Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Tribute to Firsts

Today marks a special day in the chapter of our lives. It is the first time we will take one of our children to college. It is the first time I have a 19 year old, remember I am only 34, it is the first time I have felt sadness and true happiness at once. It is the first time I have witnessed first hand GOD's hand and grace and mercy at work in one of my children's lives, as it is played out so obviously before us all.

This time a year ago, M's college plans were swiftly changed and a new plan was instated. She held onto her hope that she would this year go away to school, start her college experience and be "independent". As that day has come, I cannot do anything but stand in awe of God's hand at work in her life. His and her plan have come together as one and her she goes. . . .

She will only be an hour away, but my other children just cried this morning as they pulled away to go to school. M had gotten up to see them all off and say their good-byes, but I had no idea of the reaction from some of my other kids. Especially little ME. ME was 2 months old when M came to live with us. So. . .for ME it is like a part of her mother is leaving. M was truly MY helpmate in the early days of this ministry. She rocked, fed, changed diapers, put little ones to sleep, and most importantly bonded and shared a relationship with her. She has done that with all of our kids.

Saturday marked M's 19th birthday and all the kids were given the statement to finish "how M has impacted me or what I love about her most.. " All eleven statements would be too long to post, but the underlying comment was the importance of her positive, upbeat nature and her willingness to have a relationship with all of them. Truly amazing, God is awesome and HE has hand-picked our little, big family to work just so. To Him be the glory for that.

Check out some fun photos as a tribute to precious M!!

Our first family photo with M and M. (they will die when they see this!)

Through the years our family began to change and grow!

Then. . through the years, she began to change and grow!

M and little ME, they were inseparable in those early years!

Then along came little J, what a great big sister she has been to him.

More importantly, all these girls are looking up to you!

And now, she is 19, all grown up and going to college. . . I think I will cry my eyes out right now, then some more later! We love you M and God has big plans for your life. We can't wait to watch it all unfold!!


Anonymous said...

mom you told me not to read this today but i did ... thank god for waterproof mascara

elizabeth said...

I just cried reading this. Seeing God's story for her (and you) unfold as just a bystander is amazing...I can't even imagine how it must feel for you.

Congratulations M, and congratulations W for all you have done to get to this point...probably the hardest being just to surrender to HIS will.

Amazing. Thanks for sharing.


JMom said...

I have been thinking about ya'll all day. Can't wait to hear about the dropoff!

Joni said...

What a great story. I, too,had tears in my eyes as I read about the love your children have for one another.


georgia mom said...

I, too, am in tears and not just because I lost my beloved babysitter! I am so excited for M and so proud to see what God has done in her life. I can't wait to see the next chapter! She is a great girl and ya'll are great parents.

....and is it too early to ask her if she'll be coming home for the summer?

elizabeth said...

Left you an award on my blog. (participate if you want to.)


momsi/Nonni said...

What a sweet tribute to you W and M!! It takes trusting in God to stand where you are. It is so good to see parents encouraging their children the way you do. Thank you for sharing this and I too wish God's Blessing on M as she heads off to college and more importantly
as she continues to see God work in ways that she will stand amazed.

Elizabeth said...

Hello! You left me a such kind greeting via my spotlight a couple of weeks ago and I am trying to greet everyone in return! I have been to your page before and I love your family photo! I have a lump in my throat reading about your daughter heading off to college - that will be my daughter this time next year - gulp!! Travel safely and I hope our paths cross in SAT. Elizabeth

CookingMama said...

Hi! My friends met you this weekend at Beth Moore!! I graduated Samford in 92...So excited when i mentioned this cute group from Rome that my friends would probably not run into and then she said she talked to ya'll for a long time! How cute and fun ya'll are and your great hair!! stefanie :)

3girlsmom said...

HEY! I was looking back through the Siesta Fiesta blogroll and found your blog. Thought I'd drop by and say hey! SO glad to meet you in SA and glad to finally put a real live face with a blog.
Stay in touch - I'll be checking in!

Amanda said...

I could cry looking at all your family pics. What a special bunch! You are precious!

Kristen said...

Wow... Your screen name intrigued me so I came over for a visit! Gorgeous family and what a lovely girl spreading her wings as she heads off to college and new chapter in her life. May God continue to bless her and grant her grace and peace! I bet ya'll have a blast together!!!

Luanne said...

I found your comment on the LPM site! Hey, Siesta! Anyways, I saw, "Mom of 11" and had to check it out! I can relate to your daughter going off to college. I have been blogging about my thoughts of my son's "going off to college" journey just a week ago. I miss him, so! God bless you and your fam--

ForHisGlory said...

Hello to you precious mom of eleven. We had an opportunity to speak a bit at the pj party...Hey I have a reduculous question, but in need of support, we've semi taken possesion of a your 19 year old girl she has been motherless since the age of 13 honestly she is stuck there...How on earth do you help these broken kids..I mean this with every questioning and broken bone in my body. I'm so discouraged...she doesn't have any motivation to do anything with her life. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH... Just thought you might have insight. Tiffany For His Glory