Firsts and Lasts

I was raised by extremely loving parents. (By the way swHw ladies, my mother worked full-time my entire life.)  I realized at a fairly young age what a gift that was. When Kent and I became parents, we looked a lot to the advice of our parents. I’m so thankful they shared their wisdom only when we asked, never when it was unsolicited. (You know what I mean!)

When our daughter, Kennedi, was getting ready to head off to kindergarten, I was talking with my Dad and dramatically complaining about how big she was and how fast time was flying. I was a working mom, so I carried bitterness with me that was a byproduct of the guilt I felt because I got up and went to work everyday instead of baking muffins and playing with play-dough. I felt I was justified in my pity party. After all, she was a baby in my arms just yesterday and now, I was packing a lunch and letting go of her hand outside of a classroom. It was okay for me to cry.

After my Dad saw my sad face, he looked at me (and my Mom who was also struggling a bit) and nonchalantly said, “Well, I’m excited! Do you understand what the alternative is to a child growing up, Somer? You need to be thankful!”

In the moment, I was pretty annoyed with him. I mean, what did it hurt to let me whine a little?!

He was so right though. I was ruining the moment I was in because of bitterness from moments that were long gone.

As parents, we so often live wishing for the past and never fully enjoy the present. As a student pastor’s wife of 18 years, I see it everyday. The inability to be okay with time flying and to let go, as God has called us to do as parents, has us making some pretty significant parenting mistakes. In our desire to hold on tight and make sure every single moment of their childhood is micromanaged by us, we are raising lazy, dependent, entitled kiddos who think the world should revolve around them, instead of grasping that the world revolves around God.

So in light of all of that, here are three things I’ve learned in the last 16 years that I pray will encourage my momma friends in the thick of raising children right now:

  1. If God has called you to be a working mom, you better do it well, with the right attitude, and with your eyes wide open. (And if your situation requires you to work, then it’s a calling. God is not surprised by your situation.)  He has something for you in the place that He has you. Don’t miss it because you stubbornly believe your plan is better.
  2. It is 100% okay for your child to be the most important thing in your life, next to God and your husband. But priority and worship are two different things! We make our child a priority; we DO NOT worship our child. If you allow your world to revolve around them, guess what? That means when they leave your home, IF they leave your home, they will expect the rest of us to feel that way… and that’s going to make their adjustment to the real world even harder.
  3. God’s plan is SO, SO, SO good! Watching our children grow up is exciting, and like my Dad said, an absolute blessing. And spoiler alert: you will get to hangout with your kid in heaven too if they know Jesus as their Savior, so white-knuckling this earthly time we get, instead of enjoying it, is unnecessary. Look at eternity, friends!

I’m in the midst of some BIG firsts and lasts right now…

  • Last night, my 8th grader had her last middle school orchestra concert.
  • This weekend, we will go shopping for her first formal dress.
  • Last week, I drove my unlicensed 16 year old to school for the last time.
  • The next day, I watched her pull out of my driveway as she drove herself to school for the first time.   

And I’m okay! I’m excited! God is so good that He has allowed me the opportunity to raise these girls of His. And with that responsibility, I get a front row seat to see what amazing things He will do in and through them.

So let’s remember: The eternity God has planned brings crazy joy no earthly “last” can ever take away. Our story doesn’t end here, so let’s make sure we live, and parent, accordingly.  

By | 2017-08-07T01:29:36+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Business, Faith, Family|10 Comments

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10 Comments

  1. Sarah Bowden May 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I love this Somer! Thanks for the reminder. I struggle with be a working mom sometimes, but this is a great reminder to be present in all of the moments.

  2. Paige Stephenson May 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Wow!!! This is just beautiful. I have two amazing daughters, a senior and a freshman! I am a working mom and this all is SO true. I am experiencing new things in this stage of life. This is a great gift of wisdom. Thank you!!!

  3. Patty Johnson May 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    This was sooooo good! I cant tell you how this perspective makes so much sense, and I really needed to hear it! thank you Somer <3

  4. Michelle Ackley May 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Somer this is so right on target! Lately God has been teaching me and helping me teach others about this HOPE of HEAVEN and it really does change the way we should live out our lives on Earth! It should take away all of our mommy fears because no matter what happens on Earth, we have heaven to look forward to! Amen sister!

  5. Jamie May 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    As a working mother of two boys, this message hit home. I enjoy my career and prioritize my husband and boys, but also try, and sometimes fail, to release my control to God to take care of us. I do tend to obsess over my children and realize that motivation and encouragement is good, but discipline should not be avoided. Thank you for the reminder that we, as children of the One True GOD, can have joy and hope that are children will be our friends for eternity with focus on Him.

  6. Lauren May 11, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    This is a beautiful post and very encouraging to me as I’m a new mompreneur. I have struggled with the concept of realizing my business is God’s plan and being confused how to balance my home duties, wifely duties and mom duties. I forgot that my business was not mine and separate from everything else in my life but that it’s something I also need to surrender to the Lord. Reading your words that God designed me to be a working mom and that I don’t need to feel as if I’m doing my children a disservice was so encouraging and I’m so very glad I got this email today. God bless you as you continue your work, sister. He is truly using you.

  7. Tiffany May 12, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Oh my goodness–love this so much! My oldest is starting kindergarten this fall, so I’ve been dealing with those big feelings. 😉 Thank you, too, for affirming working moms and some of the special issues that go along with it.

  8. Cristina Williams May 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    WOW, that is some truth right there!!! So many good quotes. So much wisdom. I especially like these:

    First props goes to your dad (although I totally feel you on wanting to whine!). I love what he said:
    “Well, I’m excited! Do you understand what the alternative is to a child growing up, Somer? You need to be thankful!”

    Then what you wrote:

    “We are raising lazy, dependent, entitled kiddos who think the world should revolve around them, instead of grasping that the world revolves around God.”

    “We make our child a priority; we DO NOT worship our child.”

    Good, good, good — truth, truth, truth!

    I learn so much from y’all about how to be the mom God has called me to be (one day), and how to help other mamas I know! 😉

  9. Rhonda Gross May 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Awesome stuff. Thank you. I’ve been in one of those whining moods lately as I am watching my daughter get ready for her last year of college (yikes!) and my son get ready for his first year of high school. It does pass so quickly. And I’ve been so guilty of feeling of guilty because God’s plan didn’t include me staying home and baking muffins either. But you know what? He’s provided for us in every way. And He’s taught us all lessons along the way, too. Now that my daughter has (finally) made it out of the teenage stage and entered adulthood, she and I are finding a lot of joy in our relationship. We truly enjoy hanging out together, talking and sharing as friends instead of as mom/child.

  10. Mary Ruth May 12, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Somer,
    These are beautiful words of wisdom and encouragement from your heart to other moms. Thank you for sharing these truths for building strength, radiance, confidence and dependency on God in our children.
    Happy Mother’s Day to a sweet, energetic and loving mom.

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