NEVER GROW UP
3 minute read
I love the movie Hook.
My heart always gets emotional during one particular scene. A child is holding ‘grown up’ Peter’s face in his hands, and as he looks into his eyes he sees the
‘little boy’ Peter.
His heart smiles and he says~
”there you are Peter.”
Maybe I get emotional because I have moments like this with my own children.
I know that it’s part of our job as parents to raise them to be responsible adults who no longer need us, but I don’t believe there’s a mom in this world who doesn’t miss her children when they were... well...children.
We’re proud of them and the adults they’ve become, but we still miss those little beings.
Adulting can be so serious at times.
So, I have these mama moments.
Moments when I see my oldest and the childlike excitement and joy in her eyes every time she’s able to do something sweet and unexpected for someone.
Since the day she could walk and talk she’s had a tender, giving heart for others. When she shares those special moments with me~
I see my little girl and my heart smiles and says~ “there you are Jessica.”
Moments when I see my middle daughter rolling around on the floor with her boys and I see those boys laugh in sheer delight at their silly mama~
who for a few playful hours puts the cares of this world aside to care for the most important things in her world~
When I see her chasing and tickling and making goofy, childlike faces and she catches my eye~
I see my little girl and my heart smiles and says~”there you are Andrea.”
Moments when my son asks if we are busy because he just has a “quick question” and an hour visit feels like mere minutes. Each time I find myself wishing he could stay just a little longer. Moments when I study his face as he’s talking to his daddy~
I see my little boy and my heart smiles and says~ “there you are Michael.”
Moments when my youngest daughter shares little, insignificant details of her everyday life that are very significant to me. Texts about her dog and cats, her makeup or a cozy, fuzzy sweater she found. Moments when she repeats an inside joke from her childhood that only the two of us share~
I see my little girl and my heart smiles and says~”there you are Kathryn.”
Am I proud of the adults my children have become? Yes I am.
They aren’t just my children.
Aside from my husband,
they’re my best friends.
Do I still miss the children they were at times?
Yes I do.
But now I have these new little beings that surround me, that give me unlimited hugs and continual snuggles. Little ones that look just like my children, and when I see Ellie take care of her younger cousins or Clara get down on the floor so that her little cousin can stand on her back to reach the drinking fountain~
I see my little girl and my heart smiles and says~”there you are Jessica.”
When I see Ethan sweetly sharing with his little brothers and Gabe making goofy faces at his grandpa, without a care in the world~
I see my silly, happy little girl and my heart smiles and says~”there you are Andrea.”
You will always be mommy no matter how adult your children become.
Don’t be sad that they are grown. Their childlike heart is still inside them. You gave them that gift, and it will live on in their hearts.
~Perhaps one day in the hearts of their children as well.
Don’t lose sight of that.
If you look into their grown up eyes, you will see it~
and when you do, your heart will smile because their eyes will always say~
“there you are mommy“.
•”Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
•“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Psalms 127:3 KJV
NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR THAT CHILD
3 minute read
“Mrs. Goforth, this is officer Joy. We have your son in the back of our squad car....”
I thought it was a prank call.
At the time I didn’t realize our town had an officer with the last name “Joy”. I started laughing, until he cut me off to tell me what my son had been up to~
jumping off a barge into the Pigeon River. Apparently he had gotten permission to do so earlier in the day, but he had NOT gotten permission to go back at night with his friends.
This wasn’t the first time Michael had “befriended” the police.
*A few years earlier he climbed on top of our shed and shot a BB gun toward some trouble makers on Devil’s night. He thought he was protecting us. The police were knocking on our door a few minutes later. He was 7.
*On a family trip, he left a convenience store at 9pm because he couldn’t find us. He started walking toward the highway and the police picked him up. He was 9.
*He rode a moped on his senior trip without a helmet. The police stopped him, despite his protests that everyone else was doing it.
*He snuck out at night and put an 8’ fiberglass rabbit in the middle of Main Street. A police chase ensued. Tasers were involved and the trouble makers ran into our church to hide out. (Yes, my husband is the pastor of that church).
None of these things were terrible, life altering mistakes.
They began in innocence.
Slowly mischief was added, a little bit at a time and each time, my heart was pricked a little more.
