10/15/08

Encouraging a Young Mother (and Happy BD to Abby!)


I am so proud of my friend Andrea. I met her through blog land a few years ago and I think she is a fantastic mother and wife to her husband. She moves around a lot (her husband is in the Army), and she always stays so focused and positive in life’s changes and challenges around her, plus she’s an incredible mother to 3 beautiful children. (Check out Sgt and Mrs Hub, here.)

I encouraged her awhile back, so she wrote me a very sweet note:

Thanks so much for loving on me! Seriously. My parents are missionaries and have been in China for the last three months - and I tell you, God has been so faithful to me... He has provided these little "mothering" touches at just the times I need them most. I haven't been able to talk to my mom except for three times and I miss the love that comes from that relationship. So, your sweet, encouraging words were just what my heart needed to hear.

I immediately felt Andrea’s pain. And reading her email brought me back to 12 years ago TODAY, when my youngest child was born.


Twelve years ago (photo of me and kids taken the first night home), the night I brought Abby home from the hospital (Elliot was 4, Garrett 2), I cried my eyes out because my mom, who was had previously come home with me after every birth, couldn't be there. She was too sick with cancer.

Miss Abigail had her nights and days mixed up and I was exhausted. I wanted my mom in such a bad way. When my boys were born, she would stay up with the babies at night so I could sleep, and then wake me up when it was time to feed the baby. She’d cook for our family and even clean under my kitchen sink! So this was my first time to ever "need" her in such a way that it made me break down and cry.


Twelve years later I have gotten over the pain. But I still feel a twinge when I read an email like Andrea’s.

I know the value of a mother, the role she plays in a daughter’s life. And when I’m tempted to pick up the phone to call my mom, I’m reminded of all the wonderful women who in the past twelve years have stepped up to the plate, offering me insight and motherly advice.

I am thankful for the years I had with my Mom. And I’m thankful for the older friends in my life who season my life with wisdom and grace.

I’m thankful for the relationship I have with my daughter. A relationship that I pray will continue to be strong and healthy through her mothering years.


Yes, anyone who knows what it’s like to lose a mother knows that the “missing” aspect will never end.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my sweet Abigail Ellen Rose. Twelve years ago today, our family’s life was changed forever, as you’ve brought such joy and beauty and laughter to it.


How about you – Can you stretch yourself to find a young mother that you could encourage?

It’s a gift without a price tag, for sure!

(Very top photo: Andrea’s beautiful photography of her baby girl Eliza’s cheese-puff hand!)

Next post: 2 Fabulous Years of RE - GIVEAWAY!

36 comments:

Heidi said...

i understand this to the core...

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Oh, so many emotions right now...

You've touched a deep place in my heart, and I am sure man, many others, with this post. We all long for that beautiful relationship between a mother and a daughter.

I know I have come to treasure my relationship with my mother all that much more since she has been gone. She is home now and it made me realize how much I need her, not just as my mother but as my friend.

Happy Birthday to your beautiful - inside and out - Abby. I pray that God's blessings will rain down on her life.

-Andrea

Sonya said...

I know ALL about this kind of thing...my Dad passed on just 2 weeks before my first child was born and was it ever a difficult time. Very bittersweet to be with a beautiful healthy wee one and be losing a loved one at the same time.

The Thomas' said...

I've been a "lurker" for a while now, but had to comment on this post. My mom passed away when I was 12 and while I thought I had done a good job at "moving on," it all fell to pieces when I had my first child.

He's 3 now, but I still have twinges of pain wondering if I'm doing the whole mother thing right, and how I envy my friends who have their mothers around to help them, teach them, guide them.

I know she's watching me and cheering me on, but the longing for her advise never ceases.

Thank you for this beautiful post, and for your understanding!

G. said...

how encouraging. Andrea is a complete sweetheart. Before her parents went to China, they were actually our neighbors for a time. If you were to meet them, you would see where her sweetness comes from! I'm so glad you were able to encourage her and share that on your blog. :)

Nadine said...

What a touching post. I totally relate to the mom coming and staying with me when my kids were born.

There is something so special about that time and having mom around.

Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter.

Lis Garrett said...

Happy, happy birthday to Abby!

Kirstin said...

One of our youth leaders is a young mom and I am always encouraging her and building her up. Like you said, it's so important! I too miss my mom so much and wish she was around to share in all the joys of raising my girls. Oh and happy birthday to Abby!

Chinamama4 said...

Your post reminds me of when we brought our first daughter home from China. The day we left for Beijing, we called my dad from the airport and received the devastating news of the cancer that had returned and would take his life two months later. The combination of the joy of our long-awaited adoption and the pain of losing my beloved Dad was tough to deal with. I so miss his wisdom and love. He would have adored my children - he was so supportive of our plans to adopt.

