I officially entered motherhood when Kathryn entered the world in 1986 followed by Alex in 1988. Previous to that I had done some baby sitting and later took on some responsibilities that sure made me feel like I was the mother of a teenager before I was an official mother. But that did not qualify.

I entered Motherhood with excitement and enthusiasm. When Kathryn joyfully arrived in to the world we found out how unprepared we were to handle this new, helpless life.

Motherhood is one of the most demanding challenges on the planet, That’s why I love this t-Shirt. I wore it until it had so many holes I really had to retire it, but not before I took a photo to attempt to immortalize it.

The challenges of motherhood include long hours. One unofficially  ‘earns’  certificates and degrees in things like nutrition, psychology, nursing, time management, finance and yes, chauffeuring. With these two children I have lived through a life threatening drowning accident, late night conversations about relationships and arguments for the sake of arguing. There was an emergency surgery on Christmas Day in a foreign country, discerning where to go to University and why, lots of sporting events, celebrations and tears of heartbreak.

For me, one of my favorite challenges was, and is, to understand who each child is. What do I mean by that? Well, Kathryn became a high-end residential interior designer. Alex became an A U.S. Army Ranger Captain before he left the Army and moved on to consulting. They are very different! Yes they are from the “same mother, same father” as I learned to distinguish during my years in Africa. One might suggest, ‘All boy & all girl!’ But trust me it is not as simple as that. Every person is unique!

Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yes, that is about character development, but it is so much more. Parents get to study the children God has given us to raise to adulthood. We call them up into their strengths and we help them learn to cope in their areas of weakness. We help them learn who God made them to be. We encourage them to dream of possibilities and then we get to release them to find out where their gifts and talents will take them. We cheer them on to continue the cycle. Alex married Evelyn the end of May and Kathryn will marry Dewey just after Labor Day. 

Dewey, Kathryn, Evelyn & Alex. Just the beginning.

I have already released them to schooling far from home, then to careers in places geographically distant. Those things were hard for me because they occupied so much of my time for at least two decades of my life. But a lot of hard work by both parents, turned out responsible, God-fearing people who are up to the challenges of continuing the cycle.

Please forgive me for being a bit nostalgic as I release them yet again to a new level of becoming who God created them to be. Leaving and cleaving is important. My job is not exactly done, but now I get to be invited.

Besides…they all know I want to be a grandmother.=} THAT is another adventure I am looking forward to.=}

[I know, I know…I have to wait!]

Andrea (Madden) Van Boven : I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of “normal” that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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One thought on “MOTHERHOOD: It’s Not Just A Job It’s An ADVENTURE

  1. I applaud you in motherhood. It’s is not easy however you children are wonderful adults which gives testimony to parents leadership. It also shows in the knees where many times I am sure you found yourself with God. I cant wait to see the future and all it comes with. Gods blessings in abundance to you all.