My Emily is at camp this week for the first time. She has been gone since Monday and I'm going to pick her up tomorrow. My sister-friends think it's quite funny to hear how I'm missing her...but I am. It's a strange experience of giving up control when my kids go to camp. For the first time in my life, I give them to complete strangers to keep them safe and have to rely on God's love and protection in a different and more complete way. I don't know if I can articulate my heart but I will try.
Every time I've left my children in the past I leave them with family or friends, people I know and trust. And I have left them...Doug and I have taken weekends away together and even gone on a 7 day cruise together and left the kids behind. I think that it is extremely important for both mom, dad and kids to get away sometimes. We go away, they stay at grandma's or cousin's or friends houses for a day or two...
But camp is different. They stay away a long time. I can't call them(however, one of my rules when on vacation is not to call...it upsets everybody...so I'm not sure why this bothers me?) I don't know what they are doing. I'm not sure who they are with. I don't know what they are eating. I don't know if they are pooping. This is a very strange twilight place for me to be....I'm usually not this mom. ???? I'm always about them growing up independent, growing up self-reliant. A "you can work it out on your own" kind of mom.
But I think the part of camp that stretches me most is that I have to wholly rely on God. I'm required to put feet to my faith and believe that God loves my kids more than I do and that he is more capable than I to take care of them, to love them, to provide for them, to keep them safe. It's a faith exercise for me. A time when I open up my hands and give God my most precious treasure. And also open up my hands and bless my kids and say, "Fly!" It's a small flight and I know there will be much bigger ones to come...I'm grateful for these baby steps of letting go but it doesn't make them any easier.
Thank you Father, for the most amazing gift of motherhood and for allowing me time to cuddle and love and teach and grow these four amazing children. The time is short I know, each day I learn that more and more. I trust you Lord. Please keep Emily safe. Please reveal yourself to her heart in a way that changes her, that challenges her to want to know you more. May her time away from me be a time when she seeks to know you and rely on you more. You are her creator, her life-giver, her Savior, her friend, her provider, her comforter. I open my hands, my grip...I know that's my role. I pray that you reveal your love to her loudly and whisper into her ear that I love her too, please.