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A Reflection on Motherhood

I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day!

And I hope you got to soak up all the time you wanted with all your children. 💓 🐣🐥 

I found myself reflecting on motherhood today. _____________________________________________

Both of my kids are presently living out-of-state, as of last week, so I wasn’t with either one of them for Mother’s Day. 😞 But, it’s happened before…so, I go with the flow whether I like it or not.

Sometimes, you just have no other choice. 


My daughter moved away to GA, four years ago, to attend college and then got married to a southern boy. 

And just last week, my son and his newly, graduated wife moved to Ohio where they both are starting new jobs this week. 


Times are a changin’. 

They changed before and now they’re changing again.

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You know, we moms have unspoken goals to raise strong, yet caring, secure people who one day will be able to move away and find their own purpose in life. 

Carrying our kids, physically, so close to our hearts is one thing, and then having put everything we have into our kids (everything) just makes it a little surreal when you finally have to let them go

It’s a good thing and yet a heart-wrenching thing. 

A piece of you is now walking away. 

You’re excited for them, but also feel sad. 

And to complicate things, for many of us, we’re sending kids off during tough menopausal times too!

I’ve often said to friends, in similar phases of life, “What’s up with God timing the leaving of our children when he KNOWS our hormones will all be whacked out? 

Is it some cruel joke?!

POOR TIMING!😝 I’d say!

And don’t even get me started with the parents who are talking about their kids leaving home, but they’re just moving down the street or moving within the state. 

Sorry, but I just don’t see it quite the same way.  

If you’ve always lived close to your children, count yourself a very blessed person!

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Then, to think of all the mothers that went before us…having sacrificed so much.  They did all of this “mothering” without the help of modern conveniences. Sometimes, I can’t even fathom it.

One particular person I think about often, is my grandmother’s sister who was burned severely as a young lady. I remember her eyes buldged and wouldn’t close correctly, watering all the time. Her lips were swollen and turned outward, her face and neck taut with scars, her hands bound up like claws.  Yet, she raised a slew of children in the Arkansas heat and handmade the most beautiful quilts you have ever seen. 

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There’s also the mothers who’ve had to send their kids off to war wondering when they’d see them again. It has to be heart wrenching. 

My mom was one who had to do this.

And my grandmother as well. 

Sadly, she didn’t see her son return.

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So, hug your kids a little tighter. 

Choose your battles wisely deciding to let some things go. 

Send your kids off with your favorite “mom phrase” of encouragement. 😊

And, reflect on all you did right, or at least as best as you could, 🤗

considering what you were dealt with at the moment. 

Now, let GO and by all means, keep praying!🙏💜

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Now for some more reflection….


Me as a young mom in my “scrunchy days”…can you tell it’s the 90s? 🤣

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And then there’s my own mom who married at 17 and had a 10.4 lb baby girl at 18. 



All The nurses were coming in to see “the little girl who had that HUGE baby.”
Poor Mom.

The things we’ve put them through!






My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

Hoffmans

On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.

Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.

Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.

A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.

dad

But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉

My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.

And, the story unfolds….

mom and dad 1960 revisedmom and dad revised

Two Kids Got Married

They were married April 13, on a Friday.

They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )

Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.

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Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)

Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂

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And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA

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Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!

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Life Moves On

Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.

Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in criminal justice to earn an AA degree.

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Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)

Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)

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me with parents youngus kids with dad young

4mom and dad recent

There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

A Hydrangea Heart

hydrangea heart flower in spring

One day, I was walking around my yard and saw this cute, little hydrangea struggling to be a big pom pom. All of the blooms just didn’t quite fill in.

But I loved the shape I saw!

The uniqueness of a heart-shaped hydrangea.


I later thought of an analogy.

If left with our thoughts, we tend to overthink and struggle too much to try and be something we are not. Others often see the uniqueness and beauty (in and through us) but somehow we are just too busy being consumed with trying to be something other than who we were created to be. Why can’t we step back sooner to see this…what others see?

I’m not sure if it’s a lifetime of experiences, age, access to mentors…

But I sure wish I could tell young people these things and have them believe me.

