH ME TOO – it was just one of those moments where I saw that I had been able to discern that which was important and of eternal value up against that which was of temporal concern. I would love to think that will become the norm – but I know my flesh. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜•

    Val, I’ll tell her you said so. πŸ™‚

  8. Valerie says:

    Do! I think you’ve got one awesome daughter there – she is making an impact in the Kingdom, and I am cheering her all the way from Australia.


  9. javadawn says:

    πŸ˜€ She’ll love to hear it. (Our “adopted” son from Australia is giving her a bit of a hard time, so it’s nice to know you’re balancing him out. We keep threatening to give him a purple streak when he comes next month to visit.) :lol

  10. Margie says:

    Oh, I was so thrilled to read the story and view the pictures. Purple is my favorite color you know! πŸ™‚

    This remindes me of a time when I was single and managing a women’s clothing store. I had a college student that worked for me receiving merchandise. She was always one to do something different with her hair and one day she told me that she was going to dye it purple. I immediately thought “eggplant” purple. Her natural color was very dark brown so dark brown + purple = eggplant in my mind. What I had not considered was that she had gone from dark brown to platinum (think Marilyn Monroe). It’s a wonder that the poor girl’s hair didn’t fall out or off with all those chemicals. Well, anyway, she walked in the door after dying her hair purple with crayola crayon purple hair! I just laughed and asked her why she had decided to do purple in the first place. Her reply “I’m a student, I am graduating soon and will have a ‘real’ job in the real world with a boss that won’t laugh at my purple hair like you did but will fire me instead. It was now or never!”

    Danica’s reply to that question was much like this young girl’s. Because I can…Christ gives us the freedom to dye our hair purple, or green or….oh, I think I will stick with purple πŸ™‚ And, by the way, the young lady that worked for me was supposed to model in a fashion show we were doing. She told me she would completely understand if I insisted that she just stay in the back room and work receivables. I had her model…purple hair and all.

    As for other “growing up stories” I will have to think on that.

    I am still growing up as well. Another friend from my past used to say “you are only young once but you can be immature your entire life.” Your post on this one has taken me down memory lane. What fun.

  11. Jen S says:

    Did you know Paul David Tripp’s son died his hair green (i think lol) before he was supposed to speak at a church the following day? He didn’t initially respond as you did…it was a good illustration, one that came to mind as I read this, that he used in his shepherding a child’s heart video seminar with Tedd Tripp.

    BTW, how’s the book Violet recommended for you?

  12. Jen S says:

    make that dyed

  13. Kristine says:

    For some reason I was picturing PURPLE! purple. Can’t wait to see it IRL. πŸ˜€

    You Clarks always make me smile.

    OK, I give up – what book did Violet recommend to you?

  14. javadawn says:

    Jen, πŸ˜† I can see that that would be uh…. rawther disconcerting.

    Kristine – it’s darker than it looks in the photos. πŸ˜€ It’s funny – she has had people AVOID her since seeing it. I mean like cross the street to keep from talking to her. AND the funniest part of it is, they spoke to her the other day, when she her hair in a pony tail, with a ball cap on. (The purple was there then, but they didn’t see it) BUT, two days later, when they saw her – and COULD see the purple stripe, they pretended that they didn’t see her. (One guy was less than a foot in front of her, turned his head and pretended to not see her. πŸ™„ They were the only people on the sidewalk. LOLOL)

  15. javadawn says:

    OH – Violet’s book “The Quest for More” Paul David Tripp.

  16. myderbe says:

    Good for her. And good for you! πŸ™‚

    You know, a mom of a student in my son’s class — a mom who is here in full-time ministry too — dyed her hair blue recently. Not sure why. It is usually blonde. Then it was blue. Then it looked sort of blackish/blueish. Now it’s blonde again. Not sure why, I didn’t ask. But my son thought it was really funny when he went there to play one day. “Momma, ____’s momma has BLUE hair! I didn’t know you could have blue hair!” πŸ™‚

    I can easily imagine how that would open a lot of doors and be a conversation starter.

    And the purple streak is really quite pretty. My daughters would love it.

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