Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why I Love Being A Mom

I am entering Extravagant Grace's Mother's Day giveaway. Why I love being a mom: One of the reasons I love being a mom is because my children show me God.

I wrote this article about my daughter in Jan. when I first started blogging on my previous blog. She left on January 17th to go on a 5 month's missions trip with YWAM overseas. She is currently in Poland. I have not seen her since I put her on the airplane, so this Mother's Day, for the first time ever, one of my little ones will not be with me.

I remember when it came time to stop nursing my firstborn. It was the first opportunity I had to allow my child to not need me. Though I knew it was time, there were emotions that rose up, a sadness crept in as I said goodbye to a precious season of comfort and intimacy. My daughter was no longer an infant. She had entered the stage of "toddlerhood". It's funny how it all works out. You know in your head that it is the right move for your children to let them go, but there's a tug of war that goes on in your heart.

Years progressed and there were more opportunities to let go. Leaving her with her grandparents for the first time overnight, spend the night times with friends, going in a car with someone other than her dad or I. All these moments were natural moments that were part of living and letting go. 

When she was 12 years old she went on her first outreach. Three weeks away from home, though not out of the city, my daughter embarked on her missions trip. It was another monumental time of allowing my daughter to stretch her wings a little in preparation for the day when she would move into who she was created to be. She thrived in this environment. I remember I wrote her a card for every day of those 3 weeks to open and read from me. I wanted my heart to go with her.

The teenage years brought on another type of letting go. This time it was behind a vehicle that could not only kill her, but another, if not handled properly. I will never forget that first day when she drove off by herself to work. I sat waiting for the phone call that said, "I'm here, and I'm safe." You know you never stop being concerned for your child's safety, you just learn to trust God with it all.

Not long after that, came graduation and entering into legal adulthood. No longer a child, I had to let her become an adult. In some ways this stage wasn't as hard as the other stages. She was ready. She needed to be set free to live in the responsibility and freedom. She needed to be her own person, following her own dreams

Soon after becoming an adult she decided to move into an apartment with another co-worker. I didn't expect the emotions to be as strong as they were. After all she was only going to be 30 minutes away. I hugged her goodbye, got in the car and drove home . It was a helpless feeling that came over me. I realized at that point that I could no longer protect her. She was no longer under my care. She was on her own. Would she be OK? Would she be safe? Would she follow God? Had I taught her enough? Had I done enough to prepare her? Fears, questions, and doubts rose up within me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My little girl was all grown up. She was moving on to live her own life. I cried like a baby. I grieved the loss, it was part of the process of moving on.

Now 2 1/2 years later she will begin the largest adventure of her life. In 3 days she will fly across the ocean for a 5 month missions trip, a YWAM Discipleship Training School. She has always been within an hour from home. I have seen her almost every weekend for years. I will not see her for 5 months. I cannot call her at a moment's notice. What will it be like to have one who was carried close to my heart so far away? How will it be not to hear her voice throughout the day. 

It is time to let her go. She is going after God. What more could a mother desire? I know it is good and right, but my heart aches. My baby is going to spread her wings and I won't be there to witness it.

All of her life has been leading up to this. I always knew this was a possibility. She had talked of missions work as a young child, wanting to be a veterinarian missionary, who cared for the people's animals while she told them about Jesus. Yes, she was a very creative child.....still is.

As we stood worshipping in church out of the corner of my eyes I saw her surrendering her life to be a beautiful display of God to others. With my hand upon her head and my heart praying her release, God came, for both of us. We held each other close, she wept, tears filled my eyes as I tried to retain some composure, for fear I would surely cry the "ugly cry" in a room full of people.

You know no one told me about this part. I mean I knew that you let go and everything. After all I don't live with my parents anymore. I left home... So I know it is a natural part of life. But I never knew it hurt like it does.... In just a blink of an eye, time has moved in warp speed and those little ones are leaving home to live their own lives. I didn't know when I had toddlers that life would move into warp speed.

The emotions are lying underneath the surface. I can feel them. I know they are waiting..... another time of grieving and rejoicing is on the horizon. Another opportunity of letting go. 

May I let go with grace, Papa, like you do.

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." II Corinthians 9:8


Becoming Me said... Reply to comment

That was so beautiful and tenderly written Julie. I glean so much from your wisely chosen words. You are such a wonderful example of a loving mother.

Amy said... Reply to comment


Your words certainly hit home with
me! My Christa is graduating in 3 weeks. It's hard to believe that she is about to enter into her next phase of life. I'm gearing myself up for letting's bittersweet.

Thanks for sharing your heart.

Love you!

Elisa said... Reply to comment

Oh, Julie, this is just what I hoped would flow from the hearts of women when I put up this giveaway. Younger moms, like myself, with toddlers still underfoot need to be reminded of the sacredness of this time in life. We know in our heads, but God used your words to penetrate my heart. Thanks so much for sharing. I am so blessed!

Love, In His Extravagant Grace,

Greg said... Reply to comment

I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about mother-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Mom's Little Angel.

