I’ve been anticipating this day for months.  The first day of school.  The first day my 7th graders will call someone else teacher.  As I drove home from Asheville this weekend, memories of our days together flooded my mind.  I came home, collapsed into Stevie’s arms, and asked him how in the world I was supposed to get through this.  Somehow, I managed.  We spent our day making sure the girls have everything they need.  We loaded up their backpacks to the gills and filled out a host of paperwork.  We talked about how they should wear their hair and which notebook to use for math and which day to order lunch.  It was a precious day.  I fought hard to be strong.

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Then it was time to say goodnight.

I started to pray with them, like so many nights before.  I prayed that God would give them peace, as they live out their days in a new way.  I prayed that He would grow them into kind and gracious young ladies and use them to bless those they meet.  I prayed for their teachers and for new and old friendships.  I said thank you for the gift of girls, for the hours and years of life together at home.  We held hands tight in the dark and felt the weight of this goodbye.  Lately, tears are all I have.

I cried myself to sleep, crushed by a sadness that I can’t even explain.  I will miss them so much.  Life rages on like a river and seasons change.   I’ve never been good with life’s transitions.

But, He promised new mercies, so the sun came up this morning and we walked into our new life together, with a fresh start, a blank canvas.  There is so much left to paint, so many words left to say, so much grace yet to give—as He writes His story on our hearts.

So, today, I will paint, on that big white canvas, and the colors will tell the story of a momma who is still learning what it means to love and yet let go.

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In a twist of perfect mercy, my two oldest are home with me today, painting, reminiscing, and reminding me that beautiful things happen after goodbye.  My gratitude overflows. Thank you for all your notes, texts, emails, messages.  You have surrounded me with love and I’m so thankful.



45 comments on “This Goodbye”

  1. I find that my biggest emotional moments always have to do with my kids. How come no one ever told me that being a mother was going to be so hard? I always wonder. The letting go part is so difficult. That being said, I have read your blog for years and I know what a great mother you are. You have raised 2 bright young ladies (not counting your other wonderful children) who are going to cultivate new relationships, make smart decisions on their own, and create their own new life adventure. Be at peace. All will be well. xoxo

  2. Dear Edie,
    I have only recently discovered your blog, but how much joy and comfort you have given me already about the blessings of having a home, husband and family and to truly appreciate that (also when life give you lemons…)
    I hope that you will continue to be comforted by yours and they will be the ones helping you through this o so painful transition.
    Take care!

  3. In a couple more weeks, I will send my first baby to junior high school. I am terrified…she is thrilled. I feel like I am sending her to the wolves. I pray for God’s protection of her heart and mind, but also for physical protection…we live in a very diverse community.

    Blessings for you today. May you feel the love of the Father in new ways all day long. <3

  4. As a homeschool mama, I applaud your efforts to provide the best opportunities for your daughters. You have nurtured them and permitted them to spread their wings in preparation of this new destination.

    Be proud as your family embarks on this new adventure (as I shed a few tears with you).

  5. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family as you begin this new journey. I have seen many pictures of the girls on this blog. They are beautiful…..but today they look so grown up! Blessings to you today.

  6. God’s plans for us are ALWAYS good even though they may not always feel good. Edie, God has big plans for you with all your free time and you will SOAR!

  7. Mothering ‘firsts’ are tough, no matter when that first comes. Praying peace for you. Just wanted to thank you for your encouragement this weekend. I attended your last session at Becoming. I needed a little boost of encouragement to remember to put my family first, to set aside all things ‘good’ things aside, and give my first fruits to them… such a wise reminder for me in a time when it seems the whole world clamors for my time and attention. Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom this weekend…

  8. Letting go of my children was the hardest thing I ever had to do…..I didn’t always do it well. My oldest, bless his heart, suffered the most from the crazy, overprotective, control-freak woman I am. It got a little (just a little) easier with the next two. My second son went off to a huge university (UNC) and was fine, my daughter ( the 3rd) seemed to understand my craziness best and stayed home (her idea) the first two years of college. They are all married now, with their own children that are starting school. I hear the concern in their voices and I so understand. These sweet babies all go to the same small private school my children attended and still we want to keep them in our laps and read dear stories and draw our crayon fantasies and not let the harshness of life touch them. We cover them with prayer and sigh and let go……’s hard.

  9. Blessings to you on this day of old doors closing and new ones opening. Wishing a little something extra, too, on your wonderful older two who had the wisdom to realize how hard today would be for you and the caring concern to be willing to be there for you (even though it would have been easier to “stay away from Mom today!”).

