Thursday, May 23, 2013

'love, mama' series | stephanie holden

this month i'm celebrating motherhood with some sweet words from a few of my favorite people. today my darling friend stephanie is here with some wisdom on changing seasons.

Hi ya'll.  I'm Stephanie.  I share about my life and family over at The Honey Pot.  I'm a southern girl married to my high school sweetheart and I've been blessed with three daughters and three grandchildren who make my life sweeter than I deserve.  Hannah and I were blogger friends who became real life friends who became more like sisters.  I'm thankful she is now part of my journey and I'm tickled pink she invited me to come share a little about what I've been up to as a mom...or momma as my girls call me.

I'm in new territory when it comes to motherhood. I'm approaching the empty nest.
In four months my youngest daughter will marry and join her two sisters in the wonderful journey of wifehood.

I love my girls something fierce and apart from their daddy, there are no other people I'd rather spend time with more.  We are a tight knit family and we love being together.  So this journey I'm on leading up to my empty nest has been one filled with many growing pains..

When my oldest married almost six years ago, it hit me the hardest.  Not because I love her more than her sisters..(even though they like to tease me about that)..but because it was the first major change in how we "do" family.  Even though we knew without a doubt this was God's plan for her life and we loved our son-in-law as if he was our own...I was not prepared for the huge void that came after the wedding...the daily day-in day-out stuff that she was no longer there for.   I literally grieved her for presence in our home.  And a few weeks after the wedding an older gentlemen in our church with much wisdom and compassion approached me one Sunday and put his arm around me and said, "You miss her, huh?"  With tears instantly welling up, I said "Uh huh".   What he told me next was nothing profound but it came from the heart of a parent who who had been there.  He said, "You want to know what is gonna make it better?" And with tears rolling down my cheek I nodded my head.  He squeezed my shoulder and said, "Time. It's just gonna take a little time."  Well at the moment I was a little let down.  I wanted something to make it easier right then.  I wanted instant relief for my hurting momma's heart.  But his gentle words of wisdom have proven to be true over and over again as each change in our family has taken place over the years.

When our middle daughter was married last June, the void was still there in a huge painful way.  But it was no longer the unknown.  I knew that with time it would get easier.  We just had to learn how to "do family" in a new way again.  Through this,  "Porterville Night" was born and I love this new way we spend time together.

Now we are on the brink of a full blown empty the wedding day draws closer, our youngest is home more now than ever.  She is conflicted about the approaching change too and we are all just savoring every ounce of what is still normal to us...treasuring our time together before her daddy transfers his authority over to a new man to guide her and lead her.  It is bittersweet.  We all know what is coming.  And we also know...with time....we will once again adjust to a new way to "do family".

I no longer despair over the thought of an empty nest. Not because I don't miss my girls, because believe me ...I do. Every day.   But I have this excitement in my spirit.  Almost a giddiness like when Nick and I were dating....anticipating our new life together.  You see, with God's grace  and the wisdom of experience tucked away in my heart, I am choosing to approach this new season dwelling on what I am about to gain instead of dwelling on the things I miss.  I mean, I'm about to spend my golden years with the hottest grandpa on the planet. 

And my relationships with my girls have morphed into more of a sisterhood.  I am no longer the person who they have to "answer to".  In God's design, their daddy and I are no longer the authority in their life and because of this, the way we relate to them has shifted.  It's a wonderful new chapter of parenthood. 

So I just say to all of you mommas with little ones who can't fathom the empty nest because that seems like it's a lifetime will be here before you know it so enjoy every season..don't rush things thinking the next stage will make it easier.  Enjoy changing diapers...they'll get potty trained soon enough.  Or to you parents of teenagers who are in denial about your kids getting old enough to spread their wings and leave home and you don't even want to hear the words "empty nest"....  don't fret.  It is a wonderful thing.  It's wonderful because it is a God thing.  It is His design for us to nurture and invest and pour our hearts into the lives of our children only to one day let them go to fulfill His purpose for them in this life.  Oh, if we just trust Him...if we just receive His grace that is sufficient.....If we just give things a little time... we can embrace each new season with joy. 
When we do this, we won't miss one drop of life he has for us to experience.  

And I for one don't want to miss a thing.  

Now y'all excuse man is waiting.  Even in the midst of motherhood, I always made sure I made time for him so when the dust settled we would both really like the person who was left standing by our side. 

And well,  my investment is about to pay off.  And I can't wait!!


  1. Love her! Thanks for hosting this series!

  2. I love this post and I love that she mentioned making time for her husband so they would like each other when the time came, sooo important!!

  3. Love this one! When I worked for Dr. Peipon, he used to say that one of the hardest medicines to take is called "Tincture of Time".

  4. i love you, stephanie! you are shining truth of what it means to love your family, honor your man, and be a noble mother. thank you for sharing your heart with us mama's in the potty training days. xoxo!

  5. Such a sweetheart!! Love following her blog. :-)

  6. ohhh my goodness. she might be the cutest thing ever!

  7. i really, really love and needed to read this.
    thank you, dear steph.
    love you so.