A Mama’s Heart

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A Mama's Heart @ A Virtuous Woman

Yesterday was full of emotions. My mother-in-law finally came home from the hospital. She’s had a rough go of it this past few weeks. She’s on oxygen and has congestive heart failure and we are praying she regains some of her strength.

I don’t often talk about deeply emotional or personal things here, simply because I am really a very private person. But every now and again there are things deep that I feel led to share with you.

I’m going to go ahead and warn you – this is a long post.

After we got her settled in I rushed home to help my beautiful girls get ready for their second recital. I did Laura’s hair. She plays the violin and she likes to have her hair up and away from the violin on the left side of her head, so I tried something new. I did a sort of half French braid starting behind her left ear and brought it around, finishing it in a bun behind her right ear. It was so pretty.

A Mama's Heart {Recital} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

We rushed out the door and arrived at the auditorium. This was not the main recital, so only a few kids {about 17} participated.

My girls, Emily and Laura, worked so hard over the last few weeks preparing for this night. Hours of practice. They love their music and they are both dedicated to it on their own. I’ve never forced them to practice – it’s their choice.

A Mama's Heart {Recital} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Emily recently turned 17 and she’s been playing the guitar for two and a half years now. Last month we went guitar shopping because she had worn out her inexpensive starter guitar. {Some days she’ll practice for 3, 4, or 5 hours.} She bought this amazing classical guitar that has such a sweet sound. She loves her guitar.

This is my child who has gifted hands. She’s an amazing artist, amazing guitarist, and about six or seven months ago she began teaching herself to play the piano. She is an amazing girl and I am so blessed to be her mother.

She didn’t know until about four weeks ago that she would be playing in this recital and she chose to play Canon in D composed by Johann Pachellbel and arranged by Per-Olov Kindgren. It’s a beautifully stunning piece with lots of intricate finger work. The song played lasts about 3 1/2 minutes and there are so many notes.

She was determined to memorize it and leading up to last night, it’s only been a week since she felt she really had it memorized, but she was still struggling to play it perfectly even just a couple of days ago.

Oh how I prayed! I felt like she should wait and play the Canon in D for her spring recital, but she was determined to play this one because she felt it best displayed her skill. Her first recital this past April was amazing – she played a Russian folk song.

I wanted so much for her to have a good experience. I didn’t want her to regret her song choice and wish she had waited. I knew she could do it – I’d heard her playing the song over and over for hours and hours each day for the last couple of weeks. It’s just, you know, when you get on stage you get nervous! I wanted her to feel like she could play the song in her sleep and not mess up. And if you knew my daughter Emily, you’d know she’s a perfectionist and can be really hard on herself!

But you know, I was wrong. She nailed it. It was an incredible performance. The video doesn’t even do it justice.

And my sweet Laura, how I love this child. She has such a sweet heart. {All my girls do.} She’s my youngest. She’s the child I almost lost when she was eight  days old and came down with meningitis. She has brought such joy to my life.

A Mama's Heart {Recital} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

I remember telling my mom on the phone a couple of days ago that I was a little worried about Emily’s upcoming performance but that Laura had it down. She’d memorized the songs a few weeks ago and could play them perfectly every time. I had asked my mom to pray for the girls that they would not feel nervous when they got on the stage and that, like their first recital in April, that this would go really well.

Laura came out onto the stage. She introduced herself and she sounded confident and her voice rang out clear. She began to play the violin and as I listened I was praying for her. And then that moment came when she missed a note. And she paused her playing, trying to figure out what she should play next.

And my heart skipped a beat.

Not because I was disappointed in her performance, but because I didn’t want her heart to hurt and I knew she’d had her heart set on a perfect performance, despite my constant reminders that I didn’t expect perfection and that mistakes are okay.

I want to protect my precious children from hurting. And sometimes that’s just not possible.

[Tweet “I want to protect my precious children from hurting… Sometimes that’s just not possible.”]

She recovered beautifully. And finished the song and I couldn’t be more proud of my girl than I am. She’s amazing. Really amazing.

She began playing the violin in January, took the summer off from lessons and has had about six months of instruction. The violin is a hard instrument to play and she’s doing such a great job!

