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One of my 2 daughters came home this evening. She has been gone working all summer at a remote hunting lodge in the Talkeetna Mountains, called Stephan Lake Lodge. The opportunity came in June, and less than 24 hours after finding out about the job, she was gone. There isn’t any cell service out there, but they did have some internet capabilities, so we were able to stay in contact through Instagram messenger throughout the summer, I love technology!

Throughout this experience, it’s been interesting to see the growth. She was hired along with a friend, who was the daughter of the lady hired to clean and cook the lodge and outbuildings. The job was way too big for one person, so she was able to get permission to hire her daughter and mine to come help. I am grateful that she was the one out there, as she is a friend and I knew that I could trust her to take care of my daughter while she was out there. Otherwise, I don’t know if I would have been able to say ok when my daughter expressed an interest in going, nor do I think she would have considered going under different circumstances.

Through her messages though, I found a new confidence that she hasn’t necessarily always had. We have always had our kids work, and when they were old enough, they worked for their dad. But being on a job where it’s not family changes the dynamic a little. She has always been a good worker if she enjoyed the job, but she has learned to just buckle down and get it done, no matter what it is, or how much she would rather not.

She has never been a fan of physical touch. If her brother’s touched her, whether to give her a high five, give her a hug, or poke her to annoy her, she had a problem with it. Not that she doesn’t still have a problem with it, but she tolerates the hugs without too much objection. She was excited to be home, at our house, in her own room, in her own bed, around family (though she gained a sister is the friend she went out there with). She also told us she was excited to have a bathroom fan, it’s funny what we appreciate when we don’t have it.

But, the boys haven’t really noticed the changes, and I hope that at some point they can see the changes and the differences in who she is becoming. It’s hard to maintain change when we are around people who don’t ever recognize the changes we are trying to make or, because of the other person’s lack of change, they try to keep us the way we were, because they don’t want to change or see things differently. It is amazing how many people in this world don’t believe that people can change, that people can become better. I think it is fascinating to listen to people who have led rough lives, been to prison, and have realized that wasn’t what they wanted, and ultimately changed who they were. We see those stories and are super inspired by them, but how often do we let someone in our own lives, who maybe have hurt us, or caused us problems, how often do we let them change into a better person. Or do we try to hold them back, never being willing to forgive and let them move on? Normally the problems are never that big, but the consequences are just as devastating when we don’t let people grow. I am grateful for the people in my life that have allowed me the opportunity to grow and change. I am grateful for the opportunity to fully forgive others so that I don’t have that burden in my life. Is there someone in your life that you can allow to grow? Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Take that opportunity this week. You and they will then be able to progress forward.

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