Reminders of Dedication

27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they<sup data-fn="#fen-NLT-7217a" class="footnote" data-link="[<a href="#fen-NLT-7217a" title="See footnote a">a worshiped the Lord there.” I Samuel 1:27-28 (NLT)

Having children was a deep desire in Dale’s and my life. The doctors disagreed, nodding their heads and saying it might not be possible. I knew that God was greater than anything that “might not be possible”.

I can remember reading the book of Samuel and praying for this experience. We dedicated our daughters to the Lord. We brought them to our pastors before they were a year old and we gave their lives to God, knowing that He is indeed capable of leading and guiding them.

There is a quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson that says, “God gives us Love, something to love, God lends us.”

I have carried this quote in my heart most of my adult life. We are only here for what could be a burp in eternity. Same with those we love. Life is a precious commodity.

The same is true with our children. We only have our children for a brief while. Then they do what we have both prayed for and dreaded, they go out and live their lives. They marry, they have children, they have their own set of joys and fears and problems.

As a parent we are proud of the accomplishments of our children. I personally know that I did not do much, but kept giving them to the Lord. Sometimes, I confess, I wanted to send them to the Lord, during sleepless nights of ear infections and teething. Sometimes when it was chaos to experience them navigating through middle school, and high school. By time college came, my prayers changed, I daily gave them to the Lord, reminding Him that they were His and problems that I may have noticed, I couldn’t take control of and fix.

Fix is what we do as parents when our children are young. They depend on it. We are fixers of toys, of ripped pieces of little paper, of skinned knees. We kiss away their tears, we bandage boo-boo’s, and we put heads back onto baby dolls. Fix is what we attempt when life starts to affect them. They still depend on it, although they begin to repair things on their own. We dry tears over rough days at high school, we dry tears over a break-up with a boyfriend, we comfort over a test that didn’t go well. By this point, we fix by spending a day of playing hooky from school, drinking cups of tea together, by going shopping. It doesn’t cure anything, but it re-centers them.

Both of our daughters are grown. They are in the ‘fixing’ business now. There are times, though, when a phone call comes and you know in your mother’s heart, there is a need. No longer do I need to ‘fix’ something, but I need to listen.These are the most trying times. These are the times when I go back to the Lord, and remember the time that I handed our daughters to our pastors and they prayed over them (and us) a prayer of dedication to our Lord. These are the times when, I remember the day of dedication for our oldest. It was Sunday, April 1st, and as I opened my eyes in the morning, I smiled as I thought of the day. It was the day our oldest was going to be dedicated. I heard in my heart, “Are you truly going to give her to Me, or is this an April Fool’s joke?” I answered and said to the Lord, out loud, “She is Yours’ “.

There are times when I have to be reminded that these beautiful women are the Lord’s. That is when, instead of hugging and wiping away tears and fears, I pray and ask the Lord to be there for them, giving them strength, courage, and wisdom.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

A Mother grows up

Mothers nurture, it’s an instinctive trait in most women. I know it was for me. When mothers are born, it is an unbelievable event. You look at the little baby in your arms and all of a sudden you are a mother badger. That has always been my animal of choice in describing my need to defend and protect my daughters.

As the children grow, which they do quickly, mothers lag behind. I know personally I have straggled behind, not willing to catch up. I have dragged my feet, declaring that I still need to be there for my daughters in all areas. Not necessary, really.

Yes, I know that I will always be Mom to them. I will be available for them if they truly need me.

This week as I started to send our youngest daughter an anniversary card I looked at the card. On the front is a lasso type rope around the words Happy Anniversary. I picked out the card because their wedding had sort of a cowboy theme underneath the southwestern beauty of their wedding. Mentally I looked at the card and knew it just happened a few months ago.

No, fourteen years ago this evening (October 2nd) we watched as our daughter went from Miss to Mrs.. It happened quickly and yet I could see the moment that she was no longer just ours, but his.

When I realized that it was their 14th anniversary I retrieved Dale’s and mine wedding book. Inside I have what we did for the first 20 anniversaries. I wrote just a few words each years as reminders. Under the year 14 for us, I wrote, Dale in Rhode Island, Cathi in San Diego. Dale and I recounted the events around our 14th anniversary. His Dad had passed away in early January that year. We went to Pennsylvania and hours after the funeral we drove Dale to Pittsburgh so he could fly to Rhode Island for a school for the Navy. I stayed with his Mom for a couple of days and flew home to our girls.

Looking on the list I noticed how many anniversaries he was somewhere and not together. Such is life as a Navy couple.

As Dale and I talked about our fourteenth anniversary, we talked about how old, wise and mature we were. Without noticing the proverbial brick landed on my head. A Mother grew up.

It hit me. The young woman that we watched 14 years ago is not the same woman she is now. She is a wife, a mother herself, half of a couple who have been through and survived much in this short time. My baby is grown up. It is now time for me to grow up.

I no longer need to fret over her. Yes, I can always love her and worry, but I no longer need to be that helicopter, wondering how she is, and what is going on. I can watch from a distance knowing she has this.

I once bemoaned the fact that the girls did not call daily. Dale looked at me as only a father and husband can and simply said, “Didn’t you raise them to be strong, independent women?” I answered that I did. He then said to me, “Then what’s the problem? You did well.”

So, as I start on this path of a grown up Mom, I look to our Lord. I have known their whole lives that I have only been blessed for a season with them, but our Lord is their Lord. He will be the One to guide and direct them. He provided strong men of God for my girls. He has blessed them in many ways. Now, this foot-dragging Mom is now getting out of the way, but not completely.


“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
 Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” Psalm 127:3-4 (NLT)

Both of my daughters are gifts from God. Doctors told me early in my marriage that children may not be possible for me. They forgot to tell God.

I love my daughters and know they are precious presents from my heavenly Father. They have both grown, married and are busy raising their own precious gifts.

My oldest daughter and her family are coming to visit this week, thus the title for this post.

Anticipation is a wonderful thing. It is like hearing the ice-cream truck on the next block and running to get money for when it finally appears on your street. It is like Christmas Eve when you see the tree loaded with wrapped presents underneath. It is like going to bed the night before school lets outs. Anticipation comes in many forms. It is always accompanied by those butterflies in your stomach that something good is about to happen.

Yes, I have anticipation. It will only increase until I see their vehicle pull into our driveway and a seven year old pops out. It will be fulfilled when those seven year old arms are wrapped around me and I hear “Grammy!” coming out of her mouth.

After about ten minutes of talking with my granddaughter and petting the dogs that I will turn to my daughter and her husband and welcome them to our home. Then the fun will truly begin.

Drawing a Blank

There are times when we draw a blank. There is nothing there. Nothing to speak of, nothing to give attention to.

As I started this, I thought I would just start to write and hopefully something encouraging or spiritual would flow into the words.

Instead, there is nothing. I am a person, I become tired and I draw blanks. This past week I have spent with my oldest daughter. It has been a delightful time together, we have had many adventures as she prepares her lake house for rental.

We have shopped, had lunch together and talked. We have binged some series she has wanted to watch together and we have laughed and cried through those. This afternoon she fixed me a marvelous lunch.

This week has been a work week and a refreshing week for me. No, nothing spiritual has come to mind today, but my heart is full and I am blessed. There is nothing better in life.

My mind may be blank, but I know that my devotion to my family is in place. My daughters and grandchildren are my heart. My husband is my gift. And although I am drawing a blank I know that in my spirit, soul, and heart resides the permanent love for my Lord. It is through Him that I have been so abundantly gifted with what I have mentioned above. Thank you Lord for this beautiful life You have given me.