Monday, March 20, 2017

Long Distance Learning

It always takes me a few days to get over the funk I feel when my girls leave. Distance is hard y'all. I've had plenty of it in the last ten years, but I tell myself there are still things God must need me to learn or remember because here I am thousands of miles from my Daughter1 trying to get my groove back after a wonderful week of nearly 24/7 togetherness. Even my youngest who is only an hour away can make me cry when she pulls out of the driveway and heads for home.

I'm so happy to have independent, faithful, optimistic grown up girls. That's the goal in parenting, right? Just checking. If someone wants to tell me otherwise I'd be okay with that. I fight against the deep down desire I have to keep them in my back pocket because I want my girls to live big and bold.

Sometimes living miles from your mama is the way God makes you who He has called you to be.

And sometimes my children living out of arms reach is what God uses to make me who He wants me to be.

I've been thinking a little bit about our years overseas, and how I put my babies on airplanes to attend university stateside while we lived on the other side of the pond. About how I had a front row seat to beauty in the making as my daughters grew into their adult selves via the distance. How when I was tempted to wallow in the missing or go for a swim in the worry waters I'd review my list of simple truths that are ours for the taking and the knowing and the remembering.

How I wrote those truths in a journal so I could throw them as a life preserver to myself when I swam out a little too far...

God loves my children.
And He loves me.

God is everywhere. 
His eye is on my little chicks and I know He watches me.

God has a plan for my children.
And a plan for me.

God keeps His promises.
This earth is not our home.

Sometimes I still need that life preserver...

So grateful for one that never fails.


  1. I'm glad that you had a great visit with your girls. I think parenting is harder the older our children get. Trusting God's plan for their lives becomes even more important once they reach adulthood.

  2. Wise reminders. Your girls are amazing and so are you!

  3. I needed to read this. Sometimes I feel like I am moving away too soon and my youngest still needs me close. I know it will all be fine, but it's hard isn't it?

  4. Oh, Joyce, I so get it and I so love your words of wisdom. I went into a bad funk last week when we left those boys and Clancy always cries when we leave. Oh, it tears me up and his Poppa too. But, I lived 1000 miles away from my parents for 35 of my 46 years of marriage and it wasn't a technical time and we made it somehow. I'm telling you when that little boy is born, your funk will double when you leave or they leave. But, FaceTime will become an intergal part of your life for sure. Hugs!

  5. Joyce I really do get what you are trying to say. My oldest son lives right here in the same town with me and I haven't spoken to him in almost 3 years. His choice, not mine. If it is God's will then okay!! Just thought I would throw out a little perspective for you!! Your daughters are beautiful!!

    1. I'm sorry for that distance Paula. I know it must be so hard.

  6. Soo glad you had this special time together. Boy do I ever know how you feel. I still struggle even believing that my only daughter is 1000 miles away from me, and there are times I just mark time between visits. But your right. I love that she was strong enough to leave her whole family and all her friends and what was familiar behind to go where God has so called her to be. And God? Well He knows my heart. And He picks me up out of my blues every time we part and it isn't long and I shake those feelings off and I've learned to just look forward to the next time. I do FaceTime with those little grands of mine frequently though because they have soooo added to the hardness of it all. The other day I got a FaceTime call from her oldest... 5 year old Sam who said, "grandma I was just missing you so mama said I could just call you up". My heart just melted. We talked for quite a while. Just him and me. How grateful I am that there is such a thing as FaceTime. I was high for a while from that call. But it also assured me too that 1000 miles or not those real connections can still be made. Hugs!

  7. Hi Joyce,
    I love how you wrote that you would keep them in your pocket, but you want them to do great things, as God as for them.
    We are navigating the waters of sending our first son to college. Next Tuesday we will be at our first open house.
    Yep, I would love to keep him in my pocket. I understand just what you wrote and needed to hear it again today.
    Thank you,

  8. I always say we raised our kids to be independent and darn it...they are! But I am so thankful for that. I think it means we did something right in parenting...they learned to live on their own. It is hard to say goodbye. I have hugged them goodbye with tears in my eyes many, many times. I sure can relate to this post. <3

  9. This is such a sweet post, Joyce. I know our goal is to raise independent, Christian children, but I agree with you. I want to keep them in my back pocket...or rather, my Mary Poppins purse, here with me.

    It is very hard, this mama-ing of grownups.

    Your girls are beautiful, just like their mama. Have a blessed day.

  10. Your post was very apt for me when I read it. We had all our kids home at the weekend plus the addition of 2 dogs. It was hectic and hard work at times but I wouldn't have it any other way and yes, when they all left and the house was empty I felt empty too. I'm lucky that mine are nearer but probably for their sakes not so close they are still in my pocket. It's hard to let go but it has to be done. But these visits are special and make memories for us to treasure and look back on when we need to feel close to them. And thank goodness for technology these days!

  11. Such an adorable photo of your girls. The distance has been hard for me with my Amber. It is nice having Adam nearby. This isn't how I pictured my life but I trust in God's plan for us.