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My Mom Book

When my kids were small my husband bought a large book with blank pages as a gift for me

and we named it The Mom Book! Each birthday, Valentine’s day, or Mother’s Day a new entry is made by each of the kids. Sometimes there is a theme, like the year we built our chicken coup they all drew pictures of it and wrote words that describe me on the eggs. One year they had to fill out a mom questionnaire so I could view myself through their eyes. It was very entertaining to see the answers to questions like what does your mom hate? (according to Annie that's heavy metal & laundry). I especially love the cutout snowflake that has the Fruits of the Spirit listed with the word “pashens"(patience) & "goniss" (goodness).

This book has become one of my most treasured belongings. It is filled with drawings and notes and all things lovely about being a mom. Whenever I sit down and look through it I feel incredibly grateful for this history of love from my kids. I don’t even want gifts on my birthday anymore, just a new entry in my book! For Valentine’s Day last week I got a new entry, handprint flowers....they are GIANT! As I compared the first handprint flowers to last week’s I was caught off guard. Joey is 19 and will be leaving for college in a few short months and his handprint in my book is a reminder to me of all the mothering that has taken place in the last 18 years! His little hand is now big. His little hand will be writing papers and eating pizza at midnight with friends that I don’t really know. His little hand will be learning to take care of himself in ways that have been my responsibility, my privilege.

These big handprints are a symbol of all the life that has taken place under my watch. I am tired these days, raising three teenagers can be exhausting and it’s easy to second guess myself. But these symbols staring back at me from the pages of my book are symbols from a faithful God whispering “well done good and faithful servant”! These big hands are also a symbol to me that I still have lots of work to do! Sometimes I think that parents of teenagers decide that their kids don’t need them as much and it’s time to step back. I am learning the exact opposite! They may not need me like they did when they were young but they seem to need me even more now! When my 16 year old finds himself alone in the car with me he spills his guts...the good, the bad, and all kinds of crazy! It can be entertaining and it can be heartbreaking.

When those hands are little we can envelope them in ours and protect them from the world. But those big hands are not covered by mine anymore. I can hold those big hands and walk side by side, but I can no longer wrap my whole hand around theirs or completely protect them from the elements. And so begins the process of trusting God to envelope them and protect them. Learning to let go and trust God is hard but necessary and those giant

handprints in my book are important reminders that these kids that I call mine, are really His.


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