It’s time to prepare for next school year here at Sovereign Grace Academy, that’s the name we gave our school for Lauren’s diploma.

Yes, my firstborn, Lauren Kassidy, has graduated and now has a diploma. What an emotional time that whole experience was. I don’t usually hold back my feelings from my family. I mean, I let them see the good, the bad, the ugly in my life (the real me) and hope they can love me anyway. So far, so good.

But when Lauren graduated last May, I felt an obligation to reign in my emotions in a way like never before. I didn’t want my sadness at closing this chapter in her life dampen her joy of having completed this chapter in her life. It was hard. And now that I’m writing this, she’s going to know all about it since she reads my blog. Oh well. I don’t think I hid it that well anyway. I’ve always been a “what you see is what you get” type of gal.

But I did try.

After “Pomp & Circumstance” was over, our teary speeches were given, the party cleaned up, and Lauren settled into her first class at Cameron University, I found time to finally close out our school year. I had already averaged the grades and written the report cards. Now it was time to cull through a year’s worth of school work, save precious items for the kids’ portfolios and make room for next year’s work. I usually keep a folder for each child in my cabinet (Lauren’s is pictured above), save completed assignments throughout the year in that folder, and then remove the special ones and place them in another folder labeled with their name, year, and grade. I keep that in another file and toss the work I don’t want to save. I repeat the process for next year. This time, though, I didn’t need a new folder for Lauren’s items. I just used the one I had been using over and over for her current work. I could do this because next year, she wouldn’t have any current work. Not for me to keep anyway.

The emotions overwhelmed my mind all at once. Her last folder. Her last report card. Her last test. Her last composition. Her ACT scores. Her acceptance letter to Cameron. Her scholarship award letter. The end of one chapter was merging with the beginning of a new one.

I sighed deeply, and then I smiled. This is what we had been working toward for thirteen years. Through sickness, traveling, and moving. Through heartache, loss, and grief. Through joy, triumph, and celebration. Through struggles with fractions, algebra, writing assignments, and biology. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, this was our ultimate goal: graduation, college, and the future that God has for her.

I sigh because it is over. I smile because we made it. By the grace of God, we made it.

Way to go, Lauren. Thank you for going on this ride with me. I love you!

4 thoughts on “Sighing and Smiling

  1. elnasmith says:

    Congratulations! Your first born is finally in college. You have been Lauren’s teacher from childhood and it must indeed be very challenging for you to let her go. She’s an adult now and you’ve done your job in raising her in the way of the Lord. Well done! You got the small ones you can focus your attention to. Will keep Lauren in prayer that God will protect her; that she won’t be influenced by ‘the world’ and will also keep you in prayer as you continue to teach your other children. So proud of you for homeschooling your kids, and so proud of Lauren too. Many blessings to you and the family.


  2. Carolyn Courtney says:

    It is hard enough to see a child move on to the next stage of life when you haven’t been the only contributor, but to have one graduate when you have been the only teacher for thirteen years must truly be overwhelming! I can only imagine the depth of your emotions of sadness and joy at this time. Congratulations to you and to Lauren!


  3. Victoria says:

    My oldest graduated this year also, although we won’t be having a ceremony/party until August. It is definitely a time full of many different emotions. By the way, where did you find those report cards?


    1. Hi, Vickie! Congratulations to your daughter and to you! The report cards are included with the planner I buy each year from Well Planned Gal. I order the planner here: You can also get them from CBD but the price is the same. Thank you for commenting!


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