My New Season of Motherhood

If you follow me on social media, then you know that for the past few weeks, our family has been busy as my son’s senior year of high school has come to an end – prom, awards ceremonies, special class activities, exams and graduation.  Allow me to briefly tell you about my son, Daniel.

Five months into my pregnancy, Lance & I found out we were having a son.  We were so very excited!  I could not wait to meet him!  Before he was born, I dreamed about what he’d look like (although my ultrasound pictures showed he favored Lance more than me!), what his personality would be like and what God would do in his life.  I loved him before I even knew him – kind of weird, but if you’re a mom, you know what I mean.

When I met my little boy after his birth, I was in love.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was.  I loved holding him and staring at him.  We were bonded for life.  As he grew through infancy and the toddler years, my sweet Daniel was one happy little boy.  He hardly ever cried, his personality was so laid back and calm, his eyes made my heart melt and he had the most adorable chubby cheeks that were perfect for a million kisses.  He was an ‘easy’ baby and preschooler.

During his early school years, he loved school and was enthusiastic about learning.  Things took a turn during his fourth grade year and for the next 4 years, his enthusiasm turned to academic struggle and many frustrating, tear-filled nights for him (and me).  But thankfully, that time didn’t change his personality.  His adolescent years were surprisingly pleasant. Even as a high-schooler, he still loved to plop down on my bed to talk.  To this day, I enjoy his company – he is kind, gentle and very funny.  He always makes me laugh.

Daniel has been fascinated with cars since he was a toddler – he has built a pretty impressive Hot Wheels collection over the years.  About a year and a half ago, he got his learner’s permit to drive a real car.  Good times driving around with a teenager driver!  He always handled the car well and was very comfortable driving, so I knew he’d be fine when it came time to get his driver’s license.  Well, earlier this spring, he obtained his driver’s license and let me tell ya…the first time he drove my car alone, I was a wreck!  I sat on my bed, weeping, feeling like my heart would not beat again until he texted me when he arrived at his destination.  All was well when I received that text and I could resume breathing – until I realized that he had to drive home alone later that evening.  Repeat crying and a stopped heart until I heard him pull up outside.  It took such an emotional toll on me that I went to bed soon after he arrived home!

As his mom, I have always wanted to protect him and his sister.  If they were with me, I knew they were safe.  But the moment that my son was operating a motor vehicle outside of my ‘protective arms’, I couldn’t deal with it.  God showed me that I was a control freak.  As long as I was in the car watching out for idiot drivers, Daniel was safe.  How could I protect him if he was driving alone?  I really needed to rely on God to keep a hedge of protection around him.

As my son enters a new season of life and I enter a new season of motherhood, I am reminded of a few things:

  • Lance & I are finished raising Daniel.  This year, the catchphrase around our house has been ‘moving from dependence to independence’.  We have tried to be very proactive about that.
  • Our role is now to advise and guide as Daniel needs.  We have raised him the best we could; now it’s time for him to make his own decisions.  It won’t always be easy seeing him find his own way but he has much to learn through wise – and unwise – choices.  We are trusting that his relationship with Christ and what we’ve taught him will help him to navigate those unchartered waters.
  • God will still hear my mama prayers.  Just because my son is now an adult doesn’t mean that my mama prayers will end.  My parents still pray daily for my siblings and me.  I will still keep my son lifted up in prayer to my Heavenly Father.

Daniel is such a great young man.  Not only do I love him…I like him.  I’m excited to see him enter this new season of life as a young adult.  I’m also excited for this new season of motherhood and all that I’ll learn.  Pray for this mama, friends!


Mother’s Day

This past Mother’s Day was special for so many reasons. Here are a few highlights:

The morning began with a handmade photo collage given to me by my daughter, Kennedy.  The collage was a mix of pictures of her as a baby and as a teen; many of the pictures were of the two of us.  It is one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received.  My son, Daniel, gave me a Starbucks gift card.  He really knows how to speak my language (hint, hint).

Once we arrived at church, we did last-minute prep for the busy morning ahead.  Because there were six (6) children being baptized, we presented each child with a handmade prayer shawl (I’ll share the back story on this in another post – it’s a really cool story!)  In addition, we had our elementary children join us in the Worship Center during the baptisms.  Not only did they witness the baptisms, they were able to accept the charge given by our Senior Pastor to be a good example to the children being baptized and doing their best to help them know and follow Jesus.  It was such a special thing to have the children join us for this special milestone event.

I should also mention that our Senior Pastor’s sermon talked about the importance of Children’s Ministry in our church and following through on the commitment during baptisms and dedications to help parents raise their children to know and love God. It was a very compelling sermon, encouraging people to get involved and serve in Children’s Ministry.  While Pastor John was speaking, photos scrolled through on the screens of our volunteers and ministry in action.  It all tied in together so beautifully. We were even blessed to meet people moved by the Pastor’s words who signed up to serve in our ministry!

Also, we had a mini recruiting campaign that asked for a few good men to sign up to serve in our ministry as a Mother’s Day gift to the moms.  Well, we wanted to give a small token of appreciation to the men who signed up.  Here’s a pic of what we offered them:

We filled a plastic tumbler with individually-wrapped Lifesavers candies and then tied on a gift tag with curling ribbon.  A simple gift that all of the men appreciated – some even cracked it open before leaving the building!

