I have said all week that my 'mama-heart' was super tender for no reason that I could pin down. It occurred to me that all those non-pinable moments are for that very purpose in and of themselves~to be experienced, not to be explained. I am not sure if you have heard of Ann Voskamp, but she is my new best friend (she just may or may not actually know that) she lives in Canada, with her Farmer husband and 6 children and she writes.....amazing spirit inspired words that speak always to the precise non-pinable moments of my own heart. I recently finished her book "One Thousand Gifts, A dare to life fully right where you are" and it redirected me in a AH-HA moment way! It's a must if you love words, want to learn how to live Echaristically, or just need a jolt. She also has a blog called aholyexperience that I would recommend in a knock-down-your-door-tie-you-to-your-computer sort of way! This week she is writing about her oldest leaving for college and the process of holding tight, letting go, and being brave all at once. It is so worth your life to read her September 6th, and 11th entries (although all of them are good,these are the ones that ripped me open this week).
It could be that I am for the first time in my mommy-hood, alone at home during school hours that my heart is extra tender in reflection these days. With my Hallie-girl starting Kindergarten this year it is the first time in 8 years that I get to walk back in the door alone. I walk into silence, poor a cup of coffee, sit down either in my so comfy chaise or on my patio equipped with a crisp breeze and enjoy uninterrupted completely glorious time alone with my Bible and my Creator (that was the longest run-on sentence of my life, but just go with it). Can you tell I didn't have a clue what to do with myself??!!! Oh whoa is me, I know. Whatever it is, I have sat with my own tenderness this week. I have soaked up every word read from Ann's blog, or my Bible, and heard words that pierced me from one of my Pastors just yesterday and asked, 'What is it, God, that you want me to experience in this?"
It's a seat. THE seat. God has pulled up a chair that fits no one else but me in the lives of my littles. I have spent 8 years 'making' things good for them, protecting them, sheltering them from harm or 'bad people' and molding them into tiny little versions of crazy adults. BUT, have I ever sat in the THE seat? The seat that says, "I love you deep...even when you mess up" OR "I will cheer you on when you do something that is different than how I would do it" OR "You are worth every bit of fight I have in me to always point you to the Cross" I think there are LOTS of times that I bumped into the seat and made a valiant effort of trying to sit down, but I am not sure I have owned it for it's purpose. Mama's we have a front row seat of INFLUENCE with our kids. As my Pastor said yesterday,
"the hardest part of parenting is the part when taking away the TV (behavior modification) is replaced with bruises on your knees (spiritual modification) because of how much you get to beg Jesus to do only what he can do in the lives of your children." ~Pastor Helen Musik
She was referring to parenting 'Adult Children', but I was hit square in the nose with what she said. Boy I can behavior modify until I turn purple, but why aren't I bruising my knees?? My littles are 8 and 5; even though I panicked this week about having ONLY 10 more years with my Parker-man (Lord willing), I can start bruising my knees NOW. Hard work creates callouses, Girls!!
One of my Hot-Mama friends who is the Queen of her castle of 4 men-in-the-making, said it so sweetly this morning. I was telling her how I couldn't believe how everything that my heart had been hearing through my Ann-friend and my Pastor Helen-friend this week were so connected and spot on. She said this (well she posted it in response to my facebook post because cool moms talk to each other through postings~ha!)
"It is Grace that our hearts are so in tune with this while there is still time."
Wow! That's it. We don't have to wait until they are packing for college or even until they start to face 'real world issues' before we sit in the seat! If we do, it could be full of regret and we will beat ourselves up with worry about did we do enough? are they prepared? please just let them be 8 and 5 again!! WE HAVE NOW!!!!
The seat is being saved for you, Mamas! Own it! Occupy it! Sit that pretty little behind in it and REFUSE to give it up! Be present in letting your eyes soak up what needs to be stored in your heart! We have to stop being consumed with the unimportant tasks and start being intentional with the purpose of a lifetime. We haven't missed our chance to come alongside God in his will for their lives. Something I pray all the time is "Lord, don't let me get in the way of what YOU want to do in Parker/Hallie's lives". I am so so thankful that my tender, non-pinable heart has direction today with a new eye-opening, seat-owning, opportunity with my littles. Here is ONE of my favorite lines from Ann's Sept 6th entry:
'Be brave. In all your crazy, be brave, boys(or girls~added by me). And I’ll be there, in heart or in body, to witness the first dates and the failed dreams and it’s okay to cry, boys, your tears are safe with me.
Because the truth is: Life’s a trial and everyone needs a witness — someone on your front row, someone on your sidelines, someone to clap you across the finish line when everyone else has gone home.
Everyone needs a witness — and I’ll be yours.' ~Ann Voskamp