Apron Strings & Other Things

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“Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.”     —  Matthew 19:4-6

The descending countdown has continued every few weeks over the past several months.

“Only ten more days, Mom!”

My daughter’s words reverberated in my mind as I stood at my dining table folding laundry, alone in my quiet house. For several months we’d been planning, organizing, discussing, shopping, and yes, my daughter and I even had to navigate through a tad bit of squabbling. It’s been fun, exciting . . . special. In my mind, however, the “wedding day” was always way out there, off in the future somewhere.

“Only ten more days, Mom!” Her declaration echoed once again.

Things are now gettin’ real. As much as I wished, (only for a fleeting moment), that she might be tangled up in my apron strings (just a little), my daughter was all but holding the scissors, waiting. She was ready.

Meandering into my daughter’s room, I placed a small stack of folded clothing on her wicker dresser. Then, I did something I soon regretted. I sat down in her desk chair—shhh, don’t tell her! Clasping my hands together, I scanned her room, taking time to survey every detail.

I smiled at the tell-tale items capturing the essence of Amanda’s personality. Next to her “to do” list were various jars and glasses filled with seasoned paint brushes. Next to the small, plastic skeleton on her desk lay the book, “Physical Dysfunction Practice Skills for the O.T. Assistant”, right next to the book “Keep Calm and Pray”. On the wall, above where her guitar stood was a framed collection of her various 4H pigs from her pig-showing days, along with several canvas and wood artwork pieces created by herself. Hanging on the corner of her mirror was a fedora with a pretty, black flower, and . . . awwww, there sat a couple of framed pictures of her and I together.

As I slowly turned in her swivel desk chair, I noted the predominant framed pictures throughout her entire room were those of Amanda and her soon-to-be-hubby. A fond smile found my face until my focus dropped to various boxes on her floor. One of the boxes housed a neatly folded stack of homemade quilts she’d made, alongside of a box filled with cookbooks, linens and a recipe box. I noted another cardboard box, empty, soon to be filled with more of the items that have decorated her room for so many years. A large lump suddenly lodged in my throat as my smile gave way to burning tears. A recent quoted I’d stumbled upon invaded my mind:

“A mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore. The hardest part of that job is accepting success.”  — Unknown

As tears rolled out of my eyes, I selfishly pondered how my daughter could possibly live without me!

Lord, what do you say about this? Help me!

I made my way to my office at the back of my house and the memory of a short verse from God’s word whispered to my heart.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  — 1st Peter 5:7

Simple? Yes. Profound? Yesssss!

Sigh. Here’s the thing. Letting go is one of the hardest things we do in life. The process of letting go involves a complicated emotional challenge with relentless tugs to your heartstrings. The good news is, God knows. He always knows exactly what you and I are feeling as we journey through challenging life events . . . even when we find ourselves having to let go of our children. And . . . He cares. He cares about our feelings, our struggles, our difficult moments. When we cast our cares on Him, He gives us a special peace through prayer to help us cope.

“Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” – Proverbs 22:6

 I get it. God’s way is essentially to raise our children to leave us . . . to send them forth into the world to be who God created them to be. As much as I never wanted those precious toddler hugs to end, my daughter grew up and is now an amazing young woman. As she marries (in ten days), I need to let go so she can be used for God’s glory according to His purpose for her life. As for me? Well, I just need to put her care in God’s hands and trust.

Swiping the moisture away from my cheeks, I summoned God’s peace. Suddenly, my focus was drawn to a picture hanging on the wall in my office–one that was painted by my daughter and given to me as a gift. The picture with swirled hearts and elegant lettering reads this:

Mothers hold their child’s hand for a moment and their hearts for a lifetime.

I couldn’t have said it any better, Mandy-Girl.

Lord, I praise you and thank you today for your genuine care and concern for little ‘ol me and all of my “stuff”. Help me find peace and comfort in knowing that You understand all my feelings and are in control of all my circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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