After such a wonderful day at church, our family gathered together and enjoyed good food, fun (including games with a cash prize!) and fellowship – and a few gifts.

Overall, it was a great Mother’s Day from beginning to end.  I’m so thankful.

How did you spend your Mother’s Day?


Praying for Romeo (or Juliet)

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

My daughter’s 9th Grade class just finished reading Romeo & Juliet.  In a recent class assignment, my daughter and her classmates were given this question: What are the top five qualities you are looking for in a ‘perfect’ mate?  I’m sure getting her students to think ‘mushy’ feelings was a little challenging for my daughter’s English teacher!

They were then given a second question: What are the top five qualities you think your parents would want for your ‘perfect’ mate?  Again, probably challenging for the young minds, especially since we don’t want them dating at a young age let alone thinking about marriage at age 14!

The students were then given homework: Ask your parents the following questions:

  • List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.
  • List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

When my daughter got in the car after school that day, she was excited that Mom & Dad had homework.  But as she described the assignment, I knew that those questions would make for excellent dinner table conversation.

Fast forward a few hours…

We’re seated at the table (my husband, our 17-yr old son, our daughter and I) and my daughter pulls out her questionnaire.  Mind you, I had a slight advantage over my husband – I had a few hours to ponder the questions while my husband had 2 minutes.  I wish you could have seen his facial expression. 🙂

Question #1: List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.

Hmm…what would Kennedy want in a perfect mate?  Knowing our daughter’s personality, it was surprisingly easy for both my husband and I to answer this question.  My husband gave his top five and I followed with mine.  We know our daughter pretty well – we both scored 4 out of 5.  Not bad!

Question #2: List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

This question was a little more personal as this would reveal more of our heart.  Again, my husband went first and I followed.  What i found interesting was that my husband’s responses were more ‘selfish’ – meaning that he listed qualities for someone who HE’D like to get along with.  My responses, on the other hand, were more for the man my daughter (and Lord-willing, grandchildren) would love and live with.

I love that this assignment provided us with some good table talk but it also got me thinking – How often do I pray for my children’s future spouses?  Honestly, not often enough.  And that was convicting for me.

As a mom, I pray many things for my children..

…that they would love God first and most

…that they would live God-honoring lives and make wise choices

…that they would have friends with similar values

…for their overall safety in an unsafe, dangerous world

…that they would treat others the way that they want to be treated

…and many other things too numerous for me to mention.

But praying for their future spouse?  Not something that I regularly prayed for – until recently.

If you feel so led, do this exercise with your family and see what conversation emerges as a result.  You’ll get to know your child’s heart a little better and they’ll get a peek inside of yours.  And you might have a few good laughs like we did!

*Disclaimer: My daughter attends a Christian school, so that’s the angle that the assignment was taken from.

What about you?  Do you pray regularly for your child’s future spouse?  What do you pray for?

My Thoughts on Milestones as a Mom and KidMin Leader

When I became a mom 17 years ago, older women would say, “Cherish every moment.  They grow up very quickly.”  As a mom of young children, I honestly couldn’t fathom them growing up quickly.  I was trying to survive each day!  It felt like they’d be little forever and that I’d always be changing diapers, getting up during the night, picking up toys countless time a day, vacuuming up Cheerios, potty training and chasing after children who liked to run and explore everything!  These days, I find myself giving that same timeless and true advice to moms of young children, with the preface, “You might not believe this right now, but…”

This year has been a huge year of milestones for my children, who are now ages 17 and almost 14.  Milestones are nothing new; my children have hit many over the course of their young lives.  It’s only when there are a TON of milestones in one year that it’s get to be a bit overwhelming.  A few major milestones marked this year include:  learner’s permit, class ring/ring banquet, Prom, becoming a high school senior (my son) and yesterday, my daughter graduating from the 8th Grade.  I have had a wide range of emotions, that’s for sure!

I’ve viewed the events of this year through two lenses: my Mom lens and my KidMin leader lens.

As a Mom, I wonder, Have we, as their parents, done enough?  What could we have done differently?  Have we given them the tools to make their own decisions and live on their own?  The time really has gone by fast.  My mom has told me (and countless other women) about seasons of motherhood.  I would describe this season of motherhood as the preparing to launch season.  This particular season has found me being way more intentional in helping them to pray more purposefully, resolve relational conflict in healthy ways, be sure about what they believe and why, live out their faith courageously, manage their time, take care of their things and manage their money better.

As a KidMin leader, I wonder, How do we as leaders help parents navigate the many seasons of parenthood?  Do we mark and celebrate spiritual and life milestones with them?  Are we intentional as children transition from one area of ministry to another?  These questions have kept my KidMin leader working overtime lately and will become part of my focus for the upcoming ministry year.  It is important that my team and I recognize that parents (1) like to celebrate milestones in their children’s lives and (2) they need guidance on what to expect, support from their church and support from other parents going through a similar season and those who’ve already lived through those seasons.

I will be dusting off a few of my resources to give our team a good foundation to brainstorm from.  Some of the resources I’m turning to are:

The Legacy Path:  Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting by Brian Haynes

*He also had a website, which you can check out here.

Take It Home:  Inspiration and Events to Help Parents Spiritually Transform Their Children by Mark Holmen

Parents, how are you marking milestones in your child’s life?

KidMin leaders, how is your ministry helping parents celebrate and navigate milestones and transitions?  What resources do you use?  I am looking for ideas to please share away!