Never Enough

I just hate when bloggers fall off the radar for several weeks, leaving their readers either 1) wondering where they went, or 2) forgetting they ever existed.  I hope if you’re reading this you aren’t in the second group.  And if you are – HI, I’m back.

When I started blogging this summer, I was committed to blogging at least once a week because writing is a passion and I WANT to WRITE!  However, I didn’t necessarily take into account that life might be spinning at too grand a speed to keep up with. 
May I share a bit about the last 2 months with you?

My husband has been in the wireless telecom industry for 15 years.  For the last 11 years he has worked for the same company and advanced up the ladder slowly but surely.  This summer he was finally offered the opportunity of a lifetime as the vice president of a company in Washington.  Yes, Washington State.

We were thrilled, but a little nervous about moving from Texas to Seattle in time to get our daughters registered for school by September 1st.  We waited and waited for the final offer letter and more information about the timeline for when all of this would be happening.  Shockingly enough, the company wasn’t all too concerned about a mother’s dilemma in back to school shopping (i.e. t-shirts and capris or sweaters and boots) – Texas vs. Washington fashion wear is a bit different in early September, and always.

In addition to finding a house in Seattle, we would also need to pack up our house in Texas where we’ve resided for almost 11 years.  And that doesn’t just happen in a day or two. At least one garage sale was lurking in my future, I felt sure.

Oh, and did I mention my 18-year-old was in the process of moving out and into his own apartment?  My mission was to help him get ready to move and to keep my ugly-cry-face hidden from him at all costs.  I wanted him to feel excited about his next step of independence and not one bit worried about his poor mother dissolving into tears every few minutes.  The thought of driving away and leaving him in Texas and moving to Washington was something I could only think about in a controlled environment about once a day.

As far as the move itself, there was SO MUCH to do, but we couldn’t really do anything until we knew what we were doing.  This made for some long conversations of speculation and pretend-planning, as well as days and days of nail biting and anxiety attacks.

We excitedly broke the news to friends and family.  I could feel the surprise and the lack of enthusiasm from my mother especially.  While my Dad began to route the drive to Seattle considering the cost of gas, hours on the road and possible stopping points along the way, my mother went about her business like Scarlett O’Hara – oh, fiddle-dee-dee, I’ll think about that tomorrow.  She decided not to think or talk too much about it which was A-OK with me.  I really didn’t want to think about how far away it was either.  Or how long it would be before I could come home.

Just as summer was drawing to a close and Erik was about to purchase round trip tickets to Seattle to look at houses – everything changed.  He got a call one Monday morning that he would be getting the VP job, but instead of the Pacific Northwest market he would remain in the Southwest Region.  No move, no change in schools, no 2,000 miles away from Bryce – NO KIDDING!

I called my mother and said, “What have you been praying for?  Because I think it just happened.”

I’m still stunned at how God worked it all out.  He answered a prayer we hadn’t even thought to pray!  He is so good.
So life did go back to some semblance of normalcy around the first of September.  The girls started school and Erik started traveling around to all the offices in the southwest region to meet his staff and start getting his feet wet in his dream job.  I am so proud and happy for him!

I thought NOW I can finally sit down and write again.  But while life had almost settled down, my emotions were in free fall because my son was leaving home.  And the part of my brain that writes really shouldn’t post anything on the eternal internet while in free fall.  Otherwise my readers might get a taste of some of my peculiarities I keep hidden beneath the surface (I’m only slightly kidding 😉

…….back to my man-child moving out of the house.  I really thought I was ready for it.  God does a funny thing with teenagers and parents around the last year or so of high school.  It’s just a natural part of life that I’m actually grateful for.  He brings you to the place in your relationship with your kid that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt – yea, you aren’t supposed to live here anymore. 
Because God knows if he still looked like this I would never let him leave home.

Or this.

Or oh my goodness, this…I cannot even.
So as Bryce started packing up his room and setting the date for the big move, I guess I just went through a season that all parents go through at some point. 

Letting go. 

I kept saying to Erik, did we do enough?   I would pray, Lord did I do enough?  Was all our love and guidance over the last 18 years enough?  Did we teach him enough to survive on his own?  Did we do enough talking to him about heart disease and how important those 3 pills are every day?  Did his dad do enough to teach him about managing his finances?  Did I do enough to teach him how to believe in himself and take care of himself?  For weeks, this was my thought process.  Around and around the panic consumed me. 

But God is so faithful amidst the swirling thoughts we allow ourselves to get swept away in.  And He answered me one day, loud and clear.  I’ve been at peace ever since.

He said, “No, you didn’t do enough.  It’s not your job to do it ALLfor your child because you CAN’T.  You do what you can, realizing you’ll make mistakes and have regrets along the way.  You build a relationship with that little person and give them everything you can, but then you have to let go and give them to the world.  Give them to ME.”

God smiled and said, “I’ve got him.”

We pour everything into our kids, don’t we?  We celebrate the smallest victory.  We mourn over every heart break.  As parents, and moms especially, we recognize a child is like an internal organ walking around outside your body encountering every scary thing this world throws at them.   And we hope we’ve prepared them.  We do the best we can, and then we finally let go – usually leaving our tear stains and nail prints as they happily, confidently walk out the door.

And we’ve accomplished something great if they are happy to leave us.  Isn’t that painfully ironic?

God in His wisdom knew a long time ago that I would never be enough for my kids.  So he sent His son to die on the cross for them.  His son was resurrected for them.  His Son pursues them and courts them and prepares a way for them.  And most unbelievably – his Son loves them even more than I do and knows their gifts and promises even better than I do.

So yea, I’m okay with being “not enough” when it comes to my kids.  Because Jesus IS.

And when the devil gets busy and starts reminding me of all my failures and regrets with my kids, I’ve just started saying with a wink, “I’m just leaving room for Jesus!”

6 thoughts on “Never Enough

  1. Oh my goodness Jennie, That was beautiful! I didn't know you wrote! I'm in tears and didn't wear waterproof mascara today:(. Bryce is one blessed man child! I'm so happy that everything worked out for all of you. God is good! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Jennie, I wanted to wait until I could sit and enjoy your post, so waited until I got back from Tahoka. Once again, beautiful writing, and so many life lessons God is teaching you. Your vulnerability and transparency make your writing “believable” – if that is the right word. We can all relate. We as parents do the best we know to do with the information we have, but it is never enough…but God is! Aren't we grateful that He is! What a good job! And I am pretty sure you are a great mom, I know you are if you are anything at all like your mom and grama!! Blessings!

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  3. You, my little sister, are a tremendously gifted writer. Thank you for sharing a trace of your life with me. God's grace and mercy leaves me constantly in awe! I love you precious Jennie!

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  4. Wow Jennie, what great words. Thank you. It's so funny how God is showing me the “depths” of casual friends and aquaintances I've met over the years. He reveals to me their heart, their spirit, their love, and I find myself overwhelmed with the “common-ness” we all share with other believers.
    Your words reminded me of the times my daughters moved out. I've prayed over my daughters all their lives but never so much as when they stepped out on their own. God is such a good Father. And so faithful. Anyway, I hope you and Erik are well and thank you for sharing your heart.

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