Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Feel Helpless

I love the age my kids are now. All teenagers and young adults they are each on the cusp and brink of their lives and are developing such amazing personalities. I wrote before about how much I enjoy this age. 

My girls have been back in the States for over a year. It has been hard not being able to look after them for their first year in college. Our communication has been good using Skype, Facebook and email and I have had friends and family keeping an eye on them and giving me feedback. That has all been good but nothing prepared me for seeing them after nearly 12 months apart.

The girls have been doing incredibly well! They are both taking five classes and working part time as well. They are paying their bills on time--staying out of debt and being responsible.

I knew this before coming back to the States and I was looking forward to seeing them again and getting to know them as young adults and not just my little girls.
What I was not expecting was how hard it would be to see them operating as adults with all the stress that comes along with it. Meeting deadlines, keeping on top of obligations. Watching my daughter work an 8 hour shift at a restaurant until 1 AM and then have to be in class at 8:30 the next morning was and is so hard for me. 
  Having homeschooled all the kids meant that I could work individually with the children and help them learn. While I didn't take away all challenges and I did let them see the consequences of their actions and choices I was there to give a helping hand whenever they needed it. Now, if the girls have boy trouble, car trouble, boss trouble or professor trouble, my help is limited to praying or a shoulder to cry on--and most of the time that has to be long distance. 

  I love that they are both very consienctous and hard working. Sometimes I wish they would give themselves a little slack but I know that they are developing character through their hard work. I wish that I could be around more to help take care of them but have to believe that God has us exactly where He wants each of us to be.

Elizabeth Stone said that making the decision to be a mother "is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." 

A friend recently said that a Bible verse had come alive for her more since having her own children:
Matthew 19:29: And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall
receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
I would have to agree with her. I've lived as a missionary my entire life and consequently I've spent all of my adult life thousands of miles away from my parents and siblings. I know that I have to work much harder to maintain relationships with my family members including extended family. It means missing out on reunions and holiday gatherings.

But as hard as all that has been watching my girls (and now son) become adults and having to do most of it from afar. Right now they are attending college, writing papers, taking tests, working parttime.  Next it will be finding a career, and a spouse...starting a family. And I will pray and offer support and it will have to be enough. Not only will my heart be outside my body but it will be learning to live on its own.
Pray for me! I have no idea how to do this.


  1. This post made me sad for my babies growing up. When you figure out how to handle it, let me know...

  2. I don't know how you do or could do it, aside from the strength the Holy Spirit gives you. For awhile, one of our missionary friends had their children spread out on three separate continents and they were on the fourth. Becky and Steve seemed to handle it well....I would have been a hand wringing mess!

    I am sure your children are beautiful young adults and (you), having done all (you could to nurture them) now must stand and trust God.

    It will be a test for both sides. But once you become a grandmother....on my! However will you be able to stay away from grandbabies? May your rewards be great!

  3. You've set them up for success. Just trust.

  4. Yes, you've brought up your girls right and they are doing really great! We're really proud of them taking on responsibility so well and being so mature about things.
    Thank you for allowing us (grandparents) to be on the other side watching them while you are on the other side of the world. It's really different than being a parent in some ways. We have to be there, but not be there... They are just a joy to have around.
    God bless you for your sacrifice and hard work.


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