What?! You’re moving????????

Dear Son/Daughter,

Are you kidding me?????? I have devoted my entire life to raising you, grooming you, encouraging you, and shall we say lecturing you into an amazing person.  Finally, you make it through the rocky river and emerge looking like a shiny diamond.  And…. and….and….YOU’RE MOVING?????!!!

Boy, oh boy, the return on investment in this parenting thing is looking critically low right now! ouch.

However – I haven’t been doing all this for me.  Not by a long shot.  Or I would have parented very differently.  It’s been for you.

And I couldn’t be happier for you!

Do you remember, years ago, when you told me you were moving out?  We talked, and though I knew I’d miss you, I told you that this was the moment we had been aiming our sights towards.  Your becoming a young adult and being confident enough to tackle life on your own.  That was a huge feather in your dad and my caps.  A victory.  Because you did it!  You tackled life and its challenges.  You handled some challenges better than others (that’s the rocky river I was talking about in the first paragraph) and emerged better for it.  And now….

A move.  It’s not Alaska. Thank God. But it’s not local either.  Already my life seems so empty at the thought of not having you near.  On the other hand I am so excited for you and your future.  You have worked hard and been recognized for it.  Seeing an opportunity, you strategically planned and jumped on it.  Now the future is very exciting.  I heard the excitement in your voice yesterday as you described the unknown.  You don’t even care that you don’t know the details!!! It’s adorable! Your excitement is all this momma needs to send her baby off with a heartfelt wish and a prayer as I cheer you on!

I am so, so proud of you.  And as you ride off into the great unknown, we will be here….praying, cheering, and waiting for news of your great adventure.

Go get ’em!!! You have all the tools you need!

With all my love,

Mom

 

 

On Suicide

My Precious Son/Daughter,

You know that logo? “LIFE IS GOOD!”  It’s true on many levels.  But life is also full of trials.  And sometimes those trials get the best of people.  I wish we knew the magic formula on what makes some people fighters and overcomers in situations where others struggle deeply and are overcome.  But we don’t.  And I suspect we never will.

Each of us has our struggles.  And I’m convinced each of us sometimes feels uncomfortable, out of place, useless or odd.  Those are normal feelings.  They aren’t healthy.  But when you understand that these thoughts and feelings are something each of us struggle with, it takes away the toxic nature and poison behind the thoughts.  At one time or another we all question our value and what difference we make in the world.

Suicide is a devastating end result of entertaining those thoughts.  A heart that longed for love, help, and care from others – but couldn’t receive it.  There is a deep hurt that longs for relief.  And as your mom, I hope and pray that you have never contemplated suicide or been affected by one.  Throughout your life I have tried to show you the depths of my love for you and your value in this world.  Without you, without each one of us, the world would be sadly different.  Do you remember that movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Your dad and I watch it each Christmas – Honestly, I think it’s because Dad is so in love with Donna Reed (the main character’s wife), but nonetheless it has a great message – The power of one person’s life on those around him.

Not long ago I saw one of your friends post on Facebook live his thoughts about suicide.  I wondered what prompted him.  Had he considered suicide? His friend? Had he been affected by a suicide? Unfortunately, most people have been.  As I watched his video I was reminded of a powerful scene your dad and I had seen in a Blacklist episode on TV.  The scene involved the main character, Raymond Reddington, and a woman who he had just rescued from a suicide attempt.  Disregarding his concern for her, she was about to throw herself into a crossfire which would lead to her imminent death.  Reddington didn’t know this woman and had no relationship with her – which I think makes his plea even more powerful.  You will want to rid yourself of distractions for the next minute and a half as you listen to this clip.  Reddington’s words are crazy powerful in this clip:

Video Clip: The Aftermath of Suicide

Although he was describing the effect of a suicide bomber, Reddington’s words, “There was almost nothing left to those closest to him,”  is a powerful reminder that the remains of suicide are always widespread devastation.

