My Mom Is Seriously Considering Going to Iraq

March 6, 2008 at 9:21 am 12 comments

for a year or two.  Or more.

She came by to talk to me yesterday.

I listened, and then threw a good hissy fit at no one in particular.  It just seemed a good thing to get out of my system.

My throat is still sore from my session yesterday.  I probably won’t repeat it.  My eyes stung like needles were hanging from every eyelash pour.  I’ve just gotten over my headache.  

I just needed to just get it over with while I had a few hours to myself, before I have to deal with the emotions of kids.  

There is just something about the phrase: “My Mom is going to Iraq for a year or two” that gets to a person, especially when you have two family members in that general vacinity already:  pop, and my youngest brother. 

As she told me, I thought to myself very relevant thoughts like: “That candle is crooked over there.  I want to go straighten it, but that would be rude…I need to sweep the floor today…what about this weather, it might snow this week {tearing up, and stopping the flow}.” 

Anything to divert attention from the conversation that was unfolding in front of me.  Mom was gracious, calm, and obviously in the middle of God’s will for now, even as her mouth swollen from dental work on four teeth at one time, preparing, now I realize.

She is seriously considering it, having prayed about several specific provisions that have fallen into place

We don’t know the date, but… here we go, on another huge journey of faith. 

Last week when my step-Dad left again for Iraq, I delayed my own emotion until my Mom and my daughter were stable.   I was trailing behind.  A hormonal week anyway, and I just sank into it, relishing a week with Upward Basketball season over.  It actually felt good to just sit and watch home decorating shows and let tears fall, with no thoughts at all to bring them on.  Accumulated stress was falling from my eyes, and I let it.  I took a “slow week”.  Bro. Ray often says, “Tears are said to cleanse the soul.” I was going to be squeaky clean before the week was up.  Now? I’ll probably be antibacterial, too! 

If you are going to deal with hard news, I think sometimes God is most merciful when He just gives a bunch of hard stuff at one time!  Why ruin a whole season with it?  That’s my logic–seems to help.

In Iraq, there are efforts of “re-building” that are not specifically military.  If the military pulls out over the course of the next year or two, where does that leave these “re-builders”?   Who takes care of the land mines as they travel the roads?  How safe are they?  I have no clue.  None of us do.

Still, somehow today, by the grace of God, I know, I have better perspective.  Except that I feel  naseated overall and I really have no inclination to want to eat.   Seems to me that feeling you have after a car wreck, or a diagnosis.  You are faced with what you cannot control, how fickle life can be, unexpected.  And it scares the daylights out of you pretty much.   

I go back and forth between wanting to busy myself with something or someone, and just wanting to let the day pass here as normal.  Both are needed. 

Breathing seems a good thing to concentrate on.

These are all things my mom has wrestled with since August.  “Should I stay busy? Or sit and cry?  Or both?”  Usually both when she could…work when she had to.  It’s been admirable.

I suppose it is my turn. 

I had given no thought that this journey might go on for several more YEARS.  But, it is.

Someone described it yesterday as “a jolt”, another “a shock”.  Both  good words. 

My perspective is good overall:  given their variables, it’s for the good.  Pop is loving it there with the people, the races, the work.  And, they should be together long-term if they can.  It will be an adventure.  It will be an opportunity.  I have excitement for them experiencing life together.  But, let me just be clear:  it IS my Mom.

I know that anyone would feel the same mixture of polar emotions, worries, and concerns I have.  The sense of loss is extraordinary.  But, it seems God’s will and I rest knowing that His will is His best for us all.  I have peace in that–deep down, below the river of tears that washes over it all.  Trust in Him will soon harness emotions for the most part.    (Read more on finding God’s will at The Well this week if you are interested.)

Mom will get to come back and see grandkids every 4 months.  That’s good.  Her youngest sister and husband want to go to Iraq with them as a group to give them all a sense of community.  My brother may use their house for a while.  That’s good.  She is skilled for the office work they need.  That’s good.  Things seem to be falling into place.