I sat up near the front this time so I could get a better video. The rest of the family sat near the back {that’s where my husband likes to sit} and after the recital ended the girls all came up to find me. I beamed a smile at Emily and Laura and as another person came to congratulate Emily on her performance, Laura, my sweet Laura wrapped her arms around me and buried her face against my chest and that’s when I knew the tears would come.

She was disappointed and it hurt. I wanted take that away from her. I reminded her that we don’t count the wrong notes we count all the right notes – and there were so many of them!  We spent a lot of time talking about it last night and she came home and immediately got out her violin and began to play the song we’ve already picked out for her spring recital – a song titled Spanish Violin that is exquisite.

She’s going to be okay. And I am so proud of her spirit.

So, we went to check on my mother-in-law right after the recital and it was late when we finally got home. Just as we drove in the drive my cell rang and it was my son, James who’s 22 and preparing to leave in January for a media ministry position in Canada.

He said he had good news and bad news.

The bad news was there was a minor glitch in his passport application. But that’s all going to work out. I’m not worried.

Now, for the good news.

Okay, wait. Let me start at the beginning.

A few weeks ago, he’d called me on the phone and mentioned a girl named Hannah. A few days later he called and happened to mention her again. So, I asked him if they were dating. He said no, they were just friends. But I could tell he liked her. And then I noticed a status update on facebook that she had baked him a pumpkin pie.

Well, a couple of days later he called again and said that he had asked her to be his girlfriend.

He said that she had said she would like to, but he had to talk to her father first. James was sooo nervous.

Anyway, a day or two later {I think} he called and said he’d just gotten off the phone with Hannah’s dad. Her father had interrogated interviewed him for 45 minutes. And I was thrilled.

I want her dad to hold him to the fire.

Her parents said they wanted to meet him first before they would be given permission to begin a relationship. And I was thinking, I really like her parents!

A week or so later James brought Hannah and her best friend up to the ice rink where we were spending the day {remember my daughter Hannah is an ice skater}.

James and HannahPhoto: {left to right} my daughter Hannah, James and Hannah

I was so excited to meet her. But for me, I’m not the mom who wants to rush things and I didn’t want to seem overly anxious so I didn’t spend too much time trying to talk to Hannah – I wasn’t really sure how to act. They weren’t even officially “together” and I just really wanted to be reserved about the whole thing.

In our house, the rule is NO DATING/ NO BOY-GIRL RELATIONSHIPS until after you’re college age. Period. I don’t believe that dating as a teenager is healthy. Why date before you’re ready to make decisions regarding marriage – because really, isn’t that what dating is all about – looking for someone to spend the rest of your life together.

And if you’ve read my testimony, you’ll know I learned that the hard way.

So, anyway, back to last night. Hannah’s parents drove up to Chattanooga to the college and spent a few hours with James. I won’t go into all the details that he shared, but yesterday James and Hannah officially started their courtship. I’ve never heard him so happy.

James and Hannah

Photo Credit: Cherie Lynn Logan Milliron


Really, he sounded soooo happy on the phone and it’s just really an answer to prayer. Thank you God! They had a photographer come out and take some beautiful photos of the two of them to commemorate the occasion.

James and Hannah

Photo Credit: Cherie Lynn Logan Milliron

Her parents also gave them some really good advice about how to get to know each other over the next year even though he’s leaving for Canada in January. And I couldn’t be happier for him.

James and Hannah

Photo Credit: Cherie Lynn Logan Milliron

I’m going to be praying hard for their relationship. That they will continue to nurture it and grow closer to God and each other.

P.S. Isn’t she a pretty girl?

I am blessed beyond measure.

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  1. ...and I am so blessed that I have a daughter who loves God, who is raising children to love and serve Him, and who is wise beyond my imagination. I love you, I love my precious grandchildren, and I praise Him who can do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think.
  2. What a blessing your children are and very talented. Isn't it nice when you can find parent's who are willing to get to know the people their children are spending time with? My son did NOT like it when I called the parents of his friends,but most of the parents were good with it. Have a blessed day and thank-you for sharing.