It's been a theme around here lately- the holding on, letting go thing. (yes- I know, a recurring theme- shut up;) My oldest turned 18 last week. And again- I had to pry my fingers loose from around him... so God could continue His work without my getting in the way. A letting go.
Then- I've been cleaning, de-cluttering and clearing for the holidays. (Yes- still, I know I know) I belong to a local freecycle.org group and a request came through for baby gear/clothes for a crisis pregnancy center. The truth is, I've been holding on to my youngest's baby gear. There are warm clothes- blankets, a stroller, bassinette, pack n play... all the accoutrement, just sitting in the basement and closet so I could ocassionally get all hormonal and run a hand over all that baby blue and Noah's Ark theme stuff. Holding on.
When I saw the request, I felt like it was directed to me. Not so much by the requester- but by God. I knew someone holding on to so many baby things that could help. ME.
I suddenly thought it might be selfish to hold on to things someone else needs so much. I responded with an e-mail and started packing it up. I kept the most memory laden- tiny footie- pajamas...Easter, Christmas and special occasion outfits, the silkies (my little guy has a blankie thing;) have been love beyond usefulness, and are staying. Every single one. The rest? I'm letting go.
Being a mother is an ever changing job. One phase shifts to another. Preschool turns to college, play pens to soccer fields. There is a bit of grief mixed with joy over each new phase.
I am done with the baby phase. I cried a bit while I packed it all up. Somehow it made it official, no more babies. (Well- there have been miracles- but at this point, it looks like that song has ended;) First, I felt sad, then-then, a tiny flutter of excitement. God has always taken me from one phase to another in my life. Sure- sometimes the journey is round-about. Sometimes I wish there was a heavenly GPS system telling me what and where I would turn next. But- there is always something next.
I have enjoyed every phase of mothering. (Yes even the pre-teen and teen thing;) I know- that I'll enjoy the next. Whatever that may be.
Dear Lord- It's both sad and exciting to see where you'll lead next. It's also scary. My days as a SAHM with little ones at home are quickly ending. Noah's readying to go to school, Mike's looking at colleges, and Matt is maturing and growing by leaps and bounds. I love being a Mom- and know that doesn't end- but it does change. Please help me to move through the changes with grace and love. God- help me to know what and when to hold on, and when to let go. I'm ready for whatever you have next- I love you Lord- amen.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you" Jeremiah 29:11-14