Something feels a bit “off” this week. Not bad. Different. A shift of sorts. And I now realize what it is— I have no teenaged kids anymore! Today my (six-foot) baby turns TWENTY and just like that, we are teen-less after raising three of them. We survived a span of fourteen years in teen mode—and now what? A new chapter mothering kids in their twenties. Because no matter how tall, educated, or married they are, I am “Mom” forever…
I have been keenly reminded of this beautiful truth these past few weeks, as our aforementioned birthday boy endured a particularly nasty tonsillectomy experience. Without going into gory detail, post-surgery there have been five hospital emergency visits, three cauterizations, two middle-of-the-night awakenings, one post-hemorrhage surgery, copious amounts of blood, and more Jello ingested than I ever thought possible. Poor guy. A voice major, no less. Thankfully, he is now recovering well.
But needless to say, I have been on Mom High Alert. I would have gladly taken his place. I was heartbroken watching all this transpire over the course of two long weeks but I was also aware that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and doing what I was supposed to do. Being Mom.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I had just submitted my latest manuscript for a novel coming out in February and if you’ve been here any length of time, you’ll know that this year has been a doozy with two other book releases. Honestly, much of the time I have been feeling a little out of my depth. Floundering. Fear of failing in my author life. But this health scare grounded me and I didn’t once wonder what I was doing. In my “vacation time” with no deadlines or external stresses, I was being who God created me to be for my boy. Mostly watching, waiting, praying—being there and being Mom.
Priorities come and go. Busy work, ministry, or volunteering commitments vie for our attention. Our children grow up, leave home, get married, travel, work, spread their wings. But we are always Mom. That never changes, even if the rest of our lives are barely recognizable. This is undeniably reassuring for our children, and it’s blissfully comforting for us, too. It’s who we are.
As mothers, we have this God-given spongey piece of our hearts that naturally constricts when our children are hurting. It tries to absorb as much of their pain as possible. It holds an extraordinary amount of love for them.
And this sponginess doesn’t evaporate as the years go by. It merely morphs with our kids’ needs and circumstances. As they grow, so we grow in many regards. As the nest empties, our hearts are still full.
Whatever season you are in, especially if you are a mom—I encourage you to celebrate the joys and pray for wisdom and strength every single day! Aren’t you grateful we are not in this alone? We are not just Mom, we are also daughter of the King—and He sees us. He loves us and He loves our kids more than we can ever comprehend… I find such peace in that knowledge.
“Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvelous love that he has lavished on us! He has called us and made us his very own beloved children.” 1 John 1:3a
Sometimes we need a reminder that motherhood is a gift. It’s precious. It has excruciating moments and it brings unimaginable joy. It’s unique and exhausting and the very best of everything. Definitely worth celebrating at every possible opportunity!
In my humble opinion, cake is always a good idea. And if you need an amazing no-fail recipe, here’s my PERFECT CHOCOLATE CAKE. You’re welcome. 🙂
Today in our house, we celebrate a twentieth birthday, surviving parenting many teen years, the fact that my boy can actually eat cake now, and we look forward to spending this weekend with ALL my “twenties” kids!
So cuddle your babies, listen to your middle-grader, laugh with your teen, and cheer on your young adult kid. Give them time, love, courage, and wings. Let me know what you are celebrating or how I can pray for you in the comments below or HERE. We need our fellow moms to cheer us on, don’t we? Because, friend, we are moms forever…
Until next time,
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