Happy birthday to your Abby - she is such a lovely young lady!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sandy,

this was so touching ...
I called my mom today ...
My mom and I never had the greatest relationship, she has had depressions for many many years now, since I was little, which makes it really hard to relate... and which took it away from her to be a real mom to me.
I do have such a longing for this loving touch and not this always controlling and putting guilt trips on me... it's not always hard, since we live on a differnent continent, but always when I call her I feel rather bumbed out, than anything else ...
I'm expecting our forth child right now ...

Thank you soo much for taking the time to encourage a young mom in her lonly time ... you are awesome!!!

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter - I would love to hear her play the violin : )

Dini

Betts said...

I'm lucky to still have my mother. She's 87 and lives next door. I feel so blessed that I and my daughter see her nearly every day. I can't even imagine the void I'll feel when she's not in my life any more.

~j~ said...

another reminder to stop and appreciate the things we daily take for granted mainly each other.
I sensed in a greater way how much you miss your Mom but also how very much like her you are. You and Abby have many happy tomorrows ahead of you. Happy Birthday sweet girl.
Your life is beautiful!
xo
j

Anonymous said...

Your post touched my heart. My precious mother died from cancer in January. Yesterday would have been her 80th birthday. I miss her every day, and on some days, every hour. Just this week I realized that a young co-worker is hurting over the long-ago loss of her mom and I have made it my mission to nurture her. This is the first time I've visited your blog and find it so timely. I'll certainly be back. God bless you and Happy B-day to your darling daughter. Gail (homentx)

Julie said...

What a precious post.

Thanks for sharing your heart and the story of your precious girl.

You're not going to believe this...we had the same couch....

Hugs,
Julie

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Happy birthday to your precious daughter! And thank you for sharing such a heartfelt post about your mom. It really made me stop and think about how thankful I am that I have my mom to come home from the hospital with me. God bless you today!
Carrie

Ms. Tee said...

This is such a touching and beautiful post. My mom lives in another state and I miss her terribly. Thankfully, I have a bible study filled with encouraging, mothering women and I'm so grateful for that - it helps so much. Happy birthday to your precious girl! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Abby! I hope my daughter Annie and you can meet one day, you are 2 peas in a pod.

Sandy, sweet sweet post.

My mother is still alive and well, but half a country away and not a day goes by I don't miss her presence and friendship. She is such a hard worker, just jumps in and fixes messes in the most beautiful way, and kept my house running when the babies came. I understand your need and tears at Abby's homecoming!

deb meyers

Jen said...

You know I have several women in my life who are older who season me as well. It is so nice.
I cherish my relationship with my momma. She is my best friend whom I respect and love all the days of my life....
We have so many great times together....I may ask her to do a girls night soon...I know she would like this.
Happy Birthday Abby! Love on y9our mother everyday....
Hugs from Ky

see you there! said...

I just returned from visiting my Mom. I know I'm blessed to still have her even tho we live miles from one another.

Happy Birthday to Abby and thank you once again for your wonderful words.

Darla

duchess said...

Happy Birthday cute girl!

That was a very sweet post.

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

Wonderful, wonderful, post. My mom is still alive - we have not really ever had that close of a relationship, but I am thankful for what relationship there is. She is also a state away, so that makes it hard.

I am praying for God to bring an older lady into my life for encouragement and mentoring - that is close by. In the meantime, I am pressing more and more into Him! I have also been incredibly encouraged by your fabulous posts!

Happy Birthday to your sweet Abby!

MERRIANNE said...

THANK YOU FOR VISITING MY BLOG....

AND

GOSH...YOUR POST MADE ME CRY. :(

I STILL HAVE MY MOM AND I WANT TO CHERISH EVERY DAY THAT I HAVE WITH HER. THANK YOU FOR THIS....


I REALLY NEEDED IT.

deezie said...

What a beautiful Post!!! Happy Birthday to Abigail. My daughter who is 11 is named Abigail also. Love that name.
I lost my mom 1 year ago last week and the missing will never ever end just like you said. I keep thinking she is here to help me with something and she is not. I will remember her always.
oh, we have had 2 Girls Club meetings already because of you!!! both went so well and we will continue them
deezie

GiBee said...

It is so "heart-rewarding" to be able to encourage and help someone who doesn't have their mother close or has lost their mom!!

GiBee said...

Oh, and... Happy Birthday, Abby!!! On the edge of being a teen is a very exciting place to be! Enjoy it!!!

Lisa B. said...

Sandy,
I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I lost my mom to brain cancer when I was 18. I am now married and have two daughters of my own, ages 4 and 2, and I can totally relate to the cry that comes from inside for a "mom moment." Not only at the birth of my girls but those days when you feel as though a difficult season of child rearing will never pass....anyone can tell you you're doing a great job...but to hear it from your mom is priceless.

I can honestly say that God has truly blessed me with lots of surrogate moms and an amazing mother-in-law, all of which He has used at just the right moment when I needed them the most.

OKGardners said...

My Mom has been gone half of my life and you never get over the pain of NOT having her hugs, kisses and touches. It is a hard road to travel. I try to encourage young Moms, especially those who have no Mom in the local area. I remember the loneliness and pain of not having a Mom for encouragement. Thanks for this wonderful post.

Betty in Oklahoma

Heidijayhawk said...

i pray that we are all in the position that god puts us in when we are supposed to be there. thank you for such heartfelt words.

nel said...

Lovely, thoughtful post! My mother moved away a few years ago and since going through my separation I have really noticed not having immediate family around to help out with the practical things that have become more demanding and tiresome as a single mum. I also tend not to let her into too much of what is happening as she is so far away and would only worry! It has been hard.

I also love the wisdom of sharing through the generations, whether we are related or not doesn't matter, we can all encourage one another and bless the people who are in our lives and gain from the wisdom of those who are ahead.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom, and happy birthday to beautiful Abby, Nel x

Grace said...

well, here i was, looking at lots of yummy food pictures, and now i have to pause and find a tissue. this is an extremely touching post--thank you for sharing with us. i'm calling my mom immediately. :)

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I realized bloglines is not showing when you have new posts so I missed this one until now.

Happy (belated) Birthday to your dear sweet girl! Trusting her day and week has been an extra special one!

As for stretching myself to reach out to young mothers... you know where that stretching has and continues to lead me. :-)

Going out for coffee with yet another one next week as her husband is deployed for a year to Iraq while she remains here with 2 preschoolers.

Continuing to be stretched as I attempt to love and support these young women!!...

Cassidy said...

Happy Birthday to your dear Abigail.

Your post touched me to tears. I have lived in Texas all my life. When I went away to college I was a bit away but still in Texas.

The Lord has brought us to Florida about 5 or 5 1/2 months ago with my husband's job.

I *ache* for my mother. She had a brain annurism a year ago this last June. She is a precious person and we have never been closer than we became after her annurism. I guess realizing life was so short. She has always been the first to bathe my babies - it's just been a tradition.

I miss her terribly. She is not a "phone person" and she is internet illiterate ~smile~ so right now I know exactly what you mean.

My heart literally aches.
Thank you for opening up and sharing.
smiles, Cassidy
www.xanga.com/thankfulmommy

Niina said...

Wow, thanks you for sharing from your heart. My mom passed away from cancer July 2007. I was 5 month pregnant with our second child. My mom was with me when I gave birth to Hadassah our first. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to give birth with out her. However, with a loving husband, a wonderful midwife and an all knowing heavenly father Katherine Margaret came into this world last December.
Each day I miss my mom. I wish she was here with me. My mom was a lot like you. She had the gift of hospitality and passed it on to me. Each time I host in my home, love on my husband and cherish my children I am so thankful for who she was and how she taught and trained me to be a wife, a mother, a host and most of all a lover of Christ.
I find comfort in knowing that one day we will see our mothers again. For now we have the memories to pass on. I often think of my mom, with many others preparing our homecoming feast up in heaven.
Blessings to you, Niina

Ruth said...

Hi Tammy's mom Ruth here. I read your comment on daughter Tammy's blog & you mentioned being in Keizer which is where I live. I came by & read your Blog & was blessed by what you wrote, about mothers & daughters. Tammy is my one & only & i'm glad they have the two girls whom I enjoy very much

Anonymous said...

I am part of a MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers) group in this group most have very young children but there are a few of us that have older children as well as a preschooler and then we have our Mentor Mom who is there to encourage us too. We meet twice a month and encourage each other. I enjoy these meetings so much and have learned so much from the ones younger than me too. I only hope that I have taught them something as well.
Amy in Oklahoma

Mary Beth said...

Hi girls! This has become one of my favorite blogs because ...well, oh so many reasons. I am a grandmother now and also a reluctant entertainer, but I feel like the Lord is leading me into a new chapter of life, being a mentor to young SHM's in our church. I lost my mom in a car accident when I was 16 - I mostly wish she could meet my children and grandgirls. My oldest daughter is working overseas in ministry and that has been a hard letting go process. I am looking forward to being able to share with these young women and hopefully giving them some tools to work with and a friend to come alongside them. Thanks for all your encouragement!