Growing Up, Letting Go…

Watching our youngest daughter, Katie, prepare for another year of college has brought back a myriad of memories of those early “letting-go’s…”


“I can do it by myself!”

“I know you can, honey, but Mommy just wants to help you.”

“I don’t need your help!”

I’ve dreamed of this moment – the time when the girls would actually start doing more for themselves – a time when I wouldn’t feel like I was waiting on them hand and foot. But now that this longed-for occasion has arrived, something doesn’t feel quite right. I feel as if I’m losing something, like something precious is slipping away.

In fact, the longer that I’m a mother, the more I see that this vague feeling of loss is a continuous process. From their infancy until the present, our children’s level of dependency on Roy and me has th50BA24XOchanged dramatically. They used to be content to cuddle up on our laps for a story; now they’d rather have friends over to play. They used to run and jump in their Daddy’s arms when he walked in the door from work; now they sometimes don’t look up from what they’re doing.

As parents, we knew this would happen. In fact, we prayed that our children would grow up to be strong, independent adults. But it still isn’t easy to let go.

On Laura’s first day of school, my legs were like lead as I walked away, leaving her in a classroom of near-strangers. My vision was cloudy with tears and I knew I had to get out of there fast before everyone saw Laura’s mommy cry like a baby. My heart was heavy for several days – but it did get easier.

Of course when Mary starts “big school,” I’ll experience it all over again, but that’s all right. All these little “letting go’s” are preparing me for the big ones later on. And I know that when the daythCXFE7XIG arrives and the girls walk away into college, marriage, or a career, I’ll feel pretty much the same way. And I’ll breathe pretty much the same prayer…Oh God how I love these girls…please take care of them for us!”



     Oh Father, the girls are growing up so quickly. I’m beginning to see just how short-lived our time is together. Guide me as I strive to make our home a haven – a place of love, joy, and rest from this world – so that no matter how far they go, they can always depend on the love-light of home.

(From Time Out: A Quiet-time Devotional)

How has God helped you with the letting-go’s?

The Quiet Place


I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.    John 15:5

I have the most beautiful place set aside for my daily quiet time. A small nook, alcove, right off the kitchen. Morning sunlight filters in and dances across bare floors. Surrounding windows provide a picturesque view of my tiny flower garden as well as ferns spilling from hanging baskets. An inviting place – lovely really.

I was headed there today when a most important matter caught my attention. Kitchen was a mess and something had to be done. “Don’t worry,” I said to Quiet Place, “I’ll be right there. This is really most urgent.”

With Kitchen momentarily appeased, I eagerly padded toward Quiet Place. “Wait,” I said, “I would be a much better steward of my time if I made a quick visit with Laundry. Then I would be accomplishing a chore while enjoying my time with Devotions.” Good thinking. Brilliant, actually.

Word, Pen, and Journal whispered softly from their special spot in the quiet place. “What about us? We’re waiting, you know.”

“I’m very aware of that. One more minute please.”

And so it went.

Laundry notified Vacuuming, Sweeping and Dusting. Children began their day and needed my attention. Quiet Place watched – quietly. Pen and Journal went silent. They had been here before. They were accustomed to neglect. Word, however, continued to beckon. “I’m still here, don’t forget…”

“I haven’t forgotten,” I stammered with some irritation. “Just a few more minutes, please. These matters really are most urgent.”

Telephone agreed. So did Bills, Groceries, and Yard Work. Even Church Work weighed in and became quite demanding. Fatigue and Anxiousness rang the back doorbell. Are you kidding me? Can someone else answer that?

In frustration I looked to my old friend for help. But Quiet Place wasn’t in his usual spot. Confused, I searched for him, missing him more each moment. I checked with Living Room where Children were entertaining Television and Video Games.

No Quiet Place.

I ran to Bedroom and shouted at Stereo. “Silence please! I’m looking for Quiet Place!”

Meanwhile, Fatigue and Anxiousness had recruited reinforcements. Discontentment and Irritability slipped in uninvited and made themselves at home.

I have the most beautiful place set aside for my quiet time. It’s lovely, really…

Father, please forgive me for not being still before You.Convict me to come to You in quiet and with a humble heart, that I may truly worship You in Spirit and in Truth.

No matter the season of life, there will always be something to distract us from being still and quiet before our Lord. What hurdles do you face as you seek those quiet moments?

Mother’s Day

I love Mother’s Day, if only because the girls’ secretive excitement is so much fun to watch. Okay, so I like the gifts too. I can’t help it; I’m only human and presents are fun. Especially Mother’s Day presents: finger paintings, handprints, homemade jewelry, confections of every sort, pencil holders, place mats. Each masterpiece is crafted with such love that its value is immeasurable.Katie_Thomas 02

The days leading up to Mom’s big event are also exciting. I can’t walk down the hall without hearing “Mama, don’t look!” and then a quick slam of a bedroom door. The last-minute shopping trip with Daddy is also a yearly tradition. One or two days in advance, my family all proudly announce that they need to run uptown to “run some errands.” Grinning from ear to ear, they hop in Dad’s truck waving and blowing kisses, assuming that Mom couldn’t possibly know what they are up to. An hour or two later they burst into the house with shouts of “Mama, close your eyes!” Then they seclude themselves in their rooms among sounds of wrapping paper and tape being pulled off the roll. They emerge sometime later with those same precious grins, their eyes wide with innocence. “Mama, you can’t go in our room, okay?”

“Okay,” I promise.

I hope they have things hidden well. I’d hate to stumble onto something when I check on them tonight. (Big smile)

Lord, thank You for my family. Thank You for special days. Thank You for the sound of little voices and for childish expressions of love.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

(Excerpted from Time Out: A Quiet-time Devotional for Busy Moms)

Update: Gathering with the family tonight at the home of one of the girls. Celebrating mom-hood and grammy-hood!



Welcome to the launch of my new blog, Heart Undivided. It’s been a few years since the days of Time Out when I longed for a moment to call my own. When the hours were filled with diapers, laundry, appointments, ballgames, homework, and the constant running, running, running. Oh the sweet chaos of that time! How I cherish the memories!

I look back with awe at how God worked through those years when the girls were little—comforting, challenging, growing me. Through all the mistakes, all the bumbling around as wife and mother, I am filled with wonder knowing my Heavenly Father never quit on me. That He actually used me to accomplish His purposes. There’s only one way to describe it.



This is a new season of life. Roy and I praise God for His faithfulness as we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. To those who watched our girls grow up through Time Out, here’s a quick update:

Laura and Mary are through college and married with homes of their own. They gave us our first “sons,” Charlie and Matt. They are working hard and serving our Lord with abandon. Little Katie is a rising sophomore in college, pursuing God’s plan for her life. Those early prayers continue to be answered!

And three months ago, Laura and Charlie presented us with our first grandson, Jack. Yes, the little girl who put her sister’s hermit crab in the washing machine now has her own little one. I am mesmerized just watching them together.

Even though much has changed, certain things never will. I am still called to prayer—constantly. My roles as wife, mother, grammy, daughter and friend may be different, but God still calls in these areas.

And this I know—God’s women need each other. We are in this journey together, to grow, support and inspire.

Through Heart Undivided, I hope to do just that—share, encourage, and maybe start a conversation or two. So let’s continue walking together in this adventure called life…remembering the foundation of it all…