    I can’t imagine what your heart is going through today, but I pray He holds you in the palm of His hand in the days to come and shows you what’s next on this journey called life. I have no doubt you are going to emerge from this transition with the same grace and style you have demonstrated before. We’ll all be here on the other side. xoxo

  10. Look how adorable and happy they look – excitement!! You gave them all of the necessary skills and love and confidence to go out into the world-while unknown and scary at times. The world really is a wonderful place.
    When they come home, the stories they will share, the excitement of friendships and the gifts given them from new teachers, this newest is endless with possibilities! While this new time will be challenging for you, it will be so much to them. Those moments they are unsure or scared, will be so much easier because you loved them and built them up in ways another could not for so many years. They both are ready and so are you Edie. Blessings for giving so much to them. Now it is time to give so much to yourself as you fill that blank canvas with something beautiful and new. Blessings and prayers to you!

  11. How blessed we are that His mercies are new every morning. I don’t know how we would get through this life if they weren’t. 🙂 I know you not want to hear this but, wow, your girls are growing up so much!! They are such beautiful young ladies and I’m sure their hearts are just as beautiful with a mother like you!! 🙂

  12. Edie, needed this post this morning as I am preparing to walk the same road, sending my girls to school after six years of homeschooling. Praying and trusting along with you!

  13. Hi Edie, I have been following your blog for a couple of years now. I have yet to comment even though I have been compelled to many, many times. Your blog is a place I come to be reminded of all the wonderful things God has in store for us, and that even in trying times when it is all too easy to wallow, we should rejoice and be thankful. I am in my 30’s and raising two children, a 14 and 11 year. Sometimes the days are long and thankless and I am not sure how I am going to dig down for another. We too are homeschooling our children and I struggle with that decision on almost a daily basis. I just want so much more for them than what Public school( I am by no means knocking it, or those that teach or use it) has to offer. I want to encourage them to pursue their dreams and allow time for them to hone their skills and talents in addition to the core lessons. I want them to be smart and successful, but ultimately I want them to be a young woman and a young man after God’s heart. It is very hard to be different in today’s world…yet that won’t change as they move from children to adults so I want them to be comfortable in being different. Thank you very much Edie for showing us your heart. This post really pulled on my heartstrings as this has been a hot topic in our home the last several weeks. My eyes welled with tears thinking of the heartache you must have felt making this decision, and letting them go. Yet that is probably the most common part of being a parent…making choices that are best for your children even if it is difficult and causes hurt. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be so vulnerable for all your readers, but I guess your awesome readers make it a little easier. Your posts have blessed me many times. I even sat and read your “feminist post” to my husband. How wonderful to be reminded that it is not taking the “less important” road when we choose to be mothers, wives, caregivers, homemakers. Thank you Edie for taking the time to come here and encourage us!

  14. You are a really fine writer, and I look forward to your blog. Maybe it’s a good time to think about writing a book–you’re qualified on any number of subjects. You have a remarkable talent, and this may be the right time to expand to the handheld version.

  15. Your girls will do great, not fine, but great, because you prepared them so well. They know they are loved. I just “found” you at the beginning of this summer, and even I know that much about you.
    Have a great evening!

  16. They look adorable in their uniforms – they will do great and you will too….. eventually – your a good momma that’s why your heart is sad. I didn’t realize they were twins – yay for 7th grade girls -hope they have a great year.


  17. Sending you some {{{HUGS}}}} friend… will get easier and you will enjoy hearing all about their fun days at school:)….its just another adventure to enjoy! Love ya:)))))

  18. I was thinking about you all today & praying for it to go well, and I’m so glad that you all had a great day.

    I remember being a mess 2 yr ago when mine went back & I as I enjoy our last week of summer together, I’m tempted to just keep them home & do it all over again. I still miss them, but have learned to enjoy the time apart & to be grateful that we have them in one of the best private schools around. Grateful that they new & different opportunities that they wouldn’t at home. But I am forever thankful for the time we did school together & that I know them far better than I might had we not.

    I can’t wait to see what things God has in store for you Edie, it’ll be great! Love to you all & prayers for a wonderful week & school year!

  19. Oh Edie I feel for you! I have never been good with life transitions when it comes to my children and feel more and more like i’m trying to hold sand in my hands. I never home schooled my children but after being home with them for 11 years I was forced to go back to work 3 years ago due to the economy. every day has been a struggle but there has also been some good to come from it. It’s just not always easy to see when our hearts are heavy. I’m thinking of you and your amazing girls.

  20. Feeling your heart today…. We want to hold onto our dearest treasures, but letting them go, they shine! As Ann Voskamp said in a recent post, “Maybe the hardest praying are the prayers that let go.” I’m praying for you as you fill your days with wonderful things and as your girls bloom where they are planted.

