The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son our daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of me will find it. Matthew 10:37-39I think of two other mothers who have done the leaving this summer. Leaving family and children at home, they went to Africa to get to know children who do not have moms. They went to love on the least of these, orphans. I am struck by the fact their hearts and lives are big enough for children who need love. I know it wasn't easy to leave six children with their father or for one to leave a mom who wasn't feeling well. But they also knew God had called them to this task and they followed their Savior this summer very far from anything familiar. Sometimes children do the leaving, sometimes the moms do the leaving. But will I follow Him not matter what?(Matthew 4:19)
Late last night, my eyes were burning and my legs were sore from exercise I had done with a friend who had said, 'how about a fourth loop?' We were walking at the local park...each loop is almost a mile!!! As I laid in bed, trying to sleep, my favorite group of people came to mind; moms. I almost got up to write this post, but knew if I put myself in front of the glaring computer screen late at night, I would regret it. It's that time of year again, when children of all ages leave the nest...and Jody gets back to writing. School has begun for some of you and Lauren will head off to begin her junior year next week. Two years from now I will be sitting at my desk and she will not be in her bed in the next room, but in a college classroom...that's the goal! Early this summer I saw a frazzled mom walk across a parking lot. It was apparent she had just come from work. With a teenager in tow, who was doing her best to help her mom carry loads of dirty clothes into the laundromat, but dropping towels all over the pavement. I recognized 'the look' mom was giving daughter. I wanted to jump out of my car and give her hand, but I might be considered a crazy lady. (Yep, this post began a long time ago.) This mom could have been me many years ago as I wanted to be the best mom to four children and do it all. Because that is what we do isn't it? We pour our lives 110% into the children God has given us and then they leave. But that's the goal too, isn't it? Unless you want them to live in your basement!! Some of my favorite moms will put their children on yellow school buses, some will send them off to high school driving for the first time and some have driven their college age kids many miles away from home and left them there. It's never easy to let them go. But as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us, there is a time for everything. I've also learned more times than I like to admit, that Justin, Hannah, Kelsey and Lauren are not mine. When they were only a few months old, we stood before our congregations and dedicated them to the Lord to do whatever He wants with them. They weren't mine then and they are not mine now. I surrender them to my loving Heavenly Father on a daily basis. I am reminded of the verse God gave me out of no where during my college days. God knew I would need this not so gentle reminder even thirty years down the road because of the four children He knew I would have, and the conflict I would have at times to keep Christ as my primary love.