"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

7/29/08

Mama Love Plus

I didn't sleep so well last night.

You see, I had a lot on my mind. My boy Andrew, who's seven, is away at an overnight Christian camp. This is the first time he has slept away from home without us EVER. Never slept at a friend's house. Never spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's without his parents along. Nothin'. And, well, I'm a little concerned with how he's doing.

Yeah - I know. He's probably having so much fun he has forgotten who we are (or at least that I told him not to take his "blankie" or stuffed alligator with him so they wouldn't get dirty or lost). When go pick him up this evening--yeah, it's only ONE NIGHT away (I know - get a GRIP!)--he'll probably tell me he wants me to go home without him. But still, the house feels emptier, and so do I, with Andrew off somewhere else.

I keep having these questions running through my head:
Did he fall and hurt himself?
Did the other kids tease him?
Is he bored?
Does he miss us?
Did he fall asleep crying because he didn't have his blankie?
Did he get lost?
Does he hate camp, and me for sending him?
You know, I was actually expecting these couple days to be a nice little respite for us. Andrew is, well, high energy, and a bit of more calm (and lack of sibling squabbles) sounded like a wonderful thing. Yet, while I had some nice girly time with Annika, it has felt more like a void than anything. I miss him.

The camp puts up a little Quicktime slideshow of the kids' activities and such for each day at their website. I was there at about 4am this morning, watching (I DID say I didn't sleep much, didn't I?). I tell you, that laptop screen was about as close to my face as possible, looking for my little guy among the crowds. (Yeah, I found a few pictures of him. Made my morning - or whatever you call 4am!)

This whole experience has gotten me thinking about God. If I can get this worked up about less than 48 hours of my son out of my presence/control, how does the Lord feel when I focus on others to the exclusion of Him?
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you! Isaiah 49: 15 NIV
No matter where I go (even if it's "out to camp" for a day and a half), He will not forget me. I hate to think how much distress I have caused him when I "went away," focusing on my own desires and selfishness instead of His kingdom.

Lord, help me to remember that You love me more than I can possibly imagine. Help me to turn to You, instead of away from You, so I don't cause you even a fraction of the grief and anxiety I dealt with last night and this morning. And help me trust You, Lord, with my son, and know that whatever kind of experience he is having at camp (and life!) it is directly from You. In the name of Your Son (who You love even more than I do MY son) Jesus I pray.


7 comments:

  1. gerph. I have TWO kids that are gone this week! It's killing me!! Sleep? What's that? I have three kids still home--and we ALL wander around saying things like: "I wonder what Alex & Abby are doing?" "Do you think they're ok?" "Is it suposed to rain in Buffalo today?" "I hope it's not too hot for them to sleep (no a/c)..." PATHETIC!! And like you, I thought "yippee! lots of extra time to write and clean and play and..." Not happening. I can't concentrate.

    And just so you know...I'm wishing I'd borrowed Vonnie's steel toed shoes before reading this! I cringe to think of all the time I've gone off and done my own thing...Great tie in! Memorable! (to say the least!!)

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  2. Oh Joanne, I shudder to think of the time (years from now), when my little Sweet Pea will be leaving the nest, for one night or longer! This was a great message though, thanks for the reminder that God is not just our Father, but our Daddy too!

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  3. Ahhhhh...JO,(sniff, sniff) it's hard being a mom, isn't it? Wait til they go to college or get married. I cried for each one of them.

    Thanks for the reminder of how much God loves us.

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  4. Joanne, I have one son and let me tell you, I knew just how you were feeling last night. Every little step they take away from us is filled with bittersweet thoughts in our heads: glad they're strong enough to do it, sad they ARE doing it! Awww...to us, they are always our babies-heard that all my life and now I understand. I love the tie-in to God and how He feels when we wander off for a time. His role in my life has been enhanced and more understood since I had Joseph.

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  5. So glad your son had a good time and you survived his time away! This is only the beginning, my dear friend. Love you!

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  6. This brings back memories from when you oldest had his first night away from home. How well I remember the ache I felt...for so many reasons.

    He's 19 now, but even still, when he goes away a part of me goes with him. I felt this so profoundly last year when I dropped him off at college. I have different feelings this year, but still my heart sheds some of those "letting go" tears.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I popped over from "Exemplify."

    Blessings and peace to you in all yoru letting go's!

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  7. Awww. Great post and I love how you tied it in spiritually. So true.

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