Gregory E. Lang
Author of “Daddy’s Little Girl,” “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad,” “Why a Daughter Needs a Mom” and more.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

It is amazing, isn't it? It's not like I thought they'd always live with me, I just never thought through the process of actually letting them go. Everyday, I realize more and more what a gift we've been given, and how fleeting a gift it is.
Now I need to go and hug my kids. Thanks for such a touching picture.
Love the way you do what you do!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

I'm sitting here about to have the ugly cry myself after reading that beautiful post, my friend. Thank you for ministering to this mother's heart. Each day is one more step toward their independence from us and their dependence on the Father.

Bless you this Mother's Day. I'll be thinking of you.


Hannah said... Reply to comment

Hey mom!!
Ah I love this blog so much. Every time I read it it makes me cry! You are such an awesome mom and I wish I could be there for Mother's Day! I miss all the way over here in Poland!! Only 6 more weeks and I am home again!
I love you!
P.S. I updated my blog so let Lamb know....I forgot to tell you in my email ha ha...also my sermon is on there too! Love you!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello! It feels like I've been gone forever! But a day with the third graders can do that to a mom...That was funny about the stingray, mainly because there were some white bats that we saw, and when I read your comment, I thought: Did I post that picture? I left it off, needless to say. Your post was so touching, it brought tears to my eyes. You must be so proud of how your daughter is choosing to begin her life. She is a beautiful young lady. And what a treat to see a visit from her in your comments! You are a very special lady, and your children are so blessed to have such a lovely mother.
:) (I have to make those smilies too! I think there is a trick to them, but I don't know.)

Joy @ Joy in the Journey said... Reply to comment

Well, maybe you didn't want to go into the ugly cry, but you made me go into it!!
This touched my heart on many levels. For one, I'm the mom who is still in the little kid phase, and thinking about letting them go and how fast it will come, and I'm wondering how I will do at it?!
Also, I can see a little of what my own mother must have felt/still feels as she had to let me and her grandkids move overseas.
Thank you for this. Your blog is truly inspiring.

Heather@Mommymonk said... Reply to comment

What more could a mom ask for? That sums it all up. It's what I'm hoping for in ten years. To watch my kids leave the protection of my home and stand alone under the protection of God.

kmom3 said... Reply to comment

I actually think that was one of the first posts I ever read by you! :) I love your heart for your family!
Thanks for your comment over at my place! I loved what you shared about Jesus being a rule breaker!
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
Love and Blessings,

Susan said... Reply to comment

Hey Julie,

Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate your prayers. Your daughter is so beautiful, all of your children are!

I will be praying for her as she is away answering the call on her life. I know you must be so proud of her.

Oh, looks like you just celebrated your 25th! How exciting.

Blessings to you♥

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I too am one of the moms in the toddler stage and very unaware of what is ahead... this post is beautiful. It gives me hope that as I continue to seek His face as you obviously have, maybe I too will be able to let go with grace as each season comes my way! Julie, your children are beautiful and no doubt because their parents love the Lord with all their hearts!
Happy Mother's Day!

Marsha said... Reply to comment

This is beautiful. I understand the emotions completely. Our second born, Laura, God has called to full time, career foreign missions. She and her precious family are in Kenya.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, my friend! Everytime I check in and see your daughter's beautiful face, I see you in her too! I pray you are having a wonderful Monday. Looks like I'm heading into another busy week...and I'm still trying to catch up on all the things I missed from last week! Remind me to slow down and thank Papa for my blessings, please...You are so very good at that.
Thinking of you...

Pat said... Reply to comment

I LOVE your new BLOG look. Your beautiful family adds so much to your message. It made me smile just to look at all of you.
I wanted to ask if you would take a new look at "Pantylines". I have just recharged it after a time away. I have appreciated your past comments and would love to have you join me in writing this fun but important look into some of the things we women face today as we attempt to reveal God through our Christian influence. I would be thrilled to have your older daughters input on any of these topics as well!
Blessings to you,

lori said... Reply to comment

I'm glad you are nearby, I'll likely need your wisdom and experience soon!
That was beautiful and I pray that I will give them wings to fly in the paths that God wants for them. You've done well....good and faithful one...what a blessing for the world you have raised.

Isn't there peace that if you can't be there...
PAPA is with her always...what more does she need...

I've got tears again!!
Julie that was just beautiful!

Teri said... Reply to comment

Thank you for sharing this Julie. Your family is beautiful. I pray for my kids daily that they will grow to be servants of God...mostly that they will know the Fathers love and that it would compell them to lay down their lives for Him.
There is so long to go...but I have faith.

Kate said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful testimony of all that 'Papa' is doing in your heart! Thank you for stopping by my blog and for commenting! :) God bless your day and bring your daughter home safe and sound when the time come!

Amanda said... Reply to comment

I;m so sad right now, my boy lied to me about 2 littel kids that broke something. I know its sounds so small and yet I'm so sad that he did this becasue he wanted to get them in trouble, and yet they didnt do anything. It happend the day beofre as well and I was soft spoken and careful in my words when it happened again tonight I told him we would talk about it latter. The latter just happend and I'm just so upset, why would he do this?
Broken up.