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,MomXOooXXOoo

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

About My Nagging….

Dear Son/Daughter,

Nobody likes a nag!  I have to apologize.  I saw the look on your face that told me I had gone too far.  And it wasn’t the first time.

Can I tell you what’s going on inside me? Maybe you can empathize with this role called Motherhood?!

It’s almost like a cruel joke.

Okay! Let’s go back to your birth… Don’t roll your eyes – you’ll see why!

You were born. Oh my, what an amazing baby! You were so sweet, adorable and we were head over heels in love!!!  Dad and I just wanted to hold you all the time.  I remember we’d get in spats: “It’s my turn to hold him.”  “No, it’s my turn!”  And that never got old.  We both loved being with you, being your parents, watching you grow, being a part of every step.  It is an amazing blessing the Lord gives us to be parents!!

I usually gave in and let Dad hold you; because I had the privilege of staying home with you.  So I had more time with you.  And staying home was so much fun as you grew, and learned the amazingly cute things like laughing, clapping, baby words, baby steps, etc.  The joy is immense!

As you grew, your strengths and weaknesses would show – like they do in all of us.

I remember when you were learning to walk, the room was full of people and we were cheering you on.  You would fall (which would normally make you cry) but because there were so many people cheering you… you simply popped back up, tried again and did it!  Applause brought a giant smile on your face.

You loved people’s approval.  To the point that you set aside what was your typical reaction.  Of course, that character trait can be strength- as you work hard and press through difficult situations OR a weakness- as you yield to please someone you shouldn’t.

That’s just one example of how we saw little glimpses into your personality. When I saw them, I packed them away in my treasure chest of clues of what you might become.  There were lots over the years.  It was fun – like doing a puzzle and seeing what the picture might become.

You have grown up so nicely.  There is so much goodness in you.  Through and through.  I know your heart.  Now that you’re not a kid anymore I look at you differently.  I look at you and I see an adult.  I see you in all your potential.  Overcoming (whatever comes against you and your plans), leading (those around you in the right direction), thriving (balancing work and pleasure), successful (in work, school, and healthy relationships), and joyful (with an inner joy- knowing you are doing what you were created to do).

Can you read that last paragraph again? Because as strange as it sounds, that is how I see you.

It’s the power behind my nagging! See? I have so much faith in you and your potential-

And I believe in you so much-

That I want to urge you on!

I have this crazy notion that I, somehow, can urge you to see the same greatness and potential and skip all the steps that help to build that greatness.  And sometimes, if you would just listen to me I could save you so much pain/hardship – but oh well, I have to get it through my thick skull that you will learn your life lessons your way.  And still become all that you can be!!

This is hard for you to understand – because we all love so conditionally- but this is the truth:

I will always see greatness in you.  No matter how many mistakes you make.  I will always believe in you and be cheering and diligently praying for you.

I pray for you often and I pray for you specifically – so that you will not let anything hinder you.

I am sorry that my concern and urging comes off so negative and distasteful.  Please forgive me.  I am trying to let go and just cheer from the sidelines.  Please pray for me.  That’s the cruel part of motherhood – we are so in love and so attached and our final “act” is letting go.  I’m trying.  Please know my heart.

I love you immeasurably; there are not enough words in the English language to express the depth a mother feels! I am so excited to see all that you become as you continue to grow.

I believe in you!!

Your biggest fan,

Mom

About Your Struggle….

Dear Son/Daughter,

I know you’re struggling. I can see it. And because I’m your mom, I know your heart and that you want to overcome. Can I share something with you that God has been showing me lately?

So often when we are dealing with something difficult, we will make a good amount of progress and then we give up because we think “it’s too hard.”

Let’s face it. There are oodles of things in life that are difficult. Starting with getting up when the alarm goes off, meeting new people, going against the flow, working out, eating right, overcoming a bad habit, establishing a new one, etc., etc.,

But is it really too difficult? When the alarm goes off how hard is it for me to get my body out of bed? And when I’ve had one brownie…really? It’s too hard for me not to have another?!

Think about it.

The Lord showed me a scripture in Deuteronomy 30:11 that surprised and encouraged me. It says, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”

Okay, if God says the things I struggle with are not “too difficult for me or beyond my reach..” is it true?!… then why do I think it is?

In thinking about it, I think it’s because I/we want – instant gratification.

I want that other brownie – NOW!
I don’t want to get out of bed – I’m tired!
I can’t go against my “friends” – I’ll be alone…
I don’t feel like exercising – I’ve had a hard day OR I’ve got a hard day in front of me!

We all hate to be uncomfortable. We avoid it. Did you ever notice that sometimes by trying to avoid pain or being uncomfortable we create more hardship for ourselves?

An example of that:

  • When the alarm goes off and we hit snooze – then we run late and start our day stressed, trying to get somewhere on time, and when we’re late we feel defeated.
  • What about when we try to make friends and join in with others that are exciting – but not quite the kind of people we really want to be close to… after a while we realize we are becoming like them…
  • How about that overeating or choosing not to work out? Then we give up the chance to feel good about ourselves.

It may be difficult to fight the battles that are part of our desire to overcome… but when we do the opposite of what God says is best, we don’t have a peace in our hearts. And things are even harder.

