mama heart

there’s been a lot of talk about my “mama heart” lately, with my family and friends.

let me rewind.


we dropped off gracie (my 10 year old) at camp on sunday.  ’nuff said, right?

she’s going to the camp that i grew up going to, in my home town.  its an amazing camp that i have so many great memories from.  its actually where i first received Christ!

but its 2 weeks long.


we’ve been away from her almost that long, but she’s never been away from us that long.  she’s always been at home, with family.  in her own bed. where we could skype with her.


so the talk of my “mama heart” has come up a number of times.  lots of prayers for it.  the stretching it will do.  how its preparing for loosening my grip on her.

but on night #2 of her being gone, without being able to tuck her in, my mama heart hurts.

i know that she will have an amazing time.  i know that these weeks will be ones of huge growth for her.  but there’s something different between head knowledge and the heart.  knowing something in my head doesn’t always translate directly the same to the heart.


i was panicking quite a bit the last few days before taking her to camp.  i felt like it just was a bad idea to take her to camp, she wasn’t ready, its too long.  i felt like it was my mother’s intuition kicking in telling me to protect my daughter.

but then someone with experience stepped in.  someone who has experienced being the mama with a too-tight grasp on her kids.  someone who let the fears take over.  and she spoke Truth into me.  she reminded me that those fears i was having were not my mother’s intuition, but satan tricking me:  “I had all those fears when mine went to camp. Really. I wondered if it was mother’s intuition or the Big Fat Liar trying to make me fearful, and persuading me to hold on even tighter to my babies. It was the Liar. I’m glad he lost that tug-of-war on my mind, and that Truth prevailed…so are my kids. :)” 

so yes, i’m freaking out.  but i’m also praying more than i ever have.  and silas and lily are as well.  we were praying together in the car this morning and they just had the sweetest prayers for grace!  totally heart melting, i wish i had recorded it for gracie to hear.  she is a delight in our family and as sean keeps saying, a missing piece to our puzzle.


(she tucked a sweet note for each of us under our sheets before she left for camp!)

for now, i am thankful that the camp posts pictures of the kids’ daily activities.  i may or may not have already checked the pictures about 15 times today.  and will first thing in the morning tomorrow. and the next day.



  1. 1
    colleen says:

    Bless your mama heart.

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    Wow. What an encouragement for me to read this morning! i just dropped my baby girl (11 yrs) at camp f. – and it’s only DAY CAMP! Sweet girl just happened to start her “cycle” so shes. having yo deal with that on her own away from her mama! Darn that Eve….little. girls just shouldn’t have ti deal with much a grown up thing. Its so hard to let go but period and all, yesterday when i picked her up she said “it was the best day of my life!! Keeping that close to my heart today…….

  3. 3
    Lisa L. says:

    Priceless. . . . Just priceless!

  4. 4

    Sweet Girl,
    Any Mother that had the good fortune to be able to send her precious child to camp has gone through the very same emotions you are experiencing….trust me…your daughter is going through her own set of emotions. Now…you should lso know she is probably having a wonderful time …making new friends, learning new skills and learning a little about herself…all good and wonderful things. This is MEMORY TIME for her…she will be able to hold onto these memories all her life. My son attended CAMP LONGHORN in Texas each year…he will tell you those 2 weeks were magic! He went on to become a junior counselor there while in High School. This same boy (man?) leaves us for Medical School in Chicago in 3 weeks and this Mother is going through those same emotions again…:-)

  5. 5

    That’s so sweet. This brought tears to my eyes. My mama’s heart knows that our kids “need” to go to camp in the future, and I’m excited for that experience that they’ll have one day. Our oldest is 6, so I have some time to prepare myself! Haha!

  6. 6

    The time has come for us to say, that this has been a lovely day, and Gods Spirit dwelling in your heart, won’t be leaving when the sun goes down. So have a good night, have a good night, have a good, good night. Have a good night, my good friend.

    I worked there, and every night we sang this song to the kids outside their door. She will be tucked in every night with that lovely song. She will be loved. I sing it to my sweet babies.

    It’s an amazing camp. She will be loved well.

    • 7
      lindsey says:

      this comment made me teary just reading it! how awesome that you worked there!

      home of the world’s best campers!

  7. 8

    Thanks so much for sharing! As I sit crying about your “momma heart”, I too, have a momma heart right now, but just with different circumstances. My baby is 15 and there are so many lessons and prayers going on right now. I know that God has got it, but I have got to learn to totally give it over to him.
    Hope your daughter has a great time and can’t wait to hear how it went!

  8. 9

    I love her note! I bet that was a lovely find after seeing her off that day =)

  9. 10

    Oh thank you for this! My momma heart is being stretched and tugged as we get our oldest ready to go off to kindergarten. I know that prayers and faith in my Heavenly Father will help me and allow her to have an amazing time.

  10. 11
    Heather says:

    Boy do I understand that tight grip! I have this issue with my children as well and often they miss out on good opportunities to grow in grace because of my own insecurities. I really enjoyed your post about this!
    Thanks for sharing.

    -Heather, mother of four boys in Oklahoma

  11. 12
    Milissa says:

    Praying for you! I needed to hear this today! I dropped my son off on the other side of the country last week to go play football at university. He won’t be home until after bowl game season. (meaning after Christmas). It doesn’t get any easier even when it’s time for them to go and my mama heart is hurting. But as David says….”Oh come and magnify the Lord with me..” I will pray that our God is big enough for both of our precious ones and the enemy won’t defeat us!!

  12. 13

    I could not let my 10-year old go to camp this year. It just seemed like too much for my mommy heart to handle. Maybe next year… (I think I said that last year – oops). It’s good to read this post, to know that it can be done.

  13. 14
    Crystal says:

    Hang in there!! This past year I sent my oldest daughter to college. We all cried when it was time to leave. In fact, my husband was crying so much he almost couldn’t pray outloud. My heart ached for weeks especially when I went past her room. I’m happy to say that she had incredible first year and we that were left behind at home survived. My relationship with my other daughter increased immensly because it was the two of us alot of the time. Praying for you!!

  14. 15

    You are just awesome and so are your kids! Being a camp counselor in New York at a YMCA camp during college. It was the best job, as we had the best time with the kids-They had fun and could just be kids and we could too which was great, all the while teaching and guiding them! She is going to have an awesome time!!! Now that I’m a mommy, I understand your struggle. I am also a teacher so I see both sides of all of this. You’re are a better mom for letting go and hugging her to bits when she returns! It’s healthy for her and you too. ;) Trust in God. I do;) Love your blog and your shop! Yay!!! :)

  15. 16

    My website came up wrong in my post. Hopefully this one is correct.

  16. 17

    Three times is a charm!

  17. 18

    Wow. I don’t even know you (although I’ve been ‘following’ for a while) and this made me cry :(
    I already see the tendency to want to control everything in myself, and my first is only 6 months old. Ay ay ay. The Lord is so patient & uses this motherhood to more sanctifying than I could have imagined. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  18. 19

    I wrote an almost identical post a few weeks ago! My daughter, also 10 (she turned 10 on her last day at camp! Talk about pulling the heartstrings!) left us for 5 days, and it was her first time away from us that long! My heart was in pieces and I too was praying like I’ve never prayed!
    You are doing a great thing for her and I bet she is having a blast!!

  19. 20

    such a cute close family!! nice

  20. 21

    I so needed to read this today! My 9 year old leaves for a week long church camp on Monday. She has not been away from us (or us from her) for more than one night! I also have been feeling that my doubts were my mother’s intuition and maybe I should keep her home. Thank you for passing along the encouragement you received from another mother, because now you have helped this scared mama :)

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