Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Baby is Getting Married!

Taylor is getting married in 3 days!!! My second oldest child and oldest daughter is getting married!

It hit me yesterday. My heart ached and was thrilled all at the same time. Why does it move a mother's heart to such depths when her children are officially and permanently "grown up"?

Taylor is marrying a wonderful man! I am blessed that she is adding another amazing son to my family. She will eventually make me a Grandma, which, I am predicting, will be the pinnacle of joy in my life. I get to be even more amazed by her as I watch her grow into the amazing woman she is and is meant to be. She will be a wife. She will be a mother.

My baby is going to be a wife and mother.

Moms... dads.... this is the deep place I mentioned before....Where did the time go? And it feels like it's up.

Oh, the questions it raises in the mind and heart of a mother who loves her daughter so.

Did I do my job well? If I could attempt to reflect on how this question FEELS INSIDE OF ME, it would look more like this:


Is it just me or does this question haunt every mother when she knows her time is up? Not that I really believe that my time is up... we have a beautiful friendship now and I know that mothers play a lifelong role in shaping and influencing their children. So why does this question haunt me so?

Is it that nothing in my life has more profoundly or effectively revealed my fear of failure than motherhood?

I have faced this demon before. Many times. And especially with Taylor. She has been through more than most 23 year olds. She has been through more than a lot of 43 year olds.

"How could I have let that happen to her?"

"Where was I when she needed me most?"

"Did I do enough to make her feel safe, loved and cherished?"

"Does she know that she's perfect in my eyes no matter how much I got on her about the little things?"

"Oh if I could go back and undo this and do that..."
"Does she know that this is how I will see her this Saturday?"

I wish I would've been better for her. Better for all of them..... I want to go back and know then what I know now.... but I can't.
Even as I think these thoughts, I am reminded.......That's what Grace is for.

If I live with regret, then I live defeated. If I let yesterday's shortcomings overshadow me today, there is no hope for change tomorrow. 

If I truly believe that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose," then I have no need for regrets! How can I regret something that ends up being used for my good. Or for hers?

I either believe for the good or I live in powerless regret. 

I made a choice to believe a long time ago. Today, as I reflect on 23 years of mothering Taylor, I remind myself:

No regrets! Only joy!

God has chosen imperfect people to raise imperfect people. I must embrace the thing I like least about myself: My humanity. 
I have failed at times. But I have succeeded, too.

I have fallen short, but I have been there, too.

I have been selfish, but I have loved sacrificially.

I am a mother

This is what I know: I absolutely adore my daughter and she is getting married on Saturday! In her heart she is the same sweet little princess she was when I held her in my arms....when she played with her babies.... when she dressed up and got into my makeup. She has always had the most generous heart you will find. And she is as spunky today as she was when she stuck her tongue out at her brothers everyday for 7 months straight no matter how much trouble she got into for doing it. And am I glad she is! That spunk has propelled her through obstacles that would have paralyzed others. But not my girl. She obliterated those obstacles. Nothing stops her. She is my hero. 

And it will be the honor and privilege of my lifetime to walk her down the aisle and give her to a man who deserves all of the love she has to give. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Being a Mother....

Mother's Day. It's a time when mothers reflect.

I have much to reflect on.

Just over 10 YEARS of pregnancy. Yes, I said years.

Twenty years of changing diapers. (July of 1988 to July of 2008 with no break in between.)

Twelve years of homeschooling 7 of my children.

Countless boo-boos, tears, fears and my all time favorite: chubby cheeked kisses.

Most people think I'm nuts. I kind of am, I can admit that.

I was crazy enough to believe that love would be enough.

I was crazy enough to think that each life entrusted to me had a destiny greater than anything I could've mustered up and that it was my mission to see to it that they fulfilled that destiny.

I was crazy enough to believe that God was my kids' Father and that He would never fail them. Even if their earthly father was an alcoholic and their mother was a card-carrying enabler.

I was crazy enough to believe that for all that we lacked, both their mom and their dad, that their Heavenly Father would take care of them, some how, some way.

I was crazy enough to say, "Lord, you decide what lives come into this world through this body and this family." And I have the stretchmarks to prove it. On my belly and on my heart.

Having a whole bunch of kids was the smartest 'dumb' thing I ever did. (Yes, people have thought and said that I must be flat out DUMB. That's okay with me. I live for an audience of ONE.)

My children have been the greatest hardest thing I have ever 'done'.

I started out as a 16 year old mother with braces and 80's hairband hair. My pride was as big as my hair, too. I was selfish, foolish and naive. But I loved my son. I adored my son.

I didn't care much about me... but he was reason enough for me straighten up and fly right.

I married at 18 and had 3 kids by the time I was 20. I loved my babies. I had no idea how to teach them but man, did I love them.

I had 8 more. And then got one more to make it an even dozen.

I made so so many mistakes. I wanted every good thing for them and I couldn't give it.  Most of all, I DIDN'T want every bad thing for them that I couldn't prevent.

Being a mother taught me to pray.

Here was my most profound prayer: "Please, Lord, don't let me ruin my children!"

Do you know a parent who hasn't ruined their kid in some way??? We do the best we can with what we know, right? Imperfect parents raise imperfect children. We are all flawed.

But I wanted to get it right so so bad.

I read every book and article I could get my hands on. I went to conferences, bible studies...I talked to other moms. I tried SO HARD.

I cried out to God. And He heard me.

He began to shine His light. I began to see things I didn't see before. I began to sound a little bit like I had always wanted to sound. I began to act a little bit, like I had always wanted to act. Then a little bit more. And a little bit more.

(I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!)

Being a mother changed me. 

By loving them, I learned how my Father loves me.

By wanting every good thing possible for them, and not being able to give it to them myself, I learned how to pray with faith and receive.

By watching them struggle through pain and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I learned compassion.

By watching them grow into the men and women they were destined to be, I have become the woman I was meant to be.

How do I tell my treasures, my babies, my gifts from Heaven.........

I'm sorry that your dear little lives had to be a tool to grow your Momma.....

And yet.... I am not sorry. Because we have grown together. And on this Mother's Day, each one of your lives and hearts is a gift to me all over again.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Love for You Will Never End

I decided to start a new blog in honor of my precious beautiful and amazing children. You, my dears, have been the greatest tool God has used in my life for growth. You have taught me to love like The Father loves... (and I'm still learning.) Thank you for your patience with me and teaching me more than I could ever possibly teach you.

My first entry, on this first day of 2013 will be the first poem I wrote and dedicated to each one of you.

To Jesse, Taylor, Alex, Kelsey, Jacob, Jonah, Maci, Isaac, Ella, Eli, Ave and Nick:

To My Precious Children:  My Love For You Has No End

No matter what, why or when
My love for you has no end.
Ups and downs, highs and lows
from my heart this love will flow.
Whether its received or not
This love I give will never stop.
Misunderstood at times, I know
That is when it only grows.
Your hearts are what I love the most
Precious, dear, I hold them close.
I see the good and gifts in you
My love for you each day renewed.
The smartest thing I ever did
Was say, "Lord, Please choose my kids.
Give me all the ones YOU want.
I'll hold their hands and love their hearts."
HE spoke: "They will change the World someday
But you will not understand the way.
My ways are higher than your ways
And my plans for them will NOT be swayed."
"I trust you, LORD," was my response
And LOVE Himself became our bond.
You're the greatest thing I've ever done
You're the greatest prize I've ever won.
No matter where your road goes
My love for you will always show.
You're the joy of my life my Daughters & Sons
My love for you can't be undone.
No matter what, where or when
My love for you has no end.