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Monday, August 9, 2010

College Bound

These sweet people are members of our church.  They are the Ralph family.  Today, they are traveling to Bluffington, Ohio to help the oldest child, Birchel, get settled in at college.  Last evening at church we had a send-off celebration for Birchel.  Ohio is a long way from SW Florida so I'm sure you can imagine some of the emotions running through this family; especially the mom!  This is not only her firstborn, but the only boy in the family.

Birchel is such a fine young man.  He is quiet and has such a sweet spirit about him; always respectful and helpful.  And he also happens to be Bentley's football hero!
I took that picture of Birchel and Bentley last year at our church's Fall Festival.  He wanted his picture taken with Birchel while he had his football uniform on.  When we were getting ready to go t church last night, I was explaining telling Bentley about Birchel going to college and how we were going to have a party after church to say our good-byes since he would be leaving on Monday.  Bentley was concerned about not getting to see Birchel at church every Sunday for a while!  He really looks up to him!

We took brownies for the party.  Birchel always likes my brownies.  They are nothing special, just the Duncan Hines Fudge Brownie mix, but he loves them.  I promised him before we left that he could expect some "brownie" packages on his dorm doorstep occasionally.  So, I've got to find out how to send them to him through the mail.  Anyone know the way to do that?
As you can tell, little miss-priss (aka. JennaBeth) sat with the big girls and had "nacks" just like she was one of them!  The girl to JennaBeth's right in the orange shirt is Christina, Birchel's baby sister.
Here are the Ralph's with a few additions including Bentley down front in the brown shirt, Cecily to the right of Christina (orange shirt), Marissa, and Grace.

College is a big transition in a young person's life.  Change is taking place and there will be many adjustments for Birchel and his family, but they will be and do fine.  They love the Lord and their heart's desire is to serve Him in all they do.  Can I ask you to do me a favor and join me in praying for Birchel as he embarks on this next phase of his life?  And pray for his family too, especially today and the rest of this week as they travel to Ohio to get him settled in on campus?  And if you have time, leave a prayer or scripture in the comments; I'd love to have his mom and dad read this post and be encouraged by your thoughts for them!

Sovereign God,
I praise You for Your grace and Your mercy that is new every morning.  You are a compassionate and loving God!  I lift up the Ralph family today as they travel to Ohio to take their firstborn to college.  Watch over them on the road as they travel.  Go before them and make this a trip full of sweet memories and safe travel.
Be with Birchel in a special way as he begins this new phase in his life.  May his transition into college and new responsibilities be smooth and paved with a double portion of Your grace.  May Birchel be a shining light for you on that campus.  Provide strong friendships for him that will encourage him in his faith.  May he have a heightened sensitivity to the work of and leadership of the Holy Spirit in his life.  Use his faithfulness to You in a mighty way in Ohio to draw others to You.
Watch over him and protect him from the enemy of his soul.  We trust you with this young man!  I know you have a plan and a future for Birchel, one to prosper him and not to harm him, but one that gives him a future of hope!  May he draw close to you and walk in Your ways!