As I watch you struggle, I want to remind you that you’re not alone. Really – God loves you so much He sent the Holy Spirit to walk through this with you. That’s God’s power in you. That’s what sets you apart. Makes you different. You can rely on God’s grace and his power working through you. You know that verse that says that God will not give us more than we can bear? He will provide a way out of every temptation. I know sometimes when I’m tempted I see that way out. Usually it’s a thought that comes to mind, “Hey, don’t do that, do this instead.” Shamefully, I sometimes ignore it. But, God is true to His word – he does provide a way out! Watch and see next time you’re tempted. Perk your ears and eyes to see it and dare to take that “way out”!

Then, our faith will be stronger and we will see…

The enemy is a liar…

IT’S NOT TOO HARD!

And when we’ve overcome the struggle – to face another one down the road – we will see that God sends the Holy Spirit to walk with us, talk with us, listen to us, counsel us and be our friend. He cheers us on and keeps us company when all others have no clue what we’re going through.

We are blessed! To know the Lord. Let’s walk in the joy of that relationship. You and I both know it’s not always easy, but let’s be honest…

It’s really not “too hard” either!

We’re all walking through the same journey. We’re all overcoming day by day! I love you and I love that you are part of my “walk”!

Cheering for you!
Mom

God’s assurance to you:
Deuteronomy 30:11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, ad He will give you another Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby, that He may remain with you forever

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

About Pornography…..

Dear Son,

You may think it a bit strange to have your mom write you this letter, but as a mom I care deeply about every aspect of your life.  I care enough to talk about the tough topics, and respectfully, without invading your privacy.  But I want you to know my heart.

As a young man, there are countless images coming at you as you walk through your “normal” day.  The internet and all the pop-ups, advertisements in the sidebars, billboards as you drive, magazines as you check out, TV shows, movies, and commercials, even your cell phone..

How does a young man stay focused and pure?  How do you fight the good fight? It’s clearly a tough battle.  The more you look around, the more you see…

As sure as God has a plan for your life, the enemy has a plan for your life.  It’s been said one of the enemy’s greatest attributes is that he is patient.  He will wait and wait and wait…. He has no problem in waiting until you vulnerable.  You see, he wants to steal something from you.  When you’re tired, when you’re alone, when you’re lonely, when you care a little too much what your friend thinks….

Pornography is one of those areas that he has a plan for your life.  If he can distort your view of sexuality and the beauty of what God created it to be – he will.  And with most young men, he can.

Think about it….

  • He can mess up your self worth – as you look at porn and feel ashamed that you “did it”.
  • He can mess with your future as you don’t feel worthy to fulfill your dreams
  • He can mess with your marriage as you take those images into your marriage – and your wife has to compete with them (consciously or subconsciously)

Think about this…

God created sexuality for many reasons.  It is a beautiful expression of love between a man and his wife. In the act of lovemaking, God ordained a way of creating a baby that could expand the natural progression of the love relationship.

Pornography is anything that distorts God’s original intention of sex.  First off, God’s plan is for sex to be  between a man and his wife.  It is meant to be beautiful, full of love and intamacy.  Anything else is called fornication.  It’s cheap and explicitly warned against in the bible.  Why? To make us frumpy, miserable? So we’re not cool?

No, just like any other command God gives – the command to only have sex after marriage is to protect us…from heartbreaks, from soul ties (that are formed when two people have sex), from disease, to protect the illegitimate child from hardship/shame, etc., and so that we might experience the fullness of marital love.  It is a beautiful gift.

The enemy would love you to believe that sex outside of marriage and porn, even soft porn, is cool – it’s okay.  “Friends” who are into porn or sex, usually try to coerce others into doing the same – as I’m sure yours are today.  In a way, it makes them feel better about what they are doing.  That’s part of the enemy’s plan.  Don’t you see?  When one of your friends is doing something ungodly – they usually try to get you to join in… And if you don’t – they don’t give up! They keep at you…. (btw – is that a friend?! Are you so afraid of being lonely that you call them your friends?)

Porn takes the beautiful body that God created and turns it into a sensual, self-satisfying, toy.  Read that sentence again…. Porn takes the beautiful body that God created and turns it into a sensual, self-satisfying, toy.  It cheapens the beauty of his creation.

Think about the original plan: God made something amazingly beautiful and sensual.  He blesses it, and us, to enjoy sex in marriage, and the beauty of the bodies he created, and then on top of that – creates a child in the process! How amazing!  Sex in marriage isn’t a self-seeking, self-satisfying act – instead it’s an amazing act of love.

Pornography doesn’t reflect any of that.  In fact, it distorts God’s generous plan.  It wants to distort it – because the enemy wants to mess with your present (and have you live in shame and sensual addictions), your future (your marriage and your bond with your wife), and your past (as you try to escape the images you’ve seen).  It is visions and images that chip away at you.

You’re an amazing young man.  With an amazing future.  Take control.  There is a God who can help you every step of the way.  He is the true friend.  When others lead you in a direction you don’t want to go – you are not alone. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – Jesus.

Let Him walk with you, keep you company – when you chose the high road and your “friends” mock you.  Call on Him and He will be there.

I’m here too!
With all my love,

Mom