Our children’s actions can do that to us. And then, as mothers we worry. I was worried I was a terrible mother and I was worried about the direction my son seemed to be heading.
When you write a weekly blog that all your children read, when you live in a small town and all those children live in that same town AND grew up in that same town, it makes it difficult to share past experiences and heartache you may have gone through in raising said children. At the same time I cannot pretend our life was a wonderful bed of roses, or that we were perfect parents and they were perfect children.
I wasn’t. They weren’t.
I had struggles and heart ache just like every other parent. This mom had more sleepless nights~filled with tears~than she cares to recall.
But God is faithful.
That isn’t cliche. It isn’t a cute phrase.
It’s a truth I know from the depths of my heart, and have witnessed in each of their lives.
The very first time we were called into the school office due to my son’s misbehavior, my mama heart wanted to blame everyone else. The teacher for not controlling her class, and the mischievous little boys he was interacting with. But that day God showed me that Michael wasn’t sweet and innocent either. He played just as much a part as the other boys involved, and this mom began praying even harder.
I prayed specific prayers. I begged God to watch over my children and help them make Godly choices. I asked God ALL DAY LONG to keep His angels around my babies like a fortress, and to hold them under the shadow of His wings.
So, from the moment I started praying earnestly on Michael’s behalf did his life dramatically change? Did he become the perfect little boy who grew into the Godly preacher he is today?
Obviously, after reading the beginning of this story you know the answer~he did not.
But, this mom never gave up on begging God and to this day, even though they are grown and married~ she’s still begging.
Don’t ever stop going to God on your children’s behalf. Jesus Himself goes to God our Father on our behalf. If Christ, our ultimate example, does that for me~ then I will continue to do that for my own children until my last breath.
Don’t give up mom. No matter how discouraging their choices and actions might be~Wait on the Lord. God is faithful. If you will keep asking~ He will answer and in time it will be true joy, and not an officer, calling to your heart.
John 16:24- ...ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Psalm 27:14- Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 91:4,11, Psalm 34:7, Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 1:14
Something As Silly As Makeup
2 minute read
The store was empty.
A strange change from its normal busyness.
Mike took the three older kids in his cart while I went with tiny Kathryn to pick up her baby necessities.
My heart was heavy.
I admit, I was feeling sorry for myself.
The last few months had been a struggle. Kathryn had suffered from allergies that resulted in fevers, sleepless nights, doctor visits, bills and tears. Lots of tears. Tears from sweet, baby Kathryn and tears from her mama.
And so, here I was about to spend half (yes HALF) of our grocery budget on formula for her. The only formula her little tummy could handle. Mike and I and our three older children would somehow live on the other half of the budget.
Money was very, very tight.
As I wondered the lonely aisle looking for her formula, I began talking to God.
You see~of all the silly, shallow things to talk to Him about~I was asking Him about makeup. I had run out and we had no money left to even purchase one of the items I needed.
As you know from previous posts, I’m just a makeup person. Always have been. Partly because I was raised that way, and partly because I would scare you if I wasn’t.(*note top pic) I never leave the house without makeup. I know that sounds vain, but it’s always been an insecurity of mine.
And so, I asked God what to do.
I put the bottle of bleach for her cloth diapers into the cart with her formula, then turned the corner.
And there in the middle of the next aisle over lay a 20 dollar bill. It was crisp and new. There wasn’t a person in sight anywhere. I picked it up. I looked around. I went aisle to aisle. No one. I asked the service desk if anyone had reported losing money. The answer was no. They told me it was mine.
And I cried.
I don’t know why God loves me so much. I certainly didn’t feel I deserved it, in fact I know I didn’t.
Perhaps because that’s what God is.
He is LOVE, and despite my selfish, shallow, heartfelt cries~ He answered.
He sent a crisp 20 dollar bill.
In that moment I realized it wasn’t the money that made me cry. It wasn’t the happy thought that I could go out and buy that much needed makeup. It was that He was there all along. He knew, and He showed me how very, very much He loves me. Even through something as silly as makeup.
Remember when you were little, all the unimportant things you would ask your daddy for? It never felt silly to ask~ because he was daddy.
I can’t even tell you how many times my heavenly Daddy has shown up in the little, unimportant things that clearly don’t matter in light of eternity.