  21. Today I spent the day at an amusement park with a little girl I mentor. She is 11 and her niece, who is also 11 came with us. The whole time I had a little weep in my heart as I remembered the times spent with my children here. My youngest left for the Marines last July and I miss him terribly; and I know that the most important role of my life is over. A mother’s heart … oh the complexity of the mother heart … always a bit weepy.

  22. Beautiful… think of it as a step for you and for them, for someday they will be adults and the independence must take place. They won’t leave you… they just move away a little bit, just as they did when they were learning to walk and toddle and fall and move away from ‘your help’. Growth is a good thing and if you have set the path for them, kept yourself in a special place in their hearts, you are never far away. I promise.

  23. Bless your precious soul. Oh the agony. I was just in your shoes this time last year. After 4 years, God lead us to a classical, Christian school. Things will be so different! But I can promise you that for everything you miss, there will be a different blessing in its place. I cannot tell you the joy it gives me to be a part of our learning community and the spiritual, social, and academic growth that has taken place in all of our lives! So thankful and I am excited for you and all that God has in store for those darling girls (and you, too)!

  24. Keep on, keepin on…. You’ve molded and formed beautiful girls that will go into this new chapter spreading the light you have been a vessel creating within them! They are blessed to have you as their momma, just as much as you are blessed to have 2 of God’s sweet angels to love!
    The blank canvas was a perfect segue: {a transition from one thing to another smoothly and without interruption}: I cannot wait to see what’s created 🙂

  25. Edie-these days can be filled with conflicting emotions and times when your mamma heart just longs to have them near again, but you have taught them and prepared them so well. They will be a blessing wherever they go. You have instilled in them what is good and right and true. They will remember your words, love, and actions.
    Praying that God will bring you comfort.

  26. I cried for you when I read this. I only have one child – a son – and although I only homeschooled him for 2 years, it was so hard to watch him walk through that school door.

    He was ready to go back, so I just thanked God for the opportunity to have those two precious years with him to build him up where he had been torn down by bullies his own age.

    He’s 19 now and starting his 2nd year in a college 2 1/2 hrs from home. Talkin’ about change! He’s turned out to be such an awesome young man that loves the Lord….and I’m so thankful!

    God is so faithful to us in these different seasons of life.

    Looking forward to hearing about their school experiences….I’m sure they will excel at everything 🙂 Blessings to you!

  27. I’ve just discoverd your blog in the past month and feel as if I’ve known you a while. Thanks for your honest writings and open heart. As a public school teacher I wanted you to know there are many of us out here who know what a precious gift parents entrust to us every year/day as they put their sweet child on the bus and send them off. I pray each day that I will love the child that walks through my door as if they were my own child ( and now Grandchild!) May God give you His peace that passes all understanding and a sense of how proud He is in your sacrifice of love as you gave your girls a rich education and then let them continue that education “out in the world”.
    P.S. I spent 8 years going to school with my son and daughter as we were all at the same school. I still cried every time I dropped off my son at college, even if it was just thanksgiving to Christmas break, until he was a senior! Dear Husband calls tears God’s cleansing flow.

  28. Been praying for you all week.
    I mentioned on IG last Friday, when my kiddos all headed to school, that the “letting go” process is hard on my heart.

    a sweet friend from my hometown actually reminded me that it isn’t letting go…we never really let go…we’re just expanding their territories…letting them spread their wings.

    One day, they’ll be ready to soar. You’ve already experienced that with a couple of your kids….it must be some of the most beautiful fruit of your life.

  29. Thank you, Edie, for this post. I will also be sending my kids off to private school on Wednesday after years of homeschooling. God has been very clear in His call away from homeschooling this year…..but even still, my heart feels crushed with sadness over how much I will miss them.

    I have a feeling that I will feel very much the same on Tuesday night as we say prayers….not wanting to let go of those precious hands, but needing to entrust them into His hands.

    Thank you for sharing and helping me feel that I am not alone!

  30. Dearest, Edie, you’ve poured your heart and soul into these amazing young ladies and I know you are so proud of them, even in the midst of your heartbreak. I pray that you find peace and renewed creativity in the days and weeks ahead. Just received your newsletter and I can so relate to a whirlwind summer that’s been more draining than re-charging. Onward, my friend, and know that you’re being prayed for…
    xo Heidi

  31. Edie, I love your website! It is so inspirational! Thank you for providing such a godly and precious resource to us your readers. While I was reading one of your articles, I noticed you were in Asheville recently. What town in the Carolinas do you reside in? I live in North Carolina, also. Have a great day!

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