He goes on to say, “The closer they were to the [victim], the more horrific the effect.” The.  More. Horrific. The. Effect.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this letter to you today.  I’m not entirely sure myself.  But I’d bet by now you know someone who has either talked to you about suicide or been affected by one.

I encourage you to reach out.  Look for the lonely, hurting and sad amongst your “friends.” Be that safe place for them.  And when you’re feeling lonely, hurting or sad – reach out.  Seek out someone that would wish they were there for you if only they knew what you were going through.  We all love to be strong and present a tough exterior.  But sometimes it’s better to be real.

I pray that you know you can always come to me.  I will listen.  And seek to understand.  Or keep quiet and just give you a hug! Life is good, but tough.  Or should I say: life is tough, but good!! Let’s be that safe friend for those we love.

With all my love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

You’re Getting Married!

icon-coupleDear Son,

Oh my! I can’t believe my baby is getting married!  You have grown into such a fine young man and your Dad and I are so proud of you.  From the time I first felt you kick in my belly, I have prayed for this day; your choice in a wife, your maturity, and your commitment.  You and God have both surprised me in answering all my prayers better than I thought possible!

You have chosen well.  Your precious fiancé, soon to be wife, is a prize!  I only dreamt that I would love my daughter-in-law as much as I love her already.  And I’ve noticed with her by your side you are a better man because she brings out the best in you.  Or, I should say, your love for her brings out the best in you.  I have seen you mature tremendously since you have been together.  You put your natural feelings aside and put a smile on (and even joke) when you were a bit irritated.  Son, you are a good man.  As your mom, I know you well.  And I know when you are stretching yourself and I have to say, you have impressed me again and again with how you are with your love. Likewise she impresses me in how wonderful she is to you!  As a mom you want your children to marry someone who will adore them.  And adore you she does!!! She is the greatest type of wife – one who will cheer you on to anything you want as long as you love her.  She’s very simple.  She is so in love with you that it should be quite simple to keep her happy. Maybe not easy, but simple.  Because you have chosen well.  Love her.  Love her lots! She is your greatest asset –  a wife beside you that supports whatever you want, loves you completely, and encourages you in your dreams! WOW! The key to your marriage is to keep her sweet and in love.  The challenge will be when life hits you and you feel the pressure of the responsibility you have taken on – between your job and your wife and when you have kiddos. But you can do this! I know you can because I have seen your determination and imminent success when you put your mind to something.

Do you remember last week when we went to lunch?  When I left our time together, I left inspired and a bit exhausted by your daily routine; listening to how you had something going every night after work, working out on your lunch break, meeting coworkers for breakfast, and the effort you put forth in your job; but definitely inspired!  You told me about how you were stretching yourself and filling your schedule intentionally to build relationships with others – and I was challenged. As you step into this new chapter, I pray you find the balance.  And know – everyone’s “balance” is different. You and your love will find your balance.  It will take a little compromise, but living with another person always does.

The most wonderful thing about your entering into this new chapter called marriage is that you are not going it alone.  You know the Lord, and He is always with you.  In the book of James there is a promise that I have leaned on more than any other promise in the bible.  This one promise has proven to me who God is, that He is personal and true, again and again throughout my parenting.  It’s found in James 1:5:

            If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

That promise – that God give wisdom generously – is one that I have found that God keeps 100% of the time.  Whenever I didn’t know how to handle a situation I would stop and pray.  And wait.  And God always stepped in, giving me a direction, a thought, an idea that applied to what was happening.  God’s wisdom is a valuable and it helps us to see things as God sees a situation, knowing the best way to handle it.  Lean hard.  The Lord loves you and He awaits the opportunity to help you. How cool is that ?!

Well, my son… I am a proud momma!! You have impressed me in many areas.  As you take on this wonderful new beginning please know that you and your precious wife will continue to be in your father’s and my prayers.  We are your biggest fans.  And at this stage in our lives, we are simply cheerleaders.  Please let us know how we can best support you.

I am soooo excited for your big day!  And even more excited to watch you walk out this exciting time in your life! Go Baby Go!!!

With all my love,

Mom