However, as a teenager once myself, I’m sure I would not have believed my wiser self, either.

Why is that?

I don’t know why it sometimes takes so long, but I guess as we age, life has a way of growing us deep and providing a comfortability with self.

So, be at rest young person (or maybe old) in how you were created.

Stop comparing, stop worrying, forget the “what ifs” because the sooner you do, the sooner you will enjoy your life the way you were meant to.

Life passes so quickly, that someday when you get older, you’ll look back and wish you had relaxed with who you were are a lot sooner.


I love being older only for this one reason. I can just be me.

I don’t have to impress anyone or try to be something I’m not.

I guess time and life experiences have a way of teaching us depth and truth that was there all along.

So BLOOM!

Whatever your shape!

hydrangea heart flower in spring

Changes, and A Good Cry

The leaves and needles are falling, there’s change all over my backyard.

Nature is transitioning, and the cold is coming.

Nature mimics our lives.

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Change/transition can sometimes bring the cold too:

problems,

heartache,

and pain.

At times, ABSOLUTE TRAUMA.

Life can change out of nowhere, with not even a hint of warning…

loss of a job, a bad report from the doctor, a friend’s unfounded betrayal,

death.

And with it, brings heartache.

Deep, deep sadness.

The deepest pit.

Heartache [only YOU know] because it’s YOURS.

You own it at its deepest level.

bird fighting the snow and cold in Indiana


Yes, people can offer advice, words of comfort, even wisdom…

BUT words feel like a band-aid. You can’t really take them in.

You don’t want any more words.

You dread to see anyone. I mean how do you answer?

You feel you just can’t take anymore.

Finally, your body breaks down in a good cry. A hard cry. A shaking kind of cry.

A cry your body can’t hold in any longer.

And it pleads for a meeting with God.

A quiet, still place where He brings His presence. HIS sweet, wonderful presence.

It’s POWERFUL.

No one’s talking. It’s just still.

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That undeniable presence consumes your space.

You KNOW He’s near.

You.Can.Sense.It 

in every part of your being.

Only GOD can do that.

Only GOD really gets you.

He knows your deepest pain like no other.

Only HE can comfort.

Yes, HE knows you intimately.

He promises to get right in there and feel your sorrow with you.

He’s present…He really is.

Right alongside you.


We live in a fallen world with many hurts and disappointments.

This isn’t how we saw our lives.

This wasn’t the plan.

People weren’t supposed to be so mean.

My loved one was to be here for many, more years.

But..life happens and you’re caught off guard.

There’s no stopping it, or asking for a do-over.

You can never be prepared.

Lean on God, pour out your heart.

Feel embraced and loved today.

He gets it. He really does.

More than anyone else.

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And yes, someday…

Someday…IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE.

That is the HOPE I choose to lean on;

to cling to.

It’s my ONLY choice, really.

Her First Wedding Anniversary

wedding couple

Yesterday was our 29th wedding anniversary but today is my daughter and son-n-law’s FIRST.

My husband and I reflected on our first and thought of how many, many years have passed.

Some years seemed very slow. but as we age

and age…

THEY.SPEED.UP

Almost too fast!!

Sometimes, it seems sad.

We’re empty nesters now because our son just got married in August.

My advice to young people. (Yeah, you know you want to hear it. ha)

Barn wedding in Georgia

Yes, have fun.

Yes to adventure.

But don’t be going, doing, talking, moving so often that you don’t slow down.

You may just risk burning yourself out. And then, it’s too late.

Always take the time to be purposeful. Purposely slow down and take in the moment.

Be present.

Put your phone down.

bride and groom on a farm

<script
Have meaningful conversations face to face.

You’ll never regret it.

I promise!

Someday, you’ll be right where I am thinking about how you could

have slowed down even more.

wedding-couple

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let things go.

Choose your battles.

Schedule in reflective time.

Make a memory.

family wedding picture

If you want to see more wedding pics,  I wrote about the wedding day here:

http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ


*all photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com