The Indiana University students are back! We observed many a mom and dad walking alongside their new college student. Boy, that sure brought back memories of me choking up all the way home from Missouri and Georgia.
My kids both left home within a year of each other and I found myself walking by their bedrooms to say something then would quickly realize they weren’t there.
I ended up just shutting their doors. 🗣😭
Leaving our babies behind, wondering when we’ll see them next is a difficult transition. And many of us are/were going through menopause at the same time! 😳 I always said it was God’s cruel joke! We put in all these years of hard work, making lunches, sewing costumes, throwing parties, working in their classrooms, for all of it to come down to moments like this. This is when we do double duty praying that our kids meet professors that align with their upbringing, meet encouraging friends that have the same morals, that their minds only be open to things that will help them grow and become the people they were destined to be.
We’ve worked with college ministries as well as international students. And can you imagine leaving your child in another country? 🙀
We pray our young people come to know God and make a change in this world just by being who God always intended them to be.🙏 .
When my husband and I started dating, we enjoyed leaving love notes for each other in creative and clever ways. ❤️ Later on, I tried to do the same with my two kids. And, I sure got a kick out of seeing them doing the same for us, each other, and now with their spouses.
But, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to surprise someone with a love note. We have left notes for all sorts of reasons…a job promotion, a Geography Bee winning, a note of encouragement or note noticing your kid helped another person…the skies the limit!
Here, I snuck out after the snow stopped to leave love notes for my hubby to find before he left for work the following day. 🙂 ⛄️
OK, so here’s the list of things we actually did throughout the years, or ideas I came up with.
(More pictures at the end of the post. 🤗)
• Hide notes in lunch boxes, books, backpacks or under and behind items for someone to find when they clean the house.
• Sneak out at night and write a sweet message on their car with shoe polish paint.
• Leave a note under their favorite coffee cup or hygiene item they use every morning.
• Use dry erase marker to write a love note, positive thought or verse on their bathroom mirror.
• Print out a sign and tape it to a wall where they’ll see it when they open their door or behind a door they will close. (i.e. bathroom door)
• Find your kids’ homework agenda and leave a congratulatory, encouraging, or fun message on a particular day. (i.e. a tryout days, their first week of school, a birthday, a milestone.) 🗒
• Kiss the back of a card’s envelope with lipstick on and print S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) 💋
• Leave a note on the rear view mirror or in their car seat.
• Write a note on the toilet paper using a Sharpie. 😉HA
• Slide a creatively designed note under their door at night, so they see it first thing in the morning.
• Use dry erase marker or permanent Sharpie to write on a coffee mug or favorite glass.
• Make a unique plate to be used for special occasions ONLY. (i.e. “You’re So Smart”, “You Did IT!” “Congratulations!” “We’re Proud of You!”) 👍🏼
• Tuck a note in a pant pocket, coat pocket or glove.
• Leave a note inside their glasses case. 👓
• Leave a note on top of a stack of clothes you’ve folded.
• Leave a card or note under the car windshield wipers while they’re at work.
• Leave a note taped to their computer, the remote or TV. 📺
• Tape a note to their favorite food item that they use every day. (i.e. creamer, cereal or coffee can.)
• Place a note under their pillow or pinned to a favorite blanket. 🛌
• Tape a note to their car keys.
• Leave a note in their suitcase as they leave for camp or a business trip.
• Lastly, of course, you can always just send an e-mail or text. 😉 💌
JUST HAVE FUN WITH IT❣️
Tell us in the comments below what you have done before. 👇🏽
As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?
I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!
Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?
As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.
So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?
I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.
I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.
So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.
Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”
Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.
I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.
Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. ❤️
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.
And just last week, my son and his newly, graduated wife moved to Ohio where they both are starting new jobs this week.
They changed before and now they’re changing again.
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!
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.
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.
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!🙏💜
Now for some more reflection….
And then there’s my own mom who married at 17 and had a 10.4 lb baby girl at 18.
The things we’ve put them through!
This snow “man” (Santa), that I made several years ago,
looks like he might be thinking
you’ve been NAUGHTY!! HA
Do you like the snow or not?
Do you have snow where you’re at right now?
I saw this on my friend’s Facebook page, today. (It was originally shared from the Scary Mommy page, I believe, but thought it too good to not share.)
I always had hoped I taught my children these important lessons.
Well, I know I had.
I saw them display this type of kindness from time to time as they were growing up.
After a prayer/object lesson each morning, I would say, “Now go let your little, light shine.”
Hoping to remind them to let God use them no matter who they encountered.
And when they’d return with a story, similar to this saying above,
well…it’d make THIS Mom’s heart swell!