But when He shows up~
He tells me that I MATTER~
and He shows me how incredible His love is.
That’s my God.
Look for Him in the little things.
They aren’t coincidences.
They are all God.
They’re His way of saying~”I see you, I know your struggles and I’m here for you.”
The little things are actually big things.
They’re like getting a hug from your daddy.
Don’t ever feel silly asking Him for something that seems unimportant and small.
Because you are not small to God.
If it’s important to you,
it’s important to Him.
Even if it’s as silly as makeup.
3 minute read
I recently started following a great lady on Instagram. She has been super helpful with tips on changing food and every day items for a healthier life. (@just.ingredients) 👏🏼
Getting rid of toxins in our home, and in our bodies, and all that.
She recommended one very easy way to do this~ plants. Specifically Peace Lily’s and one that I had never heard of~
The Snake Plant~
AKA Vipers Bowstring
AKA Mother-in-Laws Tongue.
Yep, you read that right. No joke guys.
These are actually names of the plant.
Are any of you out there Mother-in-Laws? 🙋🏼♀️
Why do Mother-In-Laws get such a bad rap? I’m honestly offended. 😂😂😂
All jesting aside, it’s true. We get a bad rap. We’re the topic of Daughter-In-Laws everywhere. We’re controlling or babying or nosey or intrusive. We’re ‘know it alls’ and we’re opinionated. We’re overbearing and unloving. AKA snakes 😉
So I took a step back. I looked at the big picture of all the ‘bad Mother-In-Law raps’ since time began~and I think I came to a conclusion.
All “In-Laws” are controlling and selfish. 😳😬
That includes “Mother”,
that includes “Daughter”.
That includes me.
Mom doesn’t want to let go. Daughter wants her new husband and kids all to herself.
Instead of embracing each other, both feel threatened by the other.
We are like little children who fight and whine and cry “mine”.
We both fail to realize some very important facts.
Number 1. That snake (AKA Mother-in-Law) raised the man you fell so deeply in love with. He isn’t just some freak of nature. 🤔She taught him to be the man he is. The man you admire and chose to spend the rest of your life with.
Number 2. That Daughter-In-Law is the one your son fell in love with~ after YOU taught him what to look for in a wife. They are one flesh. She is a part of his very soul. That soul you cherish so deeply.
He loves her with his entire being,
and so should you.
Number 3. Once your son is married the Bible commands he LEAVE his father and mother and CLEAVE unto his wife. Mom~ he is no longer yours.
As hard as that is, you have to let go.
Number 4. That man you married was once a tiny precious bundle of joy and happiness to his mother. She carried him for 9 months. She nurtured him and loved him. She cried over him and prayed for him. She stayed up long nights when he was sick or scared or had a bad dream. Don’t ever forget that.
I did when I was first married and
I regret it.
I know what you all are thinking as you read this~
But. You. Don’t. Know. What. She’s. Like!!!!
Take a hard, honest look at your heart. Are you being selfish? Are you being controlling? Let’s open our hearts and allow the love of Christ to fill them with love for each other.
Lets step into each other’s shoes for a change. And let’s remember that we are all snakes. That old serpent the devil is in all of us~he knows how to trick us into believing we are justified in our wrong doing, and yet~Christ loves us unconditionally. In fact, He loves us so much that He died for us and He continually forgives. CONTINUALLY.
Boy, if that isn’t a kick in the pants and an unbelievable comfort rolled into one, I don’t know what is.
Ladies, let’s allow Him to change the bad rap of in laws everywhere.
This In-Law thing has got to change.
When we bicker and become bitter we are all a horrible testimony for the cause of Christ. There is absolutely no justification for it. Bottom line.
Kind of crazy that the two best plants to get toxins out of our air are a PEACE Lily and Mother-In-Law’s tongue.
Mom, maybe God wants it to start with us.
Get the toxins out of the air.
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to be referred to as a snake 😂😂😂
Let’s let our tongues be filled with the love of Christ and with
***To clear up any preconceived notions that I do not get along well with my Mother-In-Law or my Daughter-In-Law~
I have a fantastic relationship with both of them and am blessed beyond belief to have them in my life 🥰