I’ll borrow a much-used modern phrase that seems to articulate my thoughts best:  “It’s just a whole lot to wrap my head around.” 

I’m not particularly fond of those types of heart-wrenching, weeping, hugs with my Mom.  She is Santa, the Easter Bunny, and The Tooth Fairy, all rolled into one.  I’m not so great at those things.  But, hugs like yesterday’s make Moms what they are, absorbers of the pains and trials of life.   

I could go on for some time and not have all the words and thoughts in me expressed, but I just wanted to share the gist of it, and say thank you for continued prayers as we seek God’s will and walk forward by strength…with your help.     

Entry filed under: World.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stacey  |  March 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Still praying. I know this is hard and it won’t really get “easy” but praying that you are able to feel peace in this season.

    Call or email if you want to do lunch or something.

  • 2. Dori  |  March 6, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Wow – Mags! In my world of kleenex, Tamiflu and sleeping until 10:30 every day, I HAD NO IDEA!!!

    I will be praying for God’s Will and for peace for those who need it!!

    Keep me posted, sweet friend!!


  • 3. mandythompson  |  March 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    dang….. keep breathing, friend.

  • 4. Misty  |  March 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    That’s hard, really hard. I’ll keep the whole situation in my prayers and hopefully some peace about it will ensue.

    I can come back over and eat you out of house and home again if you want 🙂 Love ya!

  • 5. awomansdevotion  |  March 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Prayers, prayers, and more prayers being sent your way. May you find the peace of God’s will and strength needed to get through this difficult time.

  • 6. Cindy  |  March 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    still remembering you

  • 7. hollya  |  March 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Sitting here with tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine the emotions you are feeling. I find it admirable that she wants to do that. It definitely must be hard on her as well. Will definitely be praying for you!

  • 8. touchofglory  |  March 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Oh Mags…I have been thinking of you and this situation since yesterday. After reading this post, I, like Holly, have tears in my eyes. It is much easier to give advice than to receive it, but I know that God has a plan in this. You are a wonderful mother and wife, and you will carry on with one foot in front of the other. And when you need hugs, even though they won’t be exactly like your mom’s, we’ll all gather around you and hug you and love you like sisters. Praying for and loving you.

  • 9. mamarosi  |  March 6, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Girl, I’m just floored… I read your What ya Doin’ post but didn’t get to read this one til’ just now. Now I know what to pray for, and I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you and your family, but you know who is in control. Today I had a moment of complete panic over this thing that I’m dealing with and I had to just beg God to help me lay it at his feet. I finally did and received a phone call moments later that just completely reaffirmed my faith that He is indeed the one in control. All he asks for is our surrender. I have to surrender every day, every moment sometimes but He can and will take care of it. I know you know all of this but it never hurts to repeat it I guess. I just love and adore you and let us all help you get through this. Continuing to pray… and big hugs your way

  • 10. Kim  |  March 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I guess I am way behind here but am just totally mouth wide open and jaw to the floor…floored. I have no wise words of wisdom but I do have lots of prayers and love coming to you and yours. I also do know that even though you trust in the perfect will of God, that doesn’t just make everything happy and wonderful. Things hurt and hearts break…we can’t turn off our emotions even when we trust. I know when I was diagnosed with cancer…I had an indescribable sense of peace knowing that my journey was just one small part of the puzzle of God but let me tell you…I was scared to death and I was sad…very sad…even though I completely trusted in God.

    Sorry… I kinda went on and on. Just know that I love you and your sweet fam.

  • 11. Re-Re  |  March 7, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Just wanted to let you know we are all in this together. We will take this one moment at a time and know that God is in control. Even though, I would like to fast forward to the moment/year that we can look back and say, “wow, look what God did through that!” We will be praying for the fam and be there in prayers, when we can’t be there in body!
    Love Ya,

  • 12. Johnnie Ruth Hamill  |  March 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Wow….God’s will … in Iraq…to be a light in a dark place. Praying peace for you.

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.


Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)



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