I used to love trashy magazines (I’m talking People and the likes filled with celebrity gossip and stolen pictures). Then I had kids and started receiving Ladies Home Journal in my mailbox. When my oldest started reading, she would read anything she could get her hands on, looking at some of the articles, even in that magazine, through her eyes made me cancel the subscription. Several years ago my new favorite magazine became Real Simple. Love that magazine and everyone in the house can read every article.
Many of us have traditions we follow on this day each year. Most of us mark this day with photos ~ on the porch, on the steps, by the tree, with siblings, new haircuts, new clothes, with friends and neighbors and the dog. So many emotions wrapped up in those photos…with many of those being felt by the ones behind the cameras!
I wrote this on the day in which my first baby left for kindergarten…tomorrow she leaves for college. As I re-wrote it here I realized that at the time, in the place and stage we were, sending her away from me for even half a day was oh so significant. Thirteen years later I am stunned at how similar I feel as she leaves once more. Our kids…they grow and change, but a mother’s heart, well…its always a mother’s heart.
Everything Changed Today
the big yellow school bus
she could, she believed in what she had done. She believed she offered
in God whom she asked to guide her little girl gently and
return her safely at the end of each day.
I wrote here about this week…
My favorite devotional is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I should read it daily, I do not. In fact, I have not picked it up for months, but I am searching, and today my hands found this book again.
I’ve been enjoying the moments this summer. Although the moments are all too quickly sifting through the hourglass of this season, I am trying to be in the moment and savor them as they come along. (This seems to also have meant less writing)
I blogged about an Another Ordinary Day…but Set Apart. You can read it here.
As a 45 year old mother of 4, can I just say it is an honor to represent YOUNG mothers!!
For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage this month and are in the midst of raising four future adults. I say “future adults” as my perspective has changed as our oldest prepares to head to college in the fall…I am glad we have not raised a child as they are self-centered and are prone to throw tantrums easily.
The opportunity in May through American Mothers to attend their national convention in New York City and meet moms from across this country made me realize that what we are doing is so much larger than what we may realize on a daily basis.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in the daily tasks and believe it’s about homework, chores, practice, dinner and such. But meeting moms from Alaska to New York reminded me that we are raising up this country…in fact the next generation. The new leaders are all in our homes, so what we do on a daily basis matters in a really big way. Such as…
* Walking in integrity and with character…behind the doors of our home. This is important, its what our kids see most clearly.
* Following through on what we say.
* Apologizing when we need to…especially to them.
* Showing the tender mercies of grace and forgiveness.
* Learning what is relevant to our kids and then leading them through what for us is uncharted territory. (Who knew I would have to be talking to my middles schoolers about messages and pictures that could show up on their cell phones.)
With technology today it seems our kids are leading the way. How many of us have had our kids do things on the computer for us or show us how to use our new phones! They are moving in a world of technology many of us do not understand and so some of us stay out of it. Let me say, we can’t stay out of it. We must lead them through this even though we walk in uncharted territory. They may not look like it or sound like it, but they are looking for guidance and boundaries and we must step up and lead them.
If you have ever looked at your kids and were confused about where they came from, remember they were created by our creator and He knows them better than we do, so we go to God for guidance. He longs to direct our steps so we can help direct them in the way He created them to go.
Look to other moms. I am here today because I rub shoulders and lean on other moms for wisdom and strength, counsel and prayer. Keep or get some moms who are a little ahead of you, a lot ahead of you, right next to you and even younger than you on this parenting thing.
The truth is this, the very fabric of our nation is coming from our homes. Be reminded that from this generation, who right now we get to wrap our arms around, is coming our very next generation of leaders.
One of us is raising our future President.
All of us are raising future church and community leaders, teachers, CFO’s, CMO’s, CEO’s, managers, engineers, sales people, mechanics and so much more more.
Seeing the bigger picture can be a little overwhelming. But you and I will create this tapestry one day, and one parenting decision at a time. What an honor. I look forward to doing my part and walking alongside you as you do yours.
It is a big weekend. My daughter, Courtney, turns 18 today! Her commencement ceremony is Saturday and her graduation party will be Sunday. With much to do during this time, my mother-in-law has been in town most of the week to lend a hand. The other night while we were all in the living room enjoying some time together, Courtney crawled into the chair with me and laid her head across my lap. It was a moment to take in.