This photo of my son playing college baseball popped up in my memories today from 6 years ago! Good times. I miss this...and him. I’ll never forget the day we dropped him off nine hours away from home, in the middle of nowhere. He did not know anyone there and hadn’t even met his roommates yet. Wow – I tear up thinking about it. He survived it…and so did I! He’s still far away from home but he’s doing what he loves - coaching the game. We raised him up hoping he’d spread his wings and soar one day. Hooray, he’s doing it…but why is it so hard sometimes?
I still have one birdie left in the nest and before I know it…she’ll be soaring also. She’s a teenager, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that somedays I dread it like crazy and other days…well… let’s just say…it could have it's advantages! :)
I know that the 3rd time around isn’t going to be easy, and that’s why I’m so thankful Brenda L. Yoder wrote the book Fledge: Launching your kids without losing your mind, just for ME!! I’m happy to share MY book that she wrote for ME! Okay, just teasing about the “written for me” thing. All moms of human beings of any age or stage – this book is for you!
I have gleaned so much wisdom from its pages, mainly, the self-assessment exercises that follow each chapter called “Building up and letting go.” Reading it is the medicine I need to heal the mom grief that comes with preparing my daughter for release. It has also encouraged me to accept myself and reassess who I am as and individual, friend and wife during this season of life.
Brenda is going to chime in on my blog today! Woo Hoo – I just love having company! She shares great wisdom with us momma’s. But wait…there is more good news! I’m giving away a copy of Fledge!! So, be sure to comment in the blog's comment section or on the Facebook post where the blog is linked. I will draw a winner on Thursday!
Why God Calls Warriors to Let God
By Brenda L Yoder
“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, are children born in one’s youth.” Psalm 127:4
I watched through the pouring rain as my daughter walked away from the curb hauling two large suitcases. It was a milestone moment—Mama had no tears.
I had dropped Jenna off at the international terminal multiple times before as she traveled to Guatemala as a short term mission worker during her college and post-college years. She’s now a full time missionary doing orphan care in Mexico. When I dropped her off in the past, I couldn’t drive away without crying and worrying about her safety and nursing my own heart. She has an extra special place as my only daughter and firstborn.
Instead of tears this time, there was joy. Jenna is a seasoned traveler now, so I don’t really worry anymore. The personal growth she’s developed on the mission field gives me peace knowing she’s healthy and happy where she is. The passion she has for orphans and her relationship with Jesus Christ gives me assurance that God’s taking care of her when she’s out of my reach.
“Like arrows in the hands of warriors are children born of one’s youth” Psalm 127:4 says. God’s word is timeless and powerful to meet every need of life, including parenting. Psalm 127 instructs us that children are designed by God to be released into the future He has for them. Preparing them includes fledging their arrow. To fledge is to put feathers on an arrow, to equip them to fly.
This is our mandate as parents—we’re supposed to get them ready, to give them strong feathers for flight. Then we are to release them.
I appreciate the imagery of warriors that God uses for parents. We defend, protect, and equip. When we release, we’re to be strong. Raising kids is for warriors, not wimps. Raising them to be equipped for the world outside of our quiver is God’s call.
Strong warriors release arrows so they can fly far, wherever God takes them.
When Jenna chose a university far away from home, God convicted me it was just a stepping stone to overseas work he was calling her to do. The wimp in me wanted to pull her back in my quiver and say, “no way.” But as a Christian mom, I had to face the fact if I was raising my kids to love and serve Jesus, it meant I had to get out of the way and give up my mom-rights. I couldn’t keep them close because it felt best for me.
The moment of no tears that rainy day meant God was strengthening me as mom. It’s something you do over and over again as you let go of your kids to God’s care. God’s word is sufficient to meet our every need, too. It’s on His truth we stand as warriors who let go, again and again.
For more on everything in the fledge stage of parenting—letting go, mom grief, identity, facing midlife, and everything in between, get Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. Jim Daly of Focus on the Family says it’s filled with “sensitive, biblical wisdom for moms who want to help their children launch well.” It’s available online and at major retailers. Join me on Facebook for our upcoming Fledge Parenting Forum, and on Instagram, Twitter, and at the Life Beyond the Picket Fence blog at brendayoder.com
Brenda Yoder is a national speaker, author, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and life coach whose passion is encouraging others when life doesn’t fit the storybook image. Authentic and humorous, Brenda connects with women and moms in a way that will have you laughing and crying all at the same time.
Her new book, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind is a personal handbook for parents in the season of raising and releasing kids. Brenda’s been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul books: Reboot Your Life and Confident and Curvy; the Washington Post, and For Every Mom. Her first book for busy moms, Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All released in 2015.
Brenda is also former teacher and school counselor and was twice awarded the Touchstone Award for teachers. Her ministry, , is found at where she writes about faith, life, and family beyond the storybook image. Brenda is a wife and mom of four children, ranging from teens to adults, and lives on a farm in Indiana. You can connect with Brenda on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Join her Facebook page to follow the new Fledge Parent Forum for moms releasing their kids.