“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husband and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5
Can I just say that this scripture has not only urged me to be a good wife and mother through the years, but my faithful friends living out the admonition of this passage have talked me off the ledge, talked me out of hysterics, driven me to my knees, calmed my fears, and made me laugh until my sides ached! I am, yet again, in a season of life that my Christ-like sisters who are just a few steps ahead of me on this journey are encouraging me to keep my head up and my feet moving! Oh, how I love them!
When Brian and I were dating and preparing for marriage I had wonderful woman who gave me great advice like always keep your marriage first, don’t stress about the small things, and never stop laughing together. Then throughout pregnancies and sleepless nights with babies and toddlers, the “older women” in my life brought meals, prayed for us, and rocked colicky babies so I could sleep! The teenage years are a blur, but I can hear the many different beautiful voices of my friends saying things like enjoy every moment, don’t stop we can see the finish line, don’t take yourself so seriously, and battles are won on your knees. But I must say thinking back over the many transition points in my life, the time I have needed them most is NOW.
You see, I have three children. My oldest son, Tanner is a US Airman and his precious wife, Whitney, and my three grands live in Montana which is way too many miles from this GiGi! My son, Jake, is 18 and graduated high school in May, and my baby, Madison, is a 16-year-old high school junior. We are in the throes of transition in the Gibbs home and I am not transitioning well. In a few days, we will be taking Jake to Texas A&M where he will serve in the Corps of Cadets and further his education.
To be honest, Jake will do amazingly well. He is ready physically, academically, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t remember the last time he needed re-directing, let alone, punishing. He is just mature, strong, and prepared. He has had victory and adversity and he has learned tough life lessons through them both. He is ready and I am not worried about him at all.
So, when the tears come (and there have been a lot of them), it isn’t out of worry or fear that we haven’t prepared him. The tears are simply because…I will miss him deeply, to the deepest part of my soul and I am not ready for this transition.
For those moms standing looking into the quickly approaching unavoidable horizon of sending a youngin off to school…I would like to share a few of the nuggets my precious friends have shared with me. Thank you, Suzanne, Cindy, my Brenda, and countless others for living reverent lives and being such an encouragement and safe place to so many of us…
- You have done a wonderful job. All the late-night runs to Walmart for the last-minute project supplies (OK, I know they assigned them 6 weeks ago but you know what I mean) and nachos at midnight so you could have some talk time…it all mattered.
- Write a note to leave with them when you say goodbye on move in day. I know we have so many things we want to say but it may be hard for the words to come in that moment. Take a little time to put your heart in writing and then leave it under their pillow.
- Make plans for the next time you will see them. It will give everyone something to look forward to and it will help with the missing.
- Set at time to talk to them each week. Texting is wonderful, but your momma’s heart is going to need to hear their voice. We can tell a lot just by their tone. ?
- Your relationship doesn’t have to change. That one actually came from Jake. He said, “Mom just because I am not living here doesn’t mean our relationship has to change. We will always be close and you will always be my momma.”
- Tears are cleansing. Let them come. They are simply authentic love.
- There are so many beautiful things about this new season. Learn to find the beauty and wonder in it.
Well, that’s it. I will have you on my heart as the Gibbs family faces what lies just days ahead. We can do this!! I will leave you one last thing Jake said to me during one of my many…well you know, emotional moments…“Momma, breathe. You have done a great job. Now it